Early-adopter BETA testing is a long-time Republic tradition. The company launched as a BETA test with the Optimus S and then expanded the BETA test with the DEFY XT, some of which are still in operation. We had an active group of BETA testers for Republic Anywhere, and maintain a small, dedicated group of BETA testers for our Republic app.
We had an early-adopters BETA for Extend Home, and found that to be a success. Testers provided early feedback on the process of setting up the device, we built FAQs and documentation based on the questions the early adopters asked, and we received good feedback about the product.
We currently have our iPhone BETA in progress. The OnePlus 7T was successfully tested by few early-adopters prior to launch, helping us confirm that the phone would be a good fit for our service.
We have a renewed focus on some of the foundations that our company was built on, and collaboration with our members through early-adopter BETA testing is just one of many ways we’re returning to those roots. For a long time we’ve had members ask to be able to test phones on our service before they were officially supported. While we can’t just open testing up willy-nilly, we are experimenting cautiously with allowing some early-adopters to have access to test specific phones prior to our official support. Benefits would primarily be limited to those members who have a passion for testing new devices and being involved in helping us expand our portfolio, though all of our members would benefit from having a wider range of phones available for support.
Early-adopters enjoy testing software and hardware before it is fully supported, trying to “break” things, and they know that there is some risk that comes with the experience. (I think some of them sort of enjoy that risk.) There is no guarantee that any phone we BETA test will pass the BETA test and become a fully-supported phone, but, as I mentioned above, we are proceeding cautiously, including only offering Early-Adopters opportunities for phones which have a high likelihood of being adopted into our portfolio.