Google Offers a “Production Quality” Preview Program for Home and Chromecast

Posted on August 16, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Hardware, Music + Videos, Smart Home with 2 Comments

Google is now offering a Preview Program for its Home and Chromecast devices, allowing customers to access new firmware versions and features before they are released to the public.

“The Preview Program is a user opt-in channel that updates your Chromecast or Google Home with the latest firmware version before it is made broadly available,” Google explains. “This gives members of the program early access to features and improvements on their device. It’s an exciting way to get a sneak peek at the latest and greatest updates – and tell us what you think!”

While it’s not clear yet what new features are coming to Google Home or Chromecast, what’s perhaps more interesting is how the firm is positioning this preview.

“This is not ‘beta’ software,” Google says. “Our intention is that Preview Program updates will be of the same quality as production version updates. You’re simply getting earlier access to new features before they’re released broadly.”

As with other similar previews, the Google Home Preview Program is a two-way street. In return for early access to new features, Google expects participants to send them feedback too.

News of the Google Home Preview Program leaked a few weeks back when a Google support document was updated to include information about this program. But it’s gone live now, according to Android Police. However, it’s not live for everyone, apparently. And you must be on the latest firmware version (93937 or newer) to access the program.


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Comments (2)

2 responses to “Google Offers a “Production Quality” Preview Program for Home and Chromecast”

  1. Waethorn

    Google does the same thing with G Suite features. They aren't beta-quality code, but they don't roll out new features to everybody all at once. Instead, the code is "finished" (unlike, say, in the Windows Insider Program - or Windows Updates for that matter) and is validated as "bug-free". They just give it to users that sign up for early access, and ask for feedback on what features they like or don't like and if there's something horribly wrong in usability, they go back to the drawing board and rework it.

    It's NOT the same as the canary/dev/beta/stable schedule for AOSP/Chromium - Google's open-source projects are completely different.