Those of you who are in the midst of making an Android app, this post is for you.
According to a recent survey many app owners are not aware of the importance and course of uploading their app to the store. I intend to give you a step-by-step guide and answer the most frequent questions we get on this issue here at Wanari.
An app’s life starts with its planning and a carefully crafted specification (read more about the essentials of a great specification). However, it can save you a lot of time if you get familiar with Play Store’s requirements upfront.
As you probably know, mobile apps are usually not uploaded to your own server in order to make them available. You buy a developer licence and through that you upload your app the store for a one-time fee of $25.
Important: whoever owns the account owns the application. You, as the owner of the app have to register in the system and give permission to your developers to operate on this account.
So here are the steps, you as the owner have to take:
Play Store made easy:
1. Setting up a developer console
- Accept the developer agreement
- Pay the registration fee. You can pay the one-time fee (USD 25) with the following credit or debit cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover (only within the United States), Visa Electron (only outside of the United States)
- Complete your account details. Information that will appear for users to see contact details, developer’s name and address, account owner’s email and country of residence. Google Play contact information doesn’t have to be the same with the one you use to sign in to your account. Attach a Google Payment Merchant’s account, create one. Information needed: official name of the company, contact person’s name, company’s headquarters, company’s phone number, company’s public info. IMPORTANT! A Google Payments Merchant’s account balance cannot be transferred between accounts.
- Set up your email notifications
1.1 Transferring your application to another developer’s account
Not all info gets to the new account!
These are the ones that definitely transfer:
- Download stats, reviews, ratings
- Content ratings, store sheet data
Things that do not transfer:
- Bulk export reports
- Pay reports
- Earnings reports
If you will need these data in the future, make a copy of them.
If you collect these info in advance you can fasten the transfer:
- Developer’s name at the destination account
- The original account’s email address
- The target account’s email address
- Transaction code of the original account’s registration
- Transaction code of the target account’s registration
- Every app’s package name you want to transfer
If your app isn’t free or if there are in-app purchase options, the destination account also has to have a Google Payments Merchant’s account.
2. Adding developers to your developer’s account (dealing with permissions)
- has full access
- can add users (can manage privileges one-by-one) to send out invitations by email, so when the user clicks the link in the email the owner receives a notification
- has a merchant’s account
- can view any and all changes through the activity log
- can have different levels of access
- cannot invite new users
- cannot edit user permissions
- doesn’t need to pay the registration fee
3. Creating and updating a developer’s page
Essential for promoting the brand or app. Creating a developer’s page isn’t required.
- promotional text
- developer’s icon
- header image
- highlighted application
4. Uploading an app
After you’ve registered a Google Play developer’s account, you can upload apps using the Google Play Developer Console.
4.1 Adding the APK file
- Sign in to the Google Play Developer Console
- All apps > Add a new app
- Choose language
- App’s name (add the name you’d like to appear on Google Play)
- Choosing production / alpha / beta channel
- Click on the upload APK button
4.2 Dealing with APK files
Apps’ package names are final and not changeable. They cannot be deleted nor used again on another app.
APK files sizes are restriceted
- 100 MB for Android 2.3 or newer versions (9,10,14 and newer API levels)
- 50 MB for Android 2.2 or older versions (8 or lower API level)
Read more about the details: APK Expansion Files
5. Appearance in Google’s Play Store
Play’s search function is extremely important as users find applications they’d like through it. If you optimize your app’s profile well, then users will find it easily on Google Play.
- Original but simple, so users know what to expect from your app.
- Long names are not displayed in whole (depending on the device the user is browsing on).
- This is a one-liner. What does your application offer? (Can only be viewed on older Android versions.)
Pictures and image content
Here, you can show how the app looks and feels like. It’s essential to upload quality images.
Screenshots: appear on Google Play, the app’s page in the store and on the Play app.
- you can add a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 8 images
- JPEG or PNG format
- the smallest is 320 pixels, the largest is 3840 pixels in size
- Ratios: at its largest extent, it cannot be larger than twice the size of its smallest extent.
Optimalization for tablets: Tablet App Quality
You most provide an Icon which is:
- you must provide one
- 32 bites PNG
- 512×512 pixels
- maximum file size is 1024 KB
More information: Icon Style
- It isn’t required but we recommend it a lot, as it is more fun for users to view the applications functions through a video
- Use your Youtube URL-t (not a list’s nor a channel’s)
- Use the entire link of your video, like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yourvideoid and not like https://youtu.be/yourvideoide
- Don’t use a PG rated video
- This video will be one of your first promotional image items to appear.
Pro Tip: Your videos should be short (30 seconds to 2 minutes), only showing the most exciting functions of your app.
These are the things you should prepare in order to be ready for the time your app is ready for its users. This way, the end of the project won’t turn into a hurried gathering of information to meet your deadline.
Not many things are as frustrating as an app ready to be presented to the world with a Google Play account yet to be registered. If you wait till the very end to get started with your registration, it can take weeks before your new users can actually start downloading your app.
If you start working on the registration in time, preparing to answer the questions I provided above, uploading your app will be easy as pie.
Of course, here at Wanari, we do our best to help our clients throughout the process. If you have any questions at all, feel free to get in touch!