WhatsApp has at long last launched its beta program for the Android platform on the Google Play Store. The company has been launching pre-release builds in the form of APKs for years now, regularly updating the app with new tools. The new move should make it easier for people to test out new versions without the hassle of downloading an APK.
To join the beta program, interested users simply have to go to the Google Play Store’s WhatsApp beta listing and select the Become a Tester option while logged into their Gmail account. Once this is completed, they’ll have to update the app to the latest version by going to the Play Store.
However, keep in mind these early versions are often buggy and unstable. It might be worth the risk if the consumer wants to keep on top of any major changes to WhatsApp before the general public gets a taste of the update. The latest variant of the tool right now is 2.12.471, but it doesn’t seem to feature any huge changes compared to the last big upgrade which came out this month.
That WhatsApp update brought native support for Google Drive Backup to store away chats and media. It further added over 100 new emoji which were previously only accessible to Android 6.0 Marshmallow and iOS users. The list of fresh emoticons includes a unicorn, popcorn, robot, turkey, middle finger and a taco.
WhatsApp had also reorganized its emoji layout in the update. There are now more tabs than before and some of the emoticons have shifted categories. For instance, hearts can no longer be found under people, having been moved to the symbols group instead.
You can join WhatsApp’s beta program by heading to this link.