Staged rollouts now available for testing tracks in Play Console
If you’re an Android developer, you’ve probably experienced some anxiety when rolling out an update. Sure, you’ve tested the update on your own devices, but thanks to the fragmented Android ecosystem you’ll find it really difficult to capture all test cases before your update goes live in the production track. You can mitigate some future headaches by running an internal or closed test of your app before releasing to production, but even that doesn’t guarantee you’ll catch everything before your app is released to the masses. The Google Play Console allows you to stage rollouts in the production track so you can observe the update propagate through your userbase and nip it in the bud in case something goes catastrophically wrong. Now, Google will also allow you to stage rollouts for testing tracks.
In a blog post, Google announced that developers can specify a rollout percentage for their testing tracks. If you run an open, internal, or closed test, you can roll out your update in waves to your testers so you can get feedback on the update from a smaller group of users. If you don’t have many beta or alpha testers, then this feature will probably not be very useful for you. If, on the other hand, you have tens of thousands of testers, you’ll have a much better time getting feedback from a small percentage of them.
Staged releases are now supported in your testing, as well as in production tracks via the #PlayConsole.
Bring new features to your app users quickly, safely, and regularly.
— Google Play Apps & Games (@GooglePlayDev) September 5, 2018
You can stage a release in the testing track the same way you stage a release in the production track. You can update the rollout percentage from the mobile Play Console app as well. The Play Console app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store link below.