Google spends lots of time building stable, refined products that can be used by over a billion users. However, there are a subset of users who want to use bleeding edge products and features even if they aren’t entirely ready. Having a larger test base of users allows Google to discover edge case bugs quicker and allows them to respond with fixes before they roll out to too many people.
Having a robust beta framework is something Google has been introducing into their products recently. Google Play now has beta and alpha channels that allow any developer to provide newer, potentially buggy versions of an app. Android recently added a beta program. Now the Chromecast line is getting a preview program, as shown in a new support page.
The Chromecast Preview Program is a user opt-in channel that updates your Chromecast device with the latest version of Chromecast’s firmware before it is made broadly available. This gives members of the program early access to features and improvements on their Chromecast. It’s an exciting way to get a sneak peek at the latest and greatest updates – and tell us what you think!
You can enroll your Chromecast in the beta by using the Chromecast app. In its device settings, you can select the preview option (assuming that it’s open for more devices). The Chromecast automatically updates its software in the background, so you may not notice when it gets the next update, but it can have new or experimental features. You can view its software status in the app.
If you want to stop the program, you can leave the program through the app, although you’ll still have to wait for the next stable software update to hit your Chromecast before you leave the preview version.
Are you planning to enroll your Chromecasts? Do you see anything new? Let us know in the comments below.