If you're a Minecraft player who wants to know what's what regarding future updates prior to their releases, you'll soon have a new way to keep track of that stuff and actually go hands-on with it, too. Mojang Studios announced this week "Minecraft Preview," a standalone beta program meant to replace the Bedrock Beta application people have grown accustomed to. It'll still allow people to try out content ahead of schedule, and even better, there are also plans to expand the beta tests beyond the Xbox, PC, and Android platforms.
In an FAQ over on the Minecraft site, Mojang went over the fine print of the new Minecraft Preview program to explain how it'll work. It's described as an "evolution" of the Bedrock Beta program which currently presents players with beta tests previewing things to come.
"While our Betas are currently limited to Xbox, Windows, and Android, Minecraft Preview will let us expand to additional platforms," Mojang said. "Minecraft Preview is also a separate app/game that you can play without impacting your standard Bedrock experience, and it will let you test out the latest and greatest features. Also, with Minecraft Preview you will no longer have to choose to play on a Beta or the released version – you can play both on the same device or console!"
Bedrock Beta is still around for now and will exist alongside Minecraft Preview for a while until the former is retired.
If it wasn't evident from the answer above, the new version seems like an improvement already simply because it's separate from the main Minecraft app, so there's no opting into the beta and opting out depending on which you want to play. Some caveats to Minecraft Preview is that it'll lack things like cross-platform multiplayer as well as achievements and full access to the marketplace across platforms, but it sounds like you'll still be able to play with others so long as they're on the same platform as you.
For now, the Minecraft Preview app will be available on the Xbox, PC, and iOS platforms with plans to bring it elsewhere soon enough. How you download the new beta app differs depending on where you're playing, so you'll want to consult the FAQ for that matter. Minecraft Preview will also be available via the Xbox Insiders program as well as Xbox Game Pass for PC with the console version of Xbox Game Pass receiving it later this year.