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Minecraft replacing beta programme with more convenient standalone Preview app

Available on PC, Xbox, and iOS now.

If you're the sort that regularly enjoys checking out new Minecraft features ahead of their official launch via the Bedrock Beta programme, you'll likely be pleased to hear that developer Mojang is simplifying the whole process with a new standalone Preview app.

Currently, those wanting to trial future Minecraft Bedrock features are required to download the Xbox Insider Hub, sign up to the beta programme (turning Bedrock into the beta version), then embark on the somewhat cumbersome process of switching back and forth between the release and beta builds as needed. Mojang's new Minecraft Preview app, then, is designed to do away with much of that fuss by keeping the two versions entirely separate.

That means playing the new Preview version won't affect your standard Bedrock experience, but it does mean temporarily waving goodbye to some core Minecraft features. Mojang notes cross-platform multiplayer, achievements, realms/featured servers, and marketplace won't be available through Minecraft Preview.

Minecraft Live 2021 - A Look at The Wild Update.

Writing in its announcement post, Mojang explains that one of its goals with Minecraft Preview is to expand access to future content to players on platforms not supported by the existing beta programme - which is currently restricted to Xbox, Windows, and Android. To begin with, though, Minecraft Preview be available on iOS, Xbox, and Windows 10/11, with download instructions varying significant depending on your platform of choice.

On iOS, for instance, you'll need to opt into Minecraft Preview, but things are simpler on Windows. Anyone that already owns the Bedrock version of Minecraft, or has access to it through Game Pass, can now install Minecraft Preview via the Windows store. Xbox is a little more complicated, however, as the app is not yet officially released on the platform. Instead, it's only available to Xbox Insiders for the time being.

As for the existing Minecraft Beta programme, it's still currently available on Xbox, Windows, and Android. However, Mojang notes it will begin phases this out in favour of Minecraft Preview to allow it to "grow and improve the Beta programme in a more robust manner."

Minecraft's previously announced Wild Update, which adds the likes of frog mobs and a new mangrove swamp biome, is next on Mojang's release list, so expect to see some of those features making their way into the new Minecraft Preview app as its launch day draws nearer.

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Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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