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Beta and Preview for Android Devices

The Spok Mobile Preview App is available in Google Play for mobile devices using Android via "closed beta" testing. As a Google Play closed beta app, Spok Mobile Preview is not available to the public, the app is only available for download to a pre-defined list of users. Each user must be added to Google Play by email address, and then must accept via an opt-in URL.

Important Note: After a test phase ends, the test user can continue to use the Beta or Preview version of Spok Mobile. When the General Availability version of Spok Mobile is released, depending on the settings of the specific device, the app is either automatically updated, or the user receives a notification.

Step 1: Upload Beta or Preview Version of Spok Mobile 

When a completed build of Spok Mobile Preview is ready for testing, Spok Mobile development team uploads it to Google Play and enables beta testing. When this version is enabled for beta testing, it is communicated so lists can be added and managed.

Step 2: Add Test User Information to Google Play 

After the Spok Mobile Preview version has been enabled for beta testing, add each list of email addresses to Google Play, activate the appropriate lists to use for the current Beta, and submit the update.

 

  • If an email address exists in a list that is not a Google Account email address, an invalid email error message appears and Google Play does not add the email address to the list.
  • A maximum of 20 lists can be added to Google Play Beta, each with a maximum of 2,000 test users.

Step 3: Send Email to Test Users Containing Opt-In URL 

When a build of Spok Mobile Preview is uploaded to Google Play and ready to be tested, Google Play provides an opt-in URL. An email must be sent to each test user containing this opt-in URL.

Step 4: Test Users Opt-In and Install Spok Mobile Beta or Preview 

Test users must click the Beta opt-in URL contained in the email they receive. This URL opens a Google Play invitation page with a brief description of the test process and an opt-in link. Only when a user clicks the opt-in link on the invitation page are enabled to participate.

After opting in, the test user downloads and installs the Spok Mobile Beta or Preview app. After installing the app, the test user can begin to test the new features and improved functionality.

Important Note: The Spok Mobile Beta or Preview app updates, or replaces, any existing previous version of Spok Mobile on the device, it is not installed as a second app in addition to an existing installation. It works with the site's live production environment or Beta test environment and users interact with all of their contacts in the same way, while having access to new features and improved functionality.

Additionally, test users continue to use the latest  version of the Spok Mobile app, even after the Beta or Preview period. Depending on the configuration of a specific device, when the General Availability version of Spok Mobile is available, it is automatically updated or the test user receives a notification.

For a detailed test user participation procedure, see Setting Up an Android Device for Spok Mobile Preview.

Step 5: Support Customer Testing and Acquire Feedback 

Support any customer issues during Spok Mobile Beta or Preview testing and use standard methods to acquire feedback to improve the app for General Availability.

Step 6: End Testing - Manage Google Play Beta (submit production build to store) 

When the Beta or Preview test phase ends: 

  1. Disable beta testing
  2. Clear the Active checkbox for all lists.
    If any lists are left active, those users will receive an automatic update if a new version is uploaded to Google Play Beta, whether it is intended for testing or not. It is a best practice to make all lists inactive until a test version is ready and a formal test phase is about to begin.
  3. The Beta or Preview build is either submitted as the General Availability production build, or a new build is submitted as the General Availability or production build.

 

  • For future preview phases, be sure to communicate to customers who have already opted in as Beta or Preview testers and are in one of the lists of test user email addresses that they may receive notifications or automatic updates for future Beta or Preview test versions (if their applicable list is made active again). Notify them that they must sign into Google Play and opt out as a test user if they do not want to receive future notifications and participate in future Beta or Preview testing of Spok Mobile.
  • If a user opts out during a Beta or Preview test phase, they must uninstall the current version of Spok Mobile, go to the app store, and install the publicly available previous version of Spok Mobile. They will lose all messages acquired when the Beta or Preview version of Spok Mobile was installed, and the device will need to be re-registered.