How to setup an app to Google Play Console (detailed)
In the previous article, we described the whole process of uploading an app to Google playstore, using expo. We did everything from scratch, registering on Google developer, expo developer accounts. We also saw how to finalize and ready our app for building using expo.
In this article, we will be diving deep into the whole process of Google play console. Thoroughly going through every option, you will come across in your process of uploading your app.
Before you can provide your app’s information, you will need to create your app.
Go to Google play Console and Create App.
Here, you will provide basic information about your app, such as your app name, default language, game / app, is your app paid or free, and you will also need to check couple of declarations.
Setup your app
After you are done with basic information, you will need to go through and provide detailed information about your app. Don’t worry, it’s going to take 10-15 minutes for the first time. After that, you won’t probably need to do it again. Unless you have some significant changes to your app.
Go to Set up your app and click on view tasks.
Here you will need to tell if anyone can access your whole app, or is there some sort of authentication. If there is some authentication needed, you will need to select the option “All or some functionality is restricted”. If anyone can access the whole app, you need to select the other option.
If you app contains ads, you need to select the option “Yes my app contains ads“. If not select the other option.
Content Rating Questionnaire
For this section, you will need to complete the questionnaire to receive official ratings for your app. This will be visible on Google playstore, so users may know if the app is suitable for them.
You will provide your email address and app’s category here. In couple of days, you will receive your app’s rating by email too.
Here you will select an age group which is closest to your preferred age group for your app.
If your app is a news app, select Yes, otherwise select No.
Covid 19 tracing and status app
If your app is a covid tracing app, you need to select the appropriate option. Select No otherwise.
In this section, you will provide information for app’s data collection, if you do any.
How app is organized and presented
Select an app category and provide contact details
Here you will select your app category, tags, and provide your contact details.
If you want your app to be advertised outside of Google play, you need to check the last option. In my opinion, it’s a good way to get additional traffic to your app.
Set up store listing
In this section, you will provide your App’s name, short and full description. Write only top features in the short description and write complete detail, features, tip, and tricks in the full description section. As users will be able to expand short description to read full description of your app.
For the last thing in this section, you are going to provide your app’s graphics. Including icon, feature graphics (visualizing your app’s main features, UI), video link (to demonstrate working of your app), phone screenshots, tablet 7-inch screenshots, tablet 10-inch screenshots.
- App Icon: It must be transparent PNG or JPEG, up to 1MB, 512 px by 512 px.
- Feature Graphic: It must be a PNG or JPEG, up to 1MB, 1024 px by 500 px.
- Phone Screenshots: Upload 2-8 phone screenshots. Must be PNG or JPEG, up to 8MB each, 16:9 or 9:16 aspect ratio, with each side between 320 px and 3840 px.
- Tablet 7-inch screenshots: Upload up to eight, 7-inch Tablet screenshots. Must be PNG or JPEG, up to 8MB each, 16:9 or 9:16 aspect ratio, with each side between 320 px and 3840 px.
- Tablet 10-inch screenshots: Upload up to eight, 10-inch Tablet screenshots. Must be PNG or JPEG, up to 8MB each, 16:9 or 9:16 aspect ratio, with each side between 320 px and 3840 px.
For App icon, you can go to Canva. Canva provides many free to use icons, and you can custom design your own as well.
For app’s screenshots, you can follow this guide. (coming soon).
Release your app
When releasing your app, you have two options. Either you can want to go with testing or you just want to go ahead and publish your app. You can skip the testing phase, however you should be confident of your app. Make sure you have tested apps for all use cases that you thought of. Maybe ask some of your colleagues to test for you. That way, you can be sure that you got the basic testing done, so you won’t run into any issues once the app is published.
If you want to do the testing first, you have few more options.
With internal testing, you will create and manage internal testing releases, which will make our app available to upto 100 internal testers. You will select your testers, create a new release and confirm the release. So now, only those internal testers, who you added will be able to participate in this internal testing.
In closed testing, you can create testing releases to test pre-release version of your app with your own group of testers or your trusted app’s users. You can get feedback without having an affect on your app’s rating and reviews.
As the name suggest, with open testing, any one can join your testing to give their feedback. The testing in this category will be unlimited, as it will be available to public, once its released.
With pre-registration, your store listing is published, before your app’s launch and users can register for the launch. Once the app is launched, users who previously registered, will get a notification to download the app.
Publish your app
Select countries and regions
The very first thing you are going to do when publishing your app is to select the countries / regions, from where users will be able to download your app. You can select all if you want users from all across the globe to download and use your app. Or you can restrict your app download in certain countries.
Create a new release
Once you are happy with your choice of countries / regions, you can go ahead and create a new release.
Here you will provide your release details.
- Upload your built file here, as we did in the previous article.
- Release name is for you to identify this release. No one on the Google playstore will be able to see this release name.
- For release note, you will want to write about your latest update, feature in the app. If this is your first time uploading, you can simply write “First release of <app name>”.
Review and roll out the release
Check to make sure everything is as intended, save and Click rollout to production. Google will take some time to verify new release and within couple of days, your app will be approved and uploaded on Google playstore.
Google really needs a whole lot of information just to process and upload your app, but finally you are done. Although the process is long, but you will only need to do this once. Next time, when you want to release your update, you just need to build your updated app, create a new release and submit your release. Unlike first time, subsequent releases will only take couple of hours to get approved.