Google Play Store
I just submitted my first Android App to Google Play Store. Most people think that the designing and coding of the App is all that needs to be done. I found out that there is a lot more to it that that.
In case you are interested, here is the link to it. It is absolutely free and Ad-Free. If you like it, please give me 5-star rating.
Assuming that we already have a working Android App, what are the other steps to put our App in Google Play Store?
Google Developer Account
First, you need to apply for a developer account. There is a one time charge of $25 which allows the developer to upload unlimited number of Apps. Great deal! As compared to Apple Store, it is much easier to setup an account with Google.
Android App menu system requires icons for the first six menu options. If we decide to support only small screen devices, we need to create six icons sized 36×36, one for each menu item. If we want to support medium, large, and extra large screen devices, we need to create six more icons for each size(48×48, 72×72, and 96×96). Total of 24 icons for six menu options.
If your App has only three menu options, then you will need to provide 12 icons.
Launcher icon is used to identify our App on the screen. Users tap on it to start the App. If we want to support four category of screen sizes, we need to provide four icons sized 36×36, 48×48, 72×72, and 96×96.
At least two screenshots, more the better. Screenshots give users some idea of how the App will look like before installing it.
High Resolution App Icon
This is similar to a Launcher Icon, but it is used only in the Google Store to identify your App. It needs to be 512×512 PNG or JPEG 32 bits (Max of 1024 bytes).
Although it is designated as optional, it is important to provide this image. It is used to identify your App in mobile devices while the user is viewing Google Store entries. It is sized 180×120, 24 bit PNG or JPEG, no alpha, no border.
Another optional graphics, but it is also important to provide this image. When a user clicks on your App in Google Store, this image is displayed at the top of the page. If Google wants to feature your App, it will also appear at the top of the Store in the scrolling area.
Optional video to promote your app. I haven’t provided a video for my app, but it may be helpful for users to get an idea of how the App works.
Does your App collect user data and what do you do with it? Can the users opt out of it? It is a good idea to provide a statement to answer these questions.
End User License Agreement (EULA)
Google Store does not request any such document, however it is a good idea to have some kind of license primarily for liability reasons. Integration of the document requires code changes. This document (or link to it) needs to be displayed the first time the App is launched until the user accepts the license. It should NOT be displayed after that (except when there is an update).
Specify App Type (App, or Game), and the Category that it fits in. Other text entries like the Title, the Description, Recent Changes, and the Promo Text.
This section is little tricky. We need to decide if we are going to charge for the app, and if so how much?
If you charge for an App, you are allowed to make it free later on. However, if you make your App free, you are not allowed to charge for it later. Most developers create two versions of their App, one with limited features that is free, and another version that is not free.
Another approach is Ad-Supported App. In this case a small section of the App is used to display Ads. If the users don’t want to see any Ads, they can buy an Ad-Free version.