I've relied on public betas of my software to uncover bugs and usability problems since the first version of HomeSite back in 1994.
Sure, you can find the obvious bugs with an in-house beta, but if you really want your software to be solid you have to get it into the hands of external testers. You just can't reproduce in-house the motley assortment of hardware and expectations that external testers have.
Getting new beta versions into the hands of testers was easy when I developed for Windows, but it became trickier when I switched to Android development.
I needed to make it drop-dead simple for Glassboard testers to install beta APKs. I couldn't give them a download link they'd have to cut-and-paste or send them APKs by email - that's a pain.
So I decided to enable testers to install beta APKs from within Glassboard itself.
One of Glassboard's lesser-known features is the ability to share files - not just photos, but PDFs, spreadsheets, MS Word documents, and other popular file types.
With a bit of tweaking, I made it possible to share APKs as well. That way I could enable testers to download beta APKs from within the app. Drop-dead simple.
If you want to see this in action, join "Android Testers" on Glassboard using the invitation code ckanq. I regularly post new builds of the APK there, sometimes weeks before they're available in Google Play. Right now, for example, there's a test build which has a ton of new features (including deletions, which has been our most requested feature so far).