Microsoft opens new site for Lumia beta tests

Microsoft is closing the Nokia Beta Labs site, but users will still be able to test apps under development via the new Lumia Beta Apps site, designed to elicit more feedback and make it easier for users to participate.

The new site is powered by UserVoice, which also hosts the Windows Phone Feature Suggestion box page.

On the Lumia Beta Apps site, users will be able to find information about ongoing trials, instructions on how to install apps, and notes about features and known issues. Each beta has its own feedback forum for interacting with other users and the teams developing the apps, according to Microsoft.

The apps can be downloaded via Microsoft’s Windows Phone store, by clicking on a link or by scanning a QR code. Anyone is welcome to participate, but Microsoft prefers if users have a “relatively new Lumia smartphone”, “are willing to tolerate rough edges” and aren’t afraid to share their opinions, it said.

On Thursday, four apps were available on the Lumia Beta Apps site: the Nokia Camera App, Nokia Chat powered by Yahoo, App Social and Nokia Conference.

That the name of the new site does away with Nokia shouldn’t come as a surprise. Back in April, Stephen Elop, now executive vice president of the Microsoft Devices Group, said during a Q&A on the in-house Conversations website that “Nokia as a brand will not be used for long going forward for smartphones. Work is underway to select the go forward smartphone brand.”

The old betalabs.nokia.com will be closed in the near future, but all links will continue to work and redirect to the new site.

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