How To: Stay on the Bleeding Edge of Google's Apps

Stay on the Bleeding Edge of Google's Apps

Google I/O, the national developer conference for the Mountain View giant, has come and gone. We saw the preview for Android L (which you can get right now on your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7), Android Wear, and Android Car and TV.

Those lucky enough to attend were gifted with their choice of Android Gear smartwatches, which had a small QR code printed on the gift box. Once scanned, the code led to a Google Group for Google I/O Android Wear Developers.

Seems that by joining the group, you can opt in for bleeding edge beta versions of popular Google apps that have functionality for Android Wear. Thanks to Nick McManus, that QR coded link is available for all of us, so start by clicking here.

Click the small Join group button on the first page, then configure your group settings and click Join this group on the following page. Now you're ready to beta test some apps.

Currently, there are preview beta versions for Google Search (Google Now), Google Play Services (the backbone for Google apps), and Google Keep.

Simply hit Become A Tester on each of these pages (can be done through a computer as well), then hit the link towards the bottom for the Play Store. The apps will update over their existing versions, and you can check out any new features whether you have an Android Wear product or not.

Leaving the Beta

If you decide you want to revert back to stock, fully-functioning versions of these apps, simple click the links again for each app and hit the Leave the test link.

After that, click the link at the bottom to head back to the Play Store, uninstall the app, and reinstall it to get back to the standard version.

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