Publish your app

Note: Starting in August 2021, new apps are required to be published with the Android App Bundle on Google Play. New apps larger than 150MB now support Play Feature Delivery or Play Asset Delivery.

Publishing is the overall process that makes your Android app available to users. When you publish an Android app, you do the following:

  • Prepare the app for release.

    During the prepare step, you create a release version of your app.

  • Launch the app to users.

    During the launch step, you advertise, sell, and distribute the release version of your app , which users can download and install on their Android devices.

This page provides an overview of the process of preparing to publish your app. If you plan to publish to Google Play, please read Release with confidence.

If you are using a continuous integration server, you can configure it to automate the steps described here. You can also configure it to push builds to your internal test distribution channel.

Prepare your app for release

Preparing your app for release is a multi-step process that involves the following tasks:

  • Set your app to version.

    At a minimum, you should ensure that logging is disabled and removed and that your version variant has a debuggable script set of false for Groovy or isDebuggable = false for Kotlin . You must also configure the version information for your application.

  • Create and sign a release version of your application.

    You can use the build files Gradle with the build type release to build and sign a release version of your application. For more information, see Build and run your app.

  • Test the release version of your app.

    Before distributing your app, you should test it thoroughly the release version on at least one target mobile device and one target tablet. Firebase Test Lab is useful for testing on a variety of devices and configurations.

  • Update application resources for release.

    Make sure that all application resources, such as media and graphics files, are updated and included with your application or staged on the appropriate production servers.

  • Prepare the servers and remote services that your application depends on.

    If your application depends on external servers or services, make sure they are secure and production-ready.

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You may need to perform other tasks as part of the preparation process. For example, you need to create an account on the app market you want to use, if you don’t already have one. You must also create an icon for your application, and you may want to prepare an End User License Agreement (EULA) to protect yourself, your organization, and your intellectual property.

For information on how To prepare your app for release, see Prepare for release for step-by-step instructions for configuring and creating a release version of your app.

When you’re done preparing your app for release, you’ll have a signed APK file that you can distribute to users.

Launching your app to users

You can launch your Android apps in several ways. It usually releases apps through an app marketplace like Google Play. You can also launch apps on your own website or send an app directly to a user.

Launching through an app marketplace

If you want to distribute your apps to the widest possible audience, publish them through an app marketplace.

Google Play is the main Android app marketplace and is particularly useful if you want to distribute your apps to a large global audience. However, you can distribute your apps through any app marketplace, and you can use multiple marketplaces.

Launching your apps on Google Play

Google Play is a robust publishing platform that helps you advertise, sell and distribute your Android apps to users around the world. When you release your apps through Google Play, you have access to a suite of developer tools that let you analyze your sales, identify market trends, and control who your apps are distributed to.

Google Play also offers access various revenue-enhancing features such as in-app billing and app licensing. The wide variety of tools and features, along with numerous end-user community features, make Google Play the premier marketplace for buying and selling Android apps.

Launching your app on Google Play is a process simple that involves three basic steps:

  • Prepare promotional materials.

    To take full advantage of the marketing and advertising features of Google Play, you should create promotional materials for your app, such as screenshots, videos, graphics, and promotional text.

  • Set options and upload assets.

    Google Play lets you target your app to a group of users from all over the world and devicesBy configuring various Google Play settings, you can choose the countries you want to reach, the listing languages ​​you want to use, and the price you want to charge in each country.

    You can also set the listing details as such as application type, category, and content rating. When you’re done configuring your options, you can upload your promotional materials and your app as a draft app.

  • Publish the release version of your app.

    If you are satisfied with the correct publish settings and the uploaded application is ready to be released to the public, click Publish. Once it has passed Google Play review, your app will be live and available for download worldwide.

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For more information, see How Google Play works .

Releasing via a website

If you don’t want to release your app on a marketplace like Google Play, you can make the app available for download on your own website or server, even on a private site. or enterprise server.

To launch via a website:

  1. Prepare your application for launch.
  2. Host the APK file ready to launch. launch on your website .
  3. Provide a download link to users.

When users search for the download link from their Android devices, the file is downloaded and the Android system starts automatically install it on the device.

Note: The installation process will start automatically only if the user has configured their settings to allow installation of applications from unknown sources.

Although it is relatively easy to launch your app on your own website, it can be inefficient. For example, if you want to monetize your app, you must process and track all financial transactions yourself, and you may not use Google Play’s in-app billing service to sell in-app products. You also can’t use the app license to help prevent unauthorized installation and use of your app.

User Choice for Unknown Apps and Sources

Android protects users from accidental downloads and installations of apps from locations other than a trusted first-party app store, such as Google Play. Android blocks such installations until the user chooses to allow the installation of applications from other sources. The enable process depends on the version of Android running on the user’s device:

  • On devices running Android 8.0 (API level 26) and higher, users should navigate to Install unknown apps system settings screen to allow installation of apps from a particular source.
  • On devices running Android 7.1.1 (API level 25) and earlier, users must enable the Unknown sources system setting or allow a one-time installation of an app unknown.
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Install unknown apps

On devices running Android 8.0 (API level 26) and higher, users must grant permission to install apps from a source other than the first. -party app store. To do so, they need to enable the Allow app installations setting for that source within the Install unknown apps system settings screen, shown in Figure 1.

Note: Users can change this setting for a particular font at any time. Therefore, a source that installs unknown apps should always call canRequestPackageInstalls() to check if the user has given that source permission to install unknown apps. If this method returns false, the source should prompt the user to re-enable the Allow app installations setting for that source.

Unknown sources

To allow installation of apps from non-own sources on devices running Android 7.1.1 (API level 25) and lower, users enable the Unknown Sources setting in Settings > Security , as shown in Figure 2.

When users try to install an unknown app on a device running Android 7.1.1 (API level 25) or earlier, the system sometimes displays a box A dialog box that asks the user if they want to allow only a particular unknown application to be installed. In most cases, it is recommended that users allow only one unknown application to be installed at a time, if the option is available.

In any case, users should make this setting change before from being able to download and install unknown applications. applications on their devices.

Note: Some network providers do not allow users to install applications from unknown sources.


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