Publish to the Google Play Store

Mar 8 2022 · Kotlin 1.5, Android 12, Android Studio Arctic Fox | 2020.3.1

Part 1: Publish to the Google Play Store

09. Release Management & Create a Test Release

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Previous episode: 08. Create a Store Listing Next episode: 10. Create a Production Release

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Notes: 09. Release Management & Create a Test Release

Set up an open, closed, or internal test

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Google Play Console offers you three types of testing tracks to QA your app before you make it available to end users. Internal testing allows you to release your app to a very specific set of users within your team or organization. There can be multiple internal tests before a stable version is released to the general public. Now, best practices for internal testing. Conduct an initial quality assurance check by quickly distributing your app among up to 100 invited users without the need to wait for app reviews. Google recommends running an internal test before releasing your app to closed or open tracks. If needed, you can run internal test concurrently with closed and open test for different versions of your app. Then you have closed testing, also known as alpha release, on the Play Store. The purpose of this testing is to get early feedback on new features from tested users outside of your organization. Now, best practices for closed testing. To get more targeted feedback, run a closed test with specific users. You can use individual email addresses or Google Groups or even invite selected pre-registered users to join this test. Provide a channel for testers to send you feedback. Offer testers the ability to provide feedback by email, through website or in a message forum. Open testing is also known as beta release on the Play Console. Open testing is the final step before releasing your app to general public on the Play Store. The purpose of this testing is to gather quantitative and qualitative feedback on your app or game from large number of testers. Now, best practices for open testing. Recruit more users into your open test by linking users straight into your details page on Google Play from any of your marketing channels. Opt in to pre-launch report to discover any issues found in your open or closed testing track. Gather private feedback during open or closed tests and reply to testers directly in Play Console. Feedback during open or closed testing is only visible to you and will not affect your public rating. If you're testing a paid app using an open or closed test, testers still need to purchase it. However, for an internal test, testers can install your app for free. Production is the final step. When you release your app to production, it will be available to everyone on Play Store according to your targeted devices and countries. But wait, there is something recently introduced between testing and final release. It's called pre-registration. With pre-registration, your store listing is published before you launch so that users can register their interest. When you launch, users who are pre-registered will receive a notification to download your app and your app will be installed automatically on eligible devices. Google recommends testing your app before starting pre-registration. Pre-registration campaigns can only last 90 days, after which you need to launch your app to production. When developing real world apps, you will usually want to have at least one internal test, one close test and one open test before going to production. In this course you will see how to release your app to internal test and then to production. In Google Play Console, expand Testing in left navigation panel for the selected app and click Internal testing. Click Create new release. Here, upload the app bundle created in the earlier episode. Wait for few minutes and confirm that app bundle is uploaded successfully. You may update the Release name, which identifies the app release in the Play Console. Then enter the Release notes, such as any specific bug fixes, specific UI enhancements or feature additions etcetera. Try to be specific in your release notes instead of just simple note as bug fixes or UI enhancements. Let's enter for demo app. Click Save, click Review release, expand the warning. It says the release will not be available to any users because you haven't specified any testers yet. You'll do that soon. Click Start roll out to internal testing, click Testers tab now, now set up the internal testers. Click Create email list, give your list a name, specify the email addresses for your testers, hit enter and confirm that it is added in Email address added field. Click Save changes, click Create, click Copy link and then you can share that link with your testers. On clicking the link, they will get an invitation to join the testing and will be able to download and test your app. Click Save changes. Before the app is reviewed for the first time, users will see a temporary name for your app on Google Play. You are all set for internal testing now. Wait for the feedback from internal testers.