In covering Android news over the last four and half years we’ve discovered that there are plenty of users out there who love to beta test.  Be it a game, an app, or accessory, there is always a group of folks who like to be ahead of the curve and shape the future of things to come.  If you count yourself among this bunch of Android users then you will be happy with this edition of “In Brief”.  Today’s collection is seven ways to participate in an Android-related beta program.

  • WordPress 2.1 beta – If you run a WordPress-powered blog then you’ll want to check out the forthcoming features from v2.1 for Android.  Details include autosave, comment editing, UI enhancements, reliability improvements, and much more!
  • Playup – Although they only recently brought their “mobile-based social network for sport fans” to Android this month, users can always test the beta mobile browser version.  If you’re a sports fan who likes to chat during games, then you’re advised to download the app and/or participate in the web client.
  • Softmaker Office – The full version is coming to Android soon but you can be on the front with this beta application.  Need to edit Office files from your smartphone or tablet?  This one provides seamless support with Microsoft Office 2010 formats and includes a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentations client.
  • IM+ – Test the newest features from the all-in-one messaging client and you’ll have options such as a black graphic theme (night reading) ability to not show ICQ “On Mobile”, and more. Download and try IM+ v 6.1.9 beta.
  • Crashlyitcs – Aimed at Android developers, this is a service that offers a light weight crash reporting system for apps.  Full version is coming in May but you can get in on the same stuff that other companies (Path, Yammer, Box, SoundCloud, VEVO, etc) have been using.
  • SwiftKey – Always available in beta form, we simply love this keyboard for Android devices.  Sign up and test out the last enhancements well ahead of it hitting the Google Play Store. Currently available in SwiftKey 3 beta are features such as learned word backups, a larger space bar, a smarter language engine, and smarter punctuation!
  • Trend Micro – The popular security guys have an app in the Google Play Store that is still considered beta.  Download and try out the Longevity Battery Saver and extend the life of your smartphone or tablet battery.
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