Make your app for Android phones and tablets
Guide to create Android apps and make money

Publish app on Google Play

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To ensure that our app has the maximum number of users is essential to publish it on Google Play.

Almost every Android devices have installed an access to Google Play, for this reason Google Play is the place where most users go to find their Android apps.

Before beginning we should note that Google Play is very strict regarding the apps contents and not allow apps that violate the following policy:

Let's go to publish our app. We first have to create a Google Play developer account. Create this account has a cost of $25 but it's a one time payment for life and you can publish as many apps as you want. (Note that this fee is charged by Google, not us)

To create the account visit the following page:

Here we'll be asked for our developer basic info such as the developer name that we want to display, and we will make the payment of the $25. Note that the information entered on this page refers only to our developer info and isn't specific to the app that we will publish.

Once created our developer account we can access to publish our app. In the developer control panel we will access to the "Applications" section and click the "Create application" button. Will appear a window that only ask you for the default language and the name of the app. Then press "Create".

At that time we will have created the app in the developer control panel but still we've to enter all the app information. We will see that there are some sections that we've to complete before our app can be published on Google Play:

  • App releases: This is where you upload the aab or apk file of the app. To obtain this file you have to access to your control panel and press "Download app" below the menu on the left. Once the file is downloaded to your computer you will be able to upload the file to App releases as a "Production" release.
    • From August 1, 2021, new apps must be published in the aab format
    • You can download the app in aab format activating the setting in "General info" > "Name and Icon".
    • The aab format requires to opt in to Play App Signing. To do this, simply select the default option (Let Google manage and protect your app signing key).
  • Store Listing: In this section we introduce the title, descriptions, screenshots and other info about our app. Some tips for this section:
    • In the descriptions don't use trademarked names or names of other apps.
    • No need to enter screenshots of Tablet, Android TV or Android Wear.
    • In the "Privacy Policy" field is mandatory to enter a web address with the privacy policy. You can get this web address from "General info" > "General". If you don't enter a Privacy Policy it's very likely that Google Play will suspend the app.
  • Content Rating: Here you must fill a questionnaire so Google Play can assign a content rating to the app. Some tips to complete this questionnaire:
    • If your app contains a chat or a users finder choose on the first page "Utility, Productivity, Communication, or other".
    • Also, if it contains chat or users finder you must select that users can exchange content with other users.
    • Similarly, you must select that the app shares users personal information with third parties (In case your app has a chat or a users finder).
    • If in chat or users finder section you have activated the option to show distance between users, you must select that the app shares physical users location.
    • The app doesn't allow purchase digital goods (unless you have included a section that allows it).
    • The app isn't a web browser or a search engine (unless you have included a web type section that is it)
  • Pricing & Distribution: Here you can indicate whether the app is free or if you want to set a price per download (As discussed in this guide we recommend to set free download and display ads in the app). You can also select the countries where it's available. Some advices:
    • Don't check any box under "Device Categories" or "User Programs".
    • Check the box as the app meets the Android content guidelines, and the box "US export laws" too.
    • Select "Yes" in the option that asks if your app contains ads.

Once you have completed the info of the app you will be able to publish it on Google Play. You only need to click "Publish app" button in the top right of the page. Then we will have to wait a few hours for Google approve our app and it appears in Google Play.

When the app appears in Google Play you have to activate the message to ask users for rate the app. You can turn on this message from "General info" > "Rate app". It's very important to activate this message because one of the most important factors in order our app appears on the top of the search results is the rating that users give to it.

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