Here’s another tech term you’ve probably heard bandied about. Just from hearing it in context, you might have a pretty good idea of what it means. Just in case, here’s a quick definition.

The term is “Beta.” You’ll often here of it in references to computer programs or phone apps. Or you may have heard the term “Beta tester.”

A beta version of a program is simply a test version of a program. When developers think the program is finished and works right, they still need people to actually test it out in real life.

Sometimes they just pick a small group, other times they’ll release it to the public at large with a warning that this is still the test verson.

Beta testers get early access to new programs and features. Some even get to use paid programs or apps for free.

A prime example of beta testing is the Windows Insider Program that allows Windows users to get a look a new features months ahead of everyone else.

The downside is that beta versions often have unresolved bugs that can cause programs or even your entire computer to crash.