Alpha, Beta, and Launch

App Stages Explained

With the first (limited) release of Neptune just around the corner, there have been some questions about what Alpha, Beta, and official release mean. We wanted to provide a simple explanation of the stages.  We will clarify what each term means so you can know what to expect when you begin using the Neptune app.  Alpha and Beta are the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, so these terms have been borrowed by software developers to mean One and Two.  The alpha release of an app is first and sometimes it has users while other times it is strictly for internal testing.  Neptune’s alpha app will be available to a limited number of users on iPads.  Let us explain the launch stages for early adopters like you.


An Alpha App is the first, limited in functionality, and meant to prove the concept to the first users.  Alpha is a version of an app that will have “bugs”, so please tell us when and if you find one.  There are also features that are missing – for example, you may not be able to login to an app via Facebook or social sharing is not available yet.  Alpha versions are also released to a small group of users. This is when a limited number of Neptune Parents will get to download the app first. The more you and your children use the app, the more you will be helping us improve Neptune. We need your honest feedback. . .  the good, the bad, and the ugly! 

The Alpha version of Neptune will not be openly available through the app store, but we have a way to get it on your iPads directly called “TestFlight”.  When we release Neptune through TestFlight you will receive an email asking you to download the TestFlight app. This email will direct you what to do next and get Neptune launched on your device. It is very simple, but if you have any issues we will be there to help you.  Our alpha users will get a phone number that you can call for customer support.  It might be confusing so we will be here for you every step of the way. Please reach out to us if you run across any difficulties.


Have you ever noticed software that is marked “Beta”?  Sometimes this means that you have early access to a product and other times it means that you should expect bugs (probably both).  Beta is when things start to get really good.  For Neptune, Beta means that it is available in the app store but we are still working on adding new features.  We won’t stay in Beta forever, just long enough to stabilize the product. With the Beta release, most of the “bugs” have been worked out, but there are still some technical difficulties, so again, we need you to tell us.  In the Beta Neptune App, we will be fine tuning features and adding some new ones. Neptune’s Beta version will also have Android compatibility.  We are anticipating a Beta launch towards the end of 2016.  Beta will have more content, more features, and we won’t have a limit on the number of users that can access Neptune.  

Launch (Official Release)

1, 2, 3 Launch!  This is when we shout from the rooftop that Neptune is available.  This will be a fully functioning app that will be in the app store and available for the general public.  Our first customers hold a special place in our heart because you will have provided the insights we need to make the product awesome, stable, and exactly what parents want.  We will consider Neptune “Launched” when there are apps available for iOS and Android.  We plan to expand into other devices like connected cars, Microsoft Surface tablets, and Amazon Kindle Fire.  Once Neptune has “Launched”, our team goes back to the lab to work on content, activities, and making your app even better!

Please help us spread the word and watch how your kids learn!


Interested in joining our Alpha?  Families with tablets are invited to sign up now.  Limited Availability