How to publish an Android app on Google Play Store

Application development is just the beginning of a very exciting journey. It can be a bit intimidating to publish Android app on Play Store as you might not be aware of all the aspects of releasing your product on Google Play. All the preparations for the Android app release and publication ought to be started in advance and not be postponed until the last day. To facilitate this process, we have created a comprehensive step-by-step guide, explaining how to publish mobile app on Google Play from the very beginning.

3 things to remember when you need to publish Android app on Play Store

Google Play Store is a beneficial platform that can help app developers sell, distribute, and promote their digital products. Each developer is usually provided with a set of helpful tools for detailed analytics and market trend analysis. A wide array of useful tools and features makes the Google Play Store one of the top places to sell and distribute your products to all Android users. Before the Android app release on Google Play, there are a few crucial aspects to take into consideration:

1. Prepare necessary promotional materials to be able to attract users, reach the maximum number of downloads and collect positive feedback. It may include high-quality screenshots, videos, and a brief description that will introduce your product.

2. Define target users and devices. Google Play Store allows app developers to target a particular group of consumers based on their location. Furthermore, app developers can choose the language as well as set the specific app pricing for each country separately. There’re tools to save the product as a draft and deploy Android app to Play Store any time later.

3. Check the settings in advance. All the settings ought to be correctly configured before the app is published to the public.

If you would like to publish Android app on Play Store on your own, you will definitely find this launch checklist helpful. So, how to publish an Android app on Google Play store according to policy?


Step One: Google Developer Account

It is impossible to deploy Android app to Play Store without first registering with Google Play Console. 

If you already have an account on Google, you can use it but it’s highly recommended to create a new one for business purposes. It can be either a private or corporate account. It is also possible to transfer the mobile app between the accounts if necessary. Upon the signing up process, it is obligatory to thoroughly read the distribution agreement provided by Google Play Store, which should be signed by the account creator. 

Afterwards, adding personal information and paying a registration fee ($25) are required to successfully complete the first Android app release step. The users usually wait for 2 days to be approved by Google. Any personal information can be edited later once your account has been finally approved.

Google Developer Account


Step Two: Google Merchant Account

If you are planning on distributing a paid mobile app, or your app has in-app purchases, creating a Google Merchant Account is mandatory. It provides all the necessary tools for app sales management, monthly payout services, and detailed sales reports. All the accounts in Google are automatically linked to each other so after having created a Google Merchant account, it will be connected to your main Google profile shortly afterwards.

Google Merchant Account



Step Three: EULA and other essential documents

During the mobile app development process, the End User License Agreement, Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy, and other important documents should be prepared ahead of time. You can search for examples of similar apps’ documents, or consult a lawyer to help create your own from scratch.

First of all, what is EULA? The End User License Agreement is considered an agreement between you, as a developer of a particular product, and the user who downloads your app. EULA includes the following information:

- What app users are allowed and not allowed to do upon using the downloaded mobile app.

- Information regarding licensing fees.

- The list of restrictions applied to a certain product released on Google Play Store.

Upon creating Terms and Conditions, you are to describe all the services you offer as a software developer and owner. Even though creating Terms and Conditions is not obligatory and not required by Google Play, it is still highly recommended to do so in order to provide the full documentation package. If your app is going to collect users’ personal data, you have to indicate it and add Privacy Policy where you guarantee not to take advantage of this data. When adding Privacy Policy, it is needed to include the following information:

- Age restrictions and the presence of specific content. 

- Registered company location.

- Users’ personal data is collected when using the mobile app.

- All the app features, as well as whether they are free or paid.

- Current app subscription terms.

- The official legislation that applies when regulating disputes.

- Users residence and location.


Step Four: Google Developer Policies


Google Developer Policies describe how each app needs to be updated, developed, distributed, and supported in terms of being released on Google Play Store. Each mobile app that is to be published on Google Play ought to meet certain criteria, supporting the highest standards of the store’s quality.

If the digital product does not pass certain Google Developer Policies criteria, it may be blocked, and even removed from the store. In order to avoid that, pay attention to the following policy chapters:

- Restricted content.

- Store listing and promotion.

- Intellectual property (IP).

- Privacy, deception and device abuse.

- Spam and minimum functionality

- Monetization and ads.

Since Google tends to change its policy chapters, it is vital that you remain updated by checking out Google Developer Policies from time to time.

Google Developer Policy



Step Five: Technical requirements

There remain a few crucial technical requirements left to deploy Android app to Play Store. To deploy Android app to Play Store files, there remain a few crucial technical requirements left. These are:

- Bundle ID (unique app ID). The Android app package name represents the application ID. Each mobile app available on Google Play Store features a unique bundle identifier that cannot be changed after the Android app release. Remember that there are no apps marked with the same bundle ID.

- Digital signature. Each app ought to be digitally signed with the certificate of a developer. It is done in terms of identifying the mobile app owner and is usually generated only once, meaning that for each digital product to be released you have to provide a digital certificate individually.

- Mobile app size. Google Play Store usually sets the limit of the file allowed to be uploaded. The app size depends on the user’s Android version. The maximum size is 100 MB, however, it would be better if it's less than 50 MB, then more users would have a chance to try your app.

- File format. Pay attention to the format of the file you are going to publish. It can be either .aab (app bundle) or .apk (Android application package).

Once you have created the file, you become closer to releasing your mobile digital product on Google Play Store.


Step Six: Creating an app on your Google Developer Account

 Use your Google Developer Account to create a new app to be published:

- Tap the ‘All applications’ tab in the user’s menu.

- Click the ‘Create application’ button.

- Select the default language of the to-be-released digital product from the list of available ones.

- Create an app description, giving brief details about your software. Keep in mind that this can be changed any time later.

- Click the ‘Create’ button to proceed.

The rest of the data regarding your mobile app is added later.


Step Seven: Store listing and the importance of App Store Optimization (ASO)

In terms of providing your users with essential app information, you need to prepare the store listing. It is also useful for App Store Optimization, which helps to attract more potential consumers. What does the store's listing include?

A digital product description that should include an app title, a brief software description, as well as a full description. Using keywords is encouraged.

Images and screenshots. You can publish from 2 to 8 screenshots, representing your mobile app.

- JPEG or 24-bit PNG (no alpha)

- from 320px to 3840 px

- the ratio should not be more than 2:1

Here is an example of our work for client's product Mona:

Mona Screenshots Google Play

Icon. Upload an icon according to the Google requirements.

- 512px x 512px

- 32-bit PNG (with alpha)

- Maximum size: 1024KB


Feature graphic. This is not mandatory but is helpful for marketing purposes.

- JPEG or 24-bit PNG (no alpha)

- 1024px x 500px


Promo video. If you have created a promo video, it’s possible to add a YouTube link.

Adding tags. Those are keywords that will help Android users discover your mobile app. Unfortunately, it is impossible to add custom tags.

Supported languages. If your digital product is available in many different languages, make sure to mention all of them in terms of targeting a particular group of users.

App type and category. Choose a type and then a category to define the product you want to sell. 

Type and category Google Play

Contact information. Provide your website address, e-mail, and other contact details so that the users can get in touch with you easily.

Privacy Policy. Google Play Store requires adding the link to the Privacy Policy you have created in one of the previous steps.

All the settings can be saved as a draft and completed later.



Step Eight: Content rating questionnaire

Not passing a rating questionnaire can lead to a mobile app's removal from the Google Play Store. Furthermore, it can be marked as an unrated app. Provide accurate information and details regarding your digital product in the settings. Any incorrect information can lead to the app's removal from your account.

Content Rating Questionnaire


Step Nine: Pricing and distribution

The pricing and distribution section is the next section that requires providing certain app details, such as:

1. If there is any specific content not suitable for people of a certain age range.

2. Whether the digital product contains any ads.

3. Android devices compatibility.

4. If the mobile app is free or paid, as well as if there are any paid features included.

5. Availability of the digital product. Make sure to choose the countries where the app is available for download.

The paid app can be changed to a free app later but not vice versa. You will have to create a paid app from scratch, following the previously mentioned steps.


Step Ten: Uploading your APK file

Upon app upload, the user is provided three different options:

Alpha. By choosing this option, you upload a digital product that may not be available to everyone on Google Play Store. This option means limited product testing, meaning that you are the one who can invite someone to download your software and test it.


Beta. Anyone can download your mobile app as a testing program, leave a comment and send their feedback to the product developer. It will help you to add the finishing touches and fix all the potential bugs that occur while using the mobile app.

You can switch to Production type any time later after having improved your product once again. After choosing the release type, deploy Android app to Play Store files. Tap the Review button so as to send your digital product for review. Your mobile app will finally be published on Google Play after 7 days of passing the Google review.


Final words

Android app release is a very demanding process where every single step ought to be planned in advance. However, if you don't have time to figure out how to publish mobile app on Google Play, you can always outsource Android app development and our experts will help you. 

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