Imagine you had finished your first mobile app and you want to share it with the whole world, the next step that you need to do is to find a platform to reach millions of potential users. Three common places where people will download apps in their mobile are Google Play Store, Apple iTunes Store and Microsoft Windows Phone Store.
Publishing apps in Play Store is not that difficult and it is definitely cheaper than the other two. However, there are some guidelines that you need to follow to have your apps ready for download in next to no time.
The starting point is Google Play Developer Console. It is Google’s dedicated dashboard for developers to manage the apps in the Play Store. Google just need you to pay one time $25 registration fee every time you upload an app. Apple charges $99 per year and Microsoft charges $12-$99 per year depending on the account type.
Google also required you to be in the supported countries i.e. United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia but not New Zealand and Singapore. You also need to complete your account detail complete with the developer name which will be displayed on the page. It takes up to 48 hours for the registration to be fully processed.
It is advisable to take a look at Google Play Apps Policy Center and Android Developer Help centre to know which content will results in violation to the Google Play term and conditions. Any apps which violate the terms and conditions will result in apps suspension and repeated violations will result in developer account termination.
The next thing that you need to do is to decide the maturity rating levels. Google has four rating levels: Everyone, low maturity, medium maturity and high maturity. Typically if your app includes references to alcohol, drugs or gambling, it will be in higher maturity level. If your app includes cartoon violence, it will carry low maturity violence as minimum.
Google allows only 50MB or less to be published as a single APK file. Any size larger than this will need to use Android’s APK Expansion File API.
Play Store listing is also one of the important elements to promote your apps. Too many negative comments will results in low download rating. To avoid this, you need to provide promotional graphics, videos or screenshots to promote your apps. For best result, you should upload up to 8 screenshots which is the most allowed by Google. The feature graphics should be bold and vivid as well as with outstanding background to catch the potential user’s attention with a few descriptive words to give a brief explanation what is your apps is doing.
The final part to create a Play Store listing is to set the pricing. If the apps is free then you should mark it as free. However, if from day one it is already set as free, then you cannot change it back in the later days. For paid apps, it is advisable to set the price in USD and let the Google calculate the local prices depending on the countries.
Once you are happy with your listing, you can upload the APK file and click on Publish button. It will take a few hours for the apps to appear and becomes available to download.