Two days ago those of us who backed the Minuum Keyboard on Kickstarter received an email stating it would be released as a beta as of yesterday June 18. At least that’s what I and most people thought. By mid-day it was clear that few people had received their invite. It also looks like the Minuum team (smartly) chose to make sure important reviewers or influential backers received the beta first. By noon you were already seeing people asking why they hadn’t received their beta invite yet….
At 6:27 Pm on June 19 The Minum Team Sent out a message on Google Plus:
We’ve been gradually rolling out beta invites to all of our supporters today, but have been held back by some challenges with the Google groups beta platform — if you’re a supporter and haven’t yet received your invite, thanks for waiting, and we’re working as hard as we can to get this to you within the day!
Meanwhile, you can check out our new Minuum how-to video here: How the Minuum keyboard works
Will & the Minuum team
In my opinion 6 PM on the “launch day” is way to late. By 3 O’clock I was already scouring the internet for a downloadable APK. I wasn’t the only one. There were several backers online who were obviously patient at first. I even saw someone comment that the posting of an APK would be a “dick move.” Forgive me, but I place the blame completely with the minuum team and here’s why.
1. Your inability to create a contingency plan allowing backers to verify their data and manually download the apk is inexcusable. The Swype Keyboard team did a beta like this for about two years…Its not like the Minuum team didn’t have a model for success they could follow.
2. Unless you never used the new Play Store Beta distribution before you’re launch (That can’t be it right??? Why advertise the Alpha test of your Beta release then?) you should have seen this issue coming.
3. The people who know about and actively seek out your beta are probably tech savvy. They were going to share that apk with the understanding that the more data a beta program can obtain the better.
Unfortunately the user who decides to share an application he/she paid for is not herself required to verify that the person they share it with is a backer. Some people who actually paid their $5 on kickstarter might be upset that non-backers now have access to something they paid for. Which brings me to…..
4. No Play store verification.
It is 9:53 am on June 19th and I have not received my beta invite. So…this morning I downloaded the apk from an individual who was kind enough to host a link. I installed it on my S4 and Nexus7 and was up and running with no problems. If the Play store Beta was so important that I should still be waiting for an invite….you probably should have included a way to verify who was using your app.
Update: Received my invite at 9:52 AM Eastern Time. Better late than never I suppose.