How to Release Android APK on Google Play Store

Overview

In the Android world, Google Play Store is the ultimate platform for any developer or investor to make his presence felt, to increase the audience of his app, to engage with users and lots of other vital stuff, if he aims to release his app into the wild. 😀

Generating Signed APK

To upload an app on play store it’s necessary to generate a signed apk. Play store only accepts signed APK in order to upload the application. Generating signed APK simply means signing your app with a digital, public-key certificate. This allows other users to install your app via the Play store.

To sign an APK, we’ll need a file called keystore, having .jks extension. Speaking in very general terms, this file is used to authenticate ourselves for anyone who is asking. This file stores certificates and such authentic stuff.

Let’s get started.
In Android Studio, click on Build options then click on Generate Signed Apk.

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Then select your app and click on Next.
Further, we have to create a keystore for your application to publish it on the play store. As described earlier, It is a file which secures your app data from unauthorized access and it is the certification that only the holder of the application can publish and update the app on play store.

Now, if you have not already generated key store for your app, then click on Create new to generate a new keystore for your app. Then select a path where you want to save and provide necessary key store password details. Then, provide alias of your key and password details. Add validity (in years) limit for your app on play store. Next, you need to add at least one certificate issuer field to continue. Now, click on OK to generate keystore for your app.

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If you’ve generated key store earlier then click on choose existing and select the keystore path where your previously generated key store for this particular app resides. Also, provide Key store password, Key alias, Key password details.

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Now, click on next, then choose APK destination folder where your app will be created. Also, select the Build type. Set Build type to release to upload it on play store. Then select both V1(Jar Signature) and V2(Full APK Signature) to generate signed apk. V1 and V2 are the mechanisms designed to make the APK signature more secure. Now, click on Finish. After some time, your signed apk will be generated and a successful app creation dialog will appear. Then click on locate to navigate to the generated signed apk folder.

Publishing app on Play Store

Now, to upload this signed apk on play store you must have a google developer account. Visit this post to get more details on it:
https://www.yudiz.com/google-developer-console-registration/

To upload an app on play store, go to your developer console and click on Create Application. Then provide the language and title for your application and click on Create.

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Now, before filling details of content rating you must have to upload your android app on play store in alpha, beta or production phase from App releases.

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I’ll talk about the Production phase. So, click on Manage button in Production Track. Now, click on Create Release. Fill out the necessary details and also upload your signed apk. Also, add a release name (like app version 1.0 or 2.5 etc.) and release note about the app update details. Then save the details.

Now, to finally roll-out or publish your application on play store, you must have to fill out all the necessary details related to the app in below three sections.

  1. Store listing
  2. Content rating
  3. Pricing & distribution

The fields marked with * are mandatory.

Store listing:

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In the Store listing, you need to provide Title, Short description and Full description of the application.

In Graphic Assets, you have to add at least 2 screenshots for your application. In High-res icon you have to add an image which displays as your app icon in play store and in feature graphic you have to add a photo for your application banner. Make sure that images uploaded are of the exact size as mentioned. Provide the necessary details for categorization, contact details, and privacy policy. Now, save the details of Store listing by clicking on Save Draft.

When your details are successfully submitted for any section. It will turn in to the green tick mark (accepted). But, if any necessary details are missing or any corrections are required then it will provide the warnings which you have to fix and then continue further.

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Content Rating:

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In Content Rating, you have to provide a valid email address. Select your app category and fill out the necessary details and click on Save Questionnaire. Now, click on Calculate Rating. Then, click on the Apply Rating. Now, you’re done with this section. Please make sure that your content ratings represent your app in a transparent and correct manner. Providing ratings which contradict with the app’s functionality may result in app removal from Play Store in later stages.

Pricing & distribution:

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Now, in pricing and distribution, you have to set your application to Paid or Free. Fill up other necessary details like selecting countries which should have access to your app, consent and user programs related details. Then click on Save Draft to successfully submit the details.

After this, all these three sections are accepted or verified.

Now, go to App releases then click on Edit Release, click Review and Rollout and then click on Start Roll-out to Production button. This will start publishing your app to upload on the play store.

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Congratulations… you’ve successfully uploaded your app on the play store. It can be viewed on the play store in a few hours (In some cases it may take some more time to publish based on countries you selected to distribute your app).

TL;DR

We have to generate signed apk to upload application on play store.

To publish our android application on play store we must have a developer account. Then to finally rollout our application we have to fill up the necessary app related details in three different sections i.e., Store listing, Content Rating, Pricing & distribution.

We can also publish our app on play store using Fastlane technique which requires very fewer steps to process and upload your app on the play store. To get familiar with the Fastlane, visit the blog here:
https://www.yudiz.com/fastlane-an-automated-app-deployment-tool-part-1/

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Gaurang Goda Android Developer

I am an Android Developer at Yudiz Solutions Pvt. Ltd. - a leading Mobile App Development Company. I am dedicated to continuously developing, implementing, and adopting new technologies to maximize development efficiency and produce innovative applications.

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