How to publish an app to Google Playstore (expo)
React Native Tutorials

How to publish an app to Google Playstore (expo)

In this article, we are going to see how to publish a React Native app to Google playstore using expo. With the help of expo, we are able to publish app with no hassle, in few easy steps.

In order publish an app to playstore you need developer accounts on Google play console and also on expo. We will also need to make few changes in the app.json file to make it ready to publish. Once these few key steps are done, we will be able to upload our app to google playstore and after Google’s verification, we will be able to see our uploaded app. Which we can then use and share with your family and friends. And also users across the world will be able to search, install and use the app.

Google Play Console Account

The first website we need access to, is Google Play Console.

Follow these steps:

  • Search Google play console on google
  • Go to play console.
  • Login or Signup
  • If you have multiple accounts, you can choose an account to make a developer account on it.
  • If you want to create an account for yourself, select YOURSELF. Or if you are making an account for business or organization, select the later.
  • Provide details about yourself / business. Check the terms and conditions.
  • Create account and pay.
  • You need to pay a small fee (only once) of $25 for unlimited apps.
  • Go to Developer Console.
  • From here, you can create your apps, upload them and see their stats (once the app is uploaded).

Expo Dev Account

After Google play console, we will need expo dev account to build / download our app to upload to Google play console.

Follow these steps to create Expo developer account.

  • Login / Sign Up
  • Confirm your email
  • And you are good to go.

Adjusting app.json

You will also need to make few changes to app.json to make it really for build.

  • Change your app’s name if you need to.
  • Adjust slug’s name. It’s a URL that represents your app.
  • Under android -> Append: “package”:”com.yourAppSlug”
  • “versionCode”:1 (because we are releasing our app for the first time).

Every time you update your app, you will need to increment your version code and also version in expo object.

Building your app

Next, we need to install eas-cli. eas-cli helps us to login to Expo, and also to configure and build our app. Copy/paste the following line of code in terminal to install it.

npm install -g eas-cli 

After this is installed, we will need to login to our expo dev account.

  • In the terminal, enter -> eas login
  • Provide your username and password for expo
  • To verify if you are actually logged in, enter eas whoami and it will tell you your login status along with your username.
  • eas:build configure
  • Select Android and press enter. It generates an eas.json file
  • Enter eas build –platform android and press Enter.
  • Generate a new android Keystore -> YES.
  • Build process is started which you can also see on Expo dashboard.

After the build process is completed you can download the build file and upload it to your Google play console.

Upload on Google Play Store

  • Download your built app from expo.
  • Open Google play console
  • Create App.
  • Provide Details
  • Check Developer Program Policies & US export laws.
  • Setup your app. (Provide information about your app and setup your store listing)
  • Upload your app file.
  • Wait for it to get approved by Google.

You are also asked to provide privacy policy for your app. Easiest solution is to go to this site, fill out the form and it will give out a link to use as a privacy policy. You need to copy this link and paste in the Google console for privacy policy. Go with free privacy policy, as that is sufficient for our use case.

The detail process of uploading app to Google console, with forms and everything is discussed in this detailed article.

Disable color changing

Your device will be able to automatically change color / background color of your app, based on the theme selected on the phone. To prevent color changing, you can follow this article, which discusses exactly that.

The article uses multiple methods, so after following it, your app’s colors won’t be changed / inverted automatically.


Hopefully by now, you have understood the process of uploading your app to Google play store. We covered everything from initial setup to building app and uploading to Google playstore.

If you have any questions, or suggestions, you can write a comment. I will be sure to get back asap.

Thank you.

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