Would you agree to fly in a brand-new plane that has never been tested? For many of us, the answer would be an emphatic no. If we asked the same question about using a mobile app that hasn’t been tested, maybe the answer wouldn’t be as emphatic as it is for the first question.
However, the app development process can never be complete without beta tests. Beta testing ensures that app developers don’t have to manage an embarrassing crash once real users start using their new product or new feature.
I spent some time looking at the best beta testing tools on the market today to help product managers and QA teams manage the beta testing phase and launch better products, software, and mobile apps into the market with more confidence.
Apart from presenting the best beta test management tools, I will also be looking at some of the most frequently asked beta testing software questions, presenting some reasons why your team needs beta test management software, and discussing what you should look at when deciding which beta testing tool to go with.
The Best Beta Test Management Software Tools
Here’s a shortlist of the best software tools to manage your beta testing phase:
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Overviews Of The Best Beta Test Management Software
Below is a brief description of each of the 12 best beta management software tools, along with screenshots to illustrate key features. While I list these tools as the best tools for managing beta testers and their feedback, I cannot pretend that it’s a definitive list.
However, I list the following tools to provide an idea of the features that developers of software and mobile apps need to look at when deciding on tools for their beta tests.
1. TestRail – Best beta test management tool for teams looking for an all-around solution
TestRail beta test management software comes with a host of features that make it possible for quality assurance teams to do all their tasks within a single solution. The developers of this beta test management tool promise “a complete web-based test case management solution to efficiently manage, track, and organize your software testing efforts.”
Pricing for TestRail starts at $34 per user per month.
Great integration with other beta testing tools
Captures beta test data in real time·
Great user interface
The billing system is complicated
Lack of tutorials for different usability test cases·
4. Ubertesters – Best beta tests software for connecting with professional beta testers
One of the biggest challenges met by teams that want to test mobile apps or software is that beta testers can sometimes be inexperienced. This is the challenge that Ubertesters attempts to solve by assembling professional beta testers from different parts of the world.
Ubertesters promises to enhance your beta tests by testing “anywhere in the world on a variety of devices and operating systems and with many carriers, thus, giving you the confidence of launching a well-tested, quality product which will be highly rated by your customers.”
Pricing for Ubertesters starts at $29 per month.
Excellent customer support
An intuitive design that makes beta tests easier to conduct·
Great customization to enable teams to decide which parts of their mobile apps to focus on
Does not have a web app integration·
Adding the libraries you need can require more effort
5. Zephyr – Best beta test management tool for agile teams
The team at Zephyr makes a bold promise: “Zephyr is the only test management solution your organization will ever need—or ever want.” They support this promise by saying, “We were the first test management tool to work natively inside JIRA and, along with Atlassian tools, offer a seamless user experience and extensive breadth of functionality.”
Zephyr Pricing starts at $10 per month.
Offers a trial version
The user interface makes it easy to navigate·
Great customization to match the beta testing needs of specific teams
8. UserTesting – Best beta testing platform for real-time customer feedback
Beta testing is all about getting feedback from real people. This is what the developers of UserTesting promise when they say, “See, hear, and talk to your customers, remotely, as they engage with your products, apps, and messaging.”
This beta testing solution allows you to target the right testers, engage them, create themes based on the testers’ actions, and share the insights with teams that need them.
Pricing for UserTesting is available upon request.
Setting up the tool is easy
Customer support responds relatively fast·
Provides many templates for quick test deployments
9. DeployGate – Best beta testing solution for teams working remotely
We live in a time where remote working has become more common. Therefore, a solution like DeployGate, which focuses on fast distribution of beta apps to teams in different locations, seems to be what every beta testing team needs.
The tool provides real-time crash reporting, ensuring that you can attend to problems as they occur.
DeployGate offers a free personal plan, as well as a paid personal plan that starts at $15 per month. Plans for organizations start at $99 per month.
Great for sharing mobile apps with teams and testers
10. TestFlight – Best beta test management software for big tests
TestFlight is an Apple-owned beta testing solution that lives up to the Apple quality that many users expect. This is the tool you need to invite testers for your mobile apps that you want to release on the App Store.
Using a public link or user emails, you can invite up to 10,000 testers to help you determine the parts of your mobile app that need to be improved before a public launch.
TestFlight is free to use.
Feedback can be effectively sent through the application·
Delivers notifications the moment a new test build is available
The process of inviting mobile app testers can be cumbersome·
11. UXCam – Best solution for understanding user intent
You want to test your software or mobile apps because you want to have an idea of what the user intends to do. This is the solution that the developers of UXCam promise when they say that their solution “captures every micro-interaction on your app, allowing you to replay, analyze and optimize the User Experience.” The tool’s click heatmaps show the parts of your product where users are getting frustrated.
UXCam offers a free plan, and pricing for paid plans is available upon request.
Free trial and free version
Heatmaps allow development teams to see where the main frustrations are occurring·
12. Instabug – Best beta testing platform for performance monitoring
Instabug focuses on delivering a solution that creates crash and bug reports. The software helps teams monitor the beta testing performance in real time so that development teams can access feedback and act on it as soon as possible.
Pricing for Instabug starts at $124 per month.
Excellent user interface and easy implementation
Feedback and bug reports are easy to analyze·
Great pricing for small teams
Only allows four members per team on its Pro plan
Problem with exporting existing workflows·
Not easy for the average beta tester that is not technically inclined to report a bug
Before we get into more detail about the best beta testing tools on my list, let’s answer some common questions quality assurance teams ask about beta test management software.
What Is Beta Testing?
To better understand what beta testing means, let’s start by saying that the beta testing phase is one of the three main stages of testing software or mobile apps before they can be launched into the market for use by real users. Beta testing is the stage that happens between the alpha phase and the release candidate phase.
The alpha phase of product testing happens internally. The stage is characterized by testing conducted by the in-house quality assurance teams. It constitutes the final internal testing before the software development stage moves to the beta test management leg.
Once the beta test management team is satisfied with the alpha phase, the testing process moves over to the beta testing phase. Beta testing is the stage when the software is released to the general public, in the real world. The team responsible for beta test management decides whether the software, mobile app, or product being tested will be released to everyone or a select group.
If the beta program involves everyone, the process is known as an open beta. It’s called a closed beta if the usability test is confined to a controlled group of beta users or early adopters. This is the stage when the product development process requires beta testing software.
After the beta testing phase, the stage that occurs is the release candidate phase, also known as “going silver.” This is where the development team feels confident that the beta testing has gone well and the product is likely to be stable in the market.
What Is Beta Test Management Software?
Teams and project managers involved in the software or mobile app development process know that beta testing is a crucial part of quality assurance because they use the phase for bug tracking, reporting, and collecting; management of feedback; and measuring productivity. However, these processes are not easy if you try to do them manually because they may involve thousands of beta testers.
Beta test management tools help you identify and decide what to do about any bugs in software or mobile apps before you launch them to real users. Usability tests and seeking feedback from beta testers have become even more vital during this era when many software engineers embrace methods like test-driven development.
However, in quality assurance, feedback management depends on having the best beta testing tools to facilitate effective bug reporting.
To perform complicated tasks, the development team will need tools specifically designed for beta testing. The tools that make the process simpler are known as beta test management software.
Why Is Beta Test Management Software Useful For Quality Assurance Teams?
We are living in a time when things change faster than ever before. To understand what I mean, think about some of the big brands that were market leaders only a few years ago but are no longer in the market today.
Beta testing allows you to continuously test your product to ensure that the product remains the best in the market and that real users continue to download and use it.
Quality assurance teams need beta testing management software to facilitate continuous improvement. Beta test management software ensures that such teams and other stakeholders have the best tools to collect the data they need to make decisions and manage feedback.
Tools of that kind ensure that real users’ feedback covers all distinct environments where the product is likely to be used. For instance, developers of mobile apps would want tools that tell them the beta testers’ demographics and what their specific feedback is regarding the product.
What Should QA Teams Look For In A Beta Testing Tool?
The most important feature you should look for in a beta testing tool is whether it can help you save time and get the information you need. For example, you could send emails that include a link to the software you want to beta test and ask people to provide feedback.
Once you have received the beta testers’ feedback, you could enter it all into a spreadsheet and then analyze it. As you may already be thinking, that task will take a long time to accomplish. So, you need a tool that will automate the process more efficiently.
The best beta test tools will not only automate the system but will also segment users into groups and keep the beta testers engaged. You would also want to ensure that the tool you choose can customize the testing to your specific needs.
A useful usability test tool will also have a feature that scores your users. It’s crucial to score beta testers and identify participants who are not adding value to the development process.
Beta Testing Software Comparison Criteria
How do I determine which tools to include in my list of the best beta testing software? We have a proven system that allows us to look at each usability test tool and determine how useful a specific tool will be to the quality assurance team.
Here are a few questions you need to ask about the tool before deciding that it’s the best one for gathering user feedback for your software or mobile app development process.
1. User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive?
2. Usability and reliability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training?
3. Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations?
4. Automation: Does the software improve efficiency through automation? For instance, automated responses will ensure that user queries are attended to in real time.
5. Personalization: Effective beta testing depends on the ability to personalize communication with beta testers. Does the software make it possible to deliver personalized messaging to beta testers? Responding to beta testers’ feedback will ensure that your beta tests move smoothly and participants remain engaged.
6. Segmentation of users: Beta testers will test your mobile app or software using different operating systems, such as iOS, Android, Windows, and others. To ensure that you are clear about the operating system where a specific bug is being reported, you will need to have software to sort the users into segments. This will ensure that the feedback you get from the beta testers is easy to organize.
7. Scoring of users: Some users will agree to take part in your beta testing but fail to add value. Therefore, you would want a beta test tool that will help you to identify such users. Recognizing such users will help you to know who to invite and who not to invite when you need beta testers in the future.
8. Data Management and Analytics: Will the software assist the user in managing and analyzing data and keeping track of key metrics? Does the software include reporting tools?
9. Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?
What Do You Think About These Beta Test Management Software Tools?
If you’ve tried any of the above-listed software, please share your experiences and recommendations in the comments section. If your preferred software isn’t listed, please let us know and tell us why you prefer it.