So, now that you have created a well-furnished and highly captivating mobile application for your business, it’s time to publish your project on the Google Play Store to share it with the world.
Android’s Google Play Store currently dominates the app market, with a whopping 27.5 billion app downloads recorded in the year 2022 and 3739 apps released daily.
These numbers are enough to realise the importance of Google play store for mobile app owners.
[Also read: How to Compete for Growth with a Mobile App?]
However, it is equally important to know how to upload an app to the Play Store. Therefore, to answer this question, we will provide you with this step-by-step guide to walk you through the process of uploading your app to the Google Play Store, from creating a developer account to launching your app to the world.
Let’s end your quest here and begin this article to provide you with detailed knowledge of submitting and releasing your business mobile application on the Google Play Store successfully.
Google Play Store app submission is a multi-step process that involves careful preparation, attention to detail, and adherence to Google’s policies and guidelines.
But before laying down the complete app submission process, let’s take a quick look at the prerequisites that you must be prepared with for publishing your app.
Prerequisites for App Submission on Play Store
Before submitting your app to the Play Store for publishing, you need to ensure that you have all the necessary preparations in place. Let’s take a brief look at these prerequisites before we begin the detailed article.
[Also read: Mobile App Development Checklist]
- Testing Your Application: Thoroughly test your app on different Android devices to catch any bugs or issues.
- Optimise for Performance: Ensure your app is optimised for performance so it runs smoothly on various devices.
- Adhere to Policies: Review and adhere to Google’s policies and guidelines for app development, including content and design guidelines.
- Create a Compelling App Listing: Prepare engaging screenshots, a captivating app icon, and a well-written description to attract users.
- Prepare Necessary Assets: Gather necessary assets such as high-resolution images and promotional materials for your app.
Step-by-Step Guide to Upload a Mobile App on Google Play Store
Once you’ve checked off all these prerequisites, you’ll be well-prepared to submit your app for review and publication on the Google Play Store.
So now, let’s understand the step-by-step process of uploading your mobile application on the Google Play Store below:
Step 1: Create a Google Developer Account
Before publishing your app on the Google Play Store, you need a Google Developer account. If you don’t already have one, visit the Google Play Console and create an account after paying the one-time registration fee.
Go through the process mentioned below to create your Google Developer account:
- Visit the Google Play Developer Console – Go to the Google play developer console and sign in with your Google account. Once you sign in, read the terms and conditions and tap on the consent button if you are satisfied with the same.
- Pay the Registration Fees – You need to pay a one-time registration fee of US$25 to create your Google Developer Account.
- Complete Your Developer Profile – After the registration fee is paid, you’ll be prompted to fill in your developer profile. This includes your developer name, contact information, and a public developer name. Be accurate and professional in this information, as it will be displayed on your app listings.
- Set Up a Merchant Account (Optional) – If you plan to sell paid apps or offer in-app purchases, you must set up a merchant account. This involves providing banking and tax information.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have access to the Google Play Developer Console, where you can start creating app listings and uploading your apps.
Step 2: Create a New App Listing
Now that your Google Developer account is successfully created, it’s time to create a new app listing for your business.
Creating a new app listing is a crucial step in the app uploading process for publishing your app on platforms like the Google Play Store. It involves providing detailed information and assets displayed on the app’s store page, helping potential users understand and decide whether to download your app.
To create a new app listing, sign in to your Google Developer account and follow the given process:
- Click on “Create App”
If you’re creating a new app listing for a completely new app, click on the “Create app” button. If you’re updating an existing app, go to the “Store presence” section on the left-hand menu and select “Store listing.”
- Fill in Basic App Information
You’ll be prompted to fill in basic information about your app. This includes details like the default language, app title, and a unique URL for your app on the Play Store.
- App Description
Write a compelling and informative app description. This is your opportunity to showcase your app’s features and benefits. Give users a clear idea of what your app does and why they should download it.
- Categorise Your App
Select the appropriate category for your app from the provided list. This helps users discover your app in the Play Store.
- App Icons and Graphics
Provide high-resolution app icons, feature graphics, and screenshots. These visual elements are vital for attracting users’ attention and conveying the app’s user interface.
Step 3: Upload App Bundles or APK to Google Play
Uploading the APK (Android Package File) or an app bundle is the process of adding the installation package of your Android app to the Google Play Developer Console. This package contains all the necessary files, code, and assets required to run your app on an Android device.
As per the latest Google Play Store update, you must upload .aab file to the Google Play Console if you are publishing an application for the first time to Play Store. Once you have uploaded the .aab file while submitting the app, you can upload the .apk file from the next update.
**Note: This process is only for the first time app upload to the Google Play Store**
To upload the APK or an app bundle for your app on the Google Play Store, follow these steps:
- Select Your App – In the Developer Console, you should see a list of your apps. Select the one you want to upload an APK or app bundle for.
- Go to “App Releases” – In the left-hand menu, click “App releases” under the “Release” section.
- Click “Create Release” – On the “App releases” page, click the “Create release” button.
- Choose an APK or App Bundle – You will be prompted to choose between uploading an APK or an app bundle. Select the one that corresponds to your app.
- Upload Your File – Click the “Browse files” button to locate and select the APK or app bundle file on your computer. Ensure your file adheres to the size and format requirements specified by Google.
- Complete Release Information – After uploading the file, you must provide release information, including release notes. Be specific about the changes and updates in this version of your app.
- Review and Confirm – Review the details you’ve entered by clicking the “Review” button. Once you find everything accurate, click “Save” and proceed with the next step.
Step 4: Set an Appropriate App Content Rating
Now that you have reached this stage, it’s time to set your app content rating.
Setting an appropriate app content rating is important when uploading your app to the Google Play Store. The content rating helps users understand what kind of content and age-appropriateness to expect from your app.
Google uses a questionnaire to determine the content rating, and here’s how you can set it:
- Select Your App and Navigate to “Content Rating”
In the Developer Console, select the app you want to set the content rating. Then, in the left-hand menu, find and click “Content rating” under the “Store presence” section.
- Start the Content Rating Questionnaire
The content rating questionnaire on Google Play Store comprises a set of questions crafted to evaluate your app’s content and its suitability for different age groups.
Responses to these questions will assist in establishing the suitable content rating for your application.
Click the “Start” button to begin the content rating questionnaire for your mobile application. The questions you can expect may fall under the following heads:
2. Sexual Content
4. Substance Abuse
7. Medical or Health Information
8. Privacy Practices
Your responses will determine the appropriate content rating, such as “Everyone,” “Teen,” “Mature 17+,” and so on. It’s important to answer these questions accurately, as misrepresenting your app’s content can lead to issues with the Play Store policies and user expectations.
- Review Your ResponsesAfter the questionnaire is completed, you will be asked to review your responses to ensure they accurately reflect the content of your app. Make any necessary changes if you need to adjust the rating.
- Save and Confirm
Once you’re satisfied with your responses, click “Save” or “Confirm” to set the content rating for your app.
Step 5: Pricing and Distribution
Next is specifying the app’s pricing model. You can offer your app for free, set a one-time purchase price, or implement in-app purchases. Additionally, you can decide which countries or regions your app will be available in.
Let’s understand the breakdown of this step:
- Free – You can choose to offer your app for free. Users can download and install your app without any upfront cost.
- Paid – If you decide to charge for your app, you have to set a one-time purchase price. Users will be required to pay this amount before they can download and install your app.
- In-App Purchases – You can implement in-app purchases within your app, allowing users to buy additional features, content, or digital goods. You’ll need to configure the specific in-app purchase items and their prices.
- All Countries and Regions – By default, your app will be available worldwide, but you can specify regional or country restrictions if needed.
- Specific Countries and Regions – You can choose to limit the availability of your app to particular countries or regions. This is useful if your app is only relevant to specific markets or areas.
You can also set up pricing changes, including discounts or special offers, for a limited time.
Additionally, you can specify localised pricing for different regions to adapt to the economic conditions and user expectations of specific markets. You’ll also need to configure tax settings for the sale of your app and in-app purchases.
Step 6: Publish or Upload Your App to the Play Store
Finally, you have reached the most thrilling step of the entire process, that is, publishing your app to the Google Play Store.
Before proceeding with this step, ensure that your app is well-tested, complies with Google Play policies, and provides a positive user experience. Additionally, keep your app updated to address user feedback and improve its performance over time.
Now, once you are sure about everything, all you need to do is click on some more tabs and your work is done. So, follow this process as stated below:
- Review and Confirm
Review the details you’ve entered, and if everything is accurate, click “Save” or “Review” to proceed.
- Start Rollout to Production
Once you’ve reviewed your release and are satisfied, you can initiate the rollout to production. Click “Start Rollout to Production” to make your app available to users on the Google Play Store.
- Wait for Review
Your app will go through a review process by Google, which typically takes a few hours to a few days. During this review, Google checks your app for policy compliance and potential issues.
Congratulations! You have successfully completed all the steps. Now, if your app passes the review, you will receive an email notification, and your app will be uploaded to the Google Play Store for your actual users to download and install.
Once your app is published in the Play Store, the next big thing is strategising marketing and promotional activities to attract your potential user’s interest and attention.
However, if you are a business person or an individual with many other responsibilities. In that case, you must look for a highly competent mobile app development partner who can take charge of all the processes from the development stage to the uploading and promotional strategies.
Therefore, by consistently adhering to the best practices outlined in this guide, your agency can navigate the app upload process with professionalism and achieve success in the dynamic world of mobile app development.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: Can I upload my app to the Play Store for free?
Ans: No, the uploading process requires creating your Google Developer Account, for which you must pay the fixed registration fee of US$25. Once you make this payment, there won’t be any other expenses to be done during the uploading process.
Q2: What is the difference between an APK and an app bundle?
Ans: An APK (Android Package File) is a single file containing your app’s code, resources, and assets. In contrast, an app bundle is a publishing format that allows the Play Store to generate optimised APKs for users’ devices, reducing download size.
Q3: How do I localise my app listing for different regions?
Ans: In the Google Play Developer Console, you can provide translated app descriptions, graphics, and other assets for different languages and regions to make your app more accessible globally.
Q4: How can I update my app after it’s published on the Play Store?
Ans: To update your app, make changes to your app’s code or assets, create a new release in the Developer Console, upload the updated APK or app bundle, and submit it for review. Once approved, the updated version will be available to users.