If you’re planning on releasing a commercial app to the Google Play
Store, you need this book. It will walk you through the entire process
of uploading the app to the Play Store, distributing it to testers,
creating a release strategy and making sure your users will continue
to love it in the future.
In short, this book will give you the knowledge you need to distribute an
app with the best chance of long-term success.
Before You Begin
This section tells you a few things you need to know before you get started, such as what you’ll need for hardware and software, where to find the project files for this book, and more.
You need some fundamental things to publish an app to the app store. For example, you need the nuts and bolts of building and getting the app published along with some key concepts surrounding test tracks, including beta and alpha releases, and release strategies. Taken together, these concepts are what we like to call minimal viable product, or MVP, for publishing an app to the app store.
This chapter takes you through the essential things needed to publish and app on the app store. By the end of the chapter you will have a version of the PodPlay App on the Google Play Store for internal testing.
Before you release, you should test your application. The Play Store has a number to make that process easier. In this chapter you will learn about using the Play store test tracks to deploy and gather information on your builds as you move towards production releases.
In this chapter you will learn about strategies for releasing an app. Along the way you will release your app through internal and external tesing, finishing out with a released app in the Google Play Store!
Section II: Security & Optimization
A secure and svelte app can be the difference between having a successful release and one with problems. This section will show you the various steps of developing apps that are secure, reasonably sized and optimized. Topics covered include app permissions, obfuscation and steps for hardening your app’s security.
Dynamically deploying features allows you to do limited testing. Depending on the technique you use, it can also be a great way to keep the app smaller by only loading features that a user needs. You’ll learn about that in chapter 8.
You also may want to create a white label version of your app or build flavors for testing. Chapter 9 covers all of that to help guide you through creating build variants and flavors.
A svelte and secure application can help to make the end user experience enjoyable and trouble free. This chapter will show you how to make changes to make is harder for the bad guys to hack, while improving the overall app experience.
You may want to have different features for different users. Instead of having different apps for every user you can have dynamic features delivered through a common application. This chapter will guide you through some techniques to deliver dynamic features.
When publishing an app in the real world, build variants are a key component to differentiating builds for different environments such as development vs production. They are also an important tool for developing white label versions of an app. This chapter does a deep dive into the mechanics of creating build variants along with some handy tips and tricks.
Manually building and releasing your app can quickly become time-consuming and error-prone. Chapter 11 guides you through tools and steps to help automate the process. It’s also important to have reliable builds that can build on multiple machines and to constantly integrate code so that releases don’t become a big, error-prone, merging event. Chapter 12 shows you some tips and tricks to get CI set up for your project.
Continuous integration, CI, allows you to have repeatable builds. This chapter will show you how to use GitHub actions to quickly set up CI for your project
Section IV: Beyond Publication
In an ideal world, you could release an app and, without doing anything, have it be wildly successful and generate money while you relax in the tropics. However, in the real world, an app is a living thing that needs continuous care and feeding.
App ratings can make or break an app’s success in the store. Chapter 13 talks about techniques for cultivating good reviews and addressing negative ones. Two common causes of bad app reviews are app crashes and poor performance. Chapter 14 dives into monitoring and improving your app’s performance to proactively address issues before they turn into poor reviews.
It is important to track your app's metrics and vitals to ensure your users have a great app experience. Here you will learn about some of the things to monitor to ensure that things are running smoothly out in the wild.
Emily is an avid scavenger of typos and grammatical errors. She has worked extensively in the tech industry and was managing...
Who is this book for
While Android developers of all experience levels will find the information in this book useful, there are two groups that will benefit the most: New Android developers and
experienced Android developers who either haven’t worked on consumer apps or who weren’t involved in the details of releasing the app.
Concepts covered in this book
The steps to getting the perfect build.
Quickly getting started using the app store.
Using test tracks to test your app.
How to master app permissions for a great user experience.
Best practices for securing your app.
Optimizing app size and obfusticating your APK.
Techniques for adding features dynamically.
How to add build variants and flavors to your app.
Automation tools for your local environment.
Tips and tricks for getting top ratings and avoiding negative reviews.
How to set up CI to automate your deployment process.
Monitoring your app performance and vitals.
First Edition · Android 12, Kotlin 1.5, Android Studio Bumblebee
v1.0 · Mar 9 2022 · Evana Margain Puig & Fuad Kamal
Learn how to publish and distribute commercial apps on the Google Play Store.
This book gives you all the knowledge you need for a successful Android app
launch including the nuts and bolts of getting your app on the Play Store,
how to ensure your app is sleek and secure, how to distribute it to testers
and how to attract and manage user feedback and monitor performance post-
release. This is everything you need to publish and distribute a professional,
secure and successful Android app!