The Google Play store is the biggest source Android users go to for downloading apps, and having your app featured prominently on it ensures more downloads. This guide will show you how to submit and release your app on the Google Play store.
- You should be signed up to Google Play Console and be a Play publisher
- Your app will need a unique Bundle ID to represent it
- Also, a signed app release. This requires a signing certificate, for info on how to do this check Android Studio's docs.
- If your app is too big, you will need APK expansion files to break it up into parts so it can be uploaded (Google Play store’s maximum size for an APK is 100MB)
If all of the above is checked off, it’s time to submit and publish your app to the Google Play store.
1. Get your app information ready
Log into the Google Play Console using your Play publisher account. To create an application, select All applications in the left-hand menu. Select Create Application in order to begin creating your app. Choose a default language, enter a title for your app (limit of 50 characters), and select your app type, then continue by selecting Create.
Now select Main store listing from the "Grow" section in the sidebar to enter your Play Store listing information and images.
- Short description: A brief summary of your app. This will be shown on the app’s Google Play Store listing and is critical for convincing people to download your app. Pack the most important and exciting information in the first three lines.
- Full description: Go into more details about your app. You have a maximum of 4000 characters. Highlight benefits and key features. This is shown when a user opens your app’s store listing.
- Screenshots: Essential to show your app in action. Select Add screenshot and upload screenshots of the app. You are required to upload at least two screenshots, but aim for seven or the maximum of eight for the best results and put the best ones at the beginning. To be featured in the Play Store's "Designed for tablets" list, upload screenshots of your app running on a 7-inch and 10-inch tablet.
- Hi-res icon: This is the icon that will be shown in Google Play Store and on your users' devices when downloaded
- Feature graphic: This is labeled as optional even though it’s essential since your app cannot be featured anywhere on the Google Play Store without a feature graphic. Aim for a bold, vivid, and simple image that promotes your brand with minimal writing.
- Video link: You can also add a link to a video of your app. This can be a YouTube link.
- Application type: Whether it's an app or a game
- Category: Business, travel, education, etc.
Make sure all your information is correct in the contact details and add anything missing. We’ll get back to the content rating, which requires you to fill out a questionnaire. Select Save Draft to save your app information and let's move onto the next steps.
2. Upload your APK or app bundle files
After you’ve made sure of all the prerequisites (unique bundle ID, signed app release, and expansion files in the case of a large app) needed to release your app, it's time to actually upload the files before release. To do this, select Production from the "Releases" section in the sidebar.
Production is the final release to submit a live version of your final app to the Google Play store. Beta and Alpha releases are available under the "Testing" section and give you the opportunity to test your app and receive valuable feedback to make improvements to your app before a final release. Instabug gives you the best tools for receiving the richest feedback from your users, all with only one line of code.
Now, select Create Release to go to the "New release to production" page.
- Choose whether you want to use Google Play's integrity and signing services or click on Choose signing key to sign your app locally.
- Choose whether to upload your app’s APK or App Bundle files or add it from your library.
- Select Next at the bottom right of the page to preview your information then select Save as draft for now.
Before sending your app out into the wild, you'll need to declare your app's content and set its price and avaialability.
3. Declare your app’s content
4. Set your app pricing and availability
If your app is paid, you will first need to create a payment profile from the Payment settings page. Now, select App pricing from the sidebar to specify whether your app is free or paid and the price you want set.
If you plan to only make your app available in specific countries, go to the Countries/regions tab in the "Production" page to select the countries or regions you want to release your app in.
5. Publish your app
Now that the entire checklist is done and we're ready to release the app, go back to the Production page from the sidebar and navigate to the "Releases" tab.
- Select Edit release on the release you saved ealrier.
- Now select Next to review your release information.
- Finally, select Confirm to submit your app to the Play Store.
Congratulations! You’ve now successfully rolled out your app, and it will send all its information to Google for review. Within two hours your app should be shipped and published on the Google Play store in the countries that you’ve selected.
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