After the success of the mobile app industry and exponential growth of mobile app economy, it is necessary to have an app for your business. However, once your mobile app development process gets completed and you have the package to deliver the users, what you will do next? Now you need a channel to distribute your app to the potential users and allure them to download it. The most common channel to distribute an Android app is the Google Play Store. Once you publish it on the app store, your app will be able to reach millions of users without any extra effort. So, once your app is ready and you want it to be used by others, you are required to publish the app to the Google Play Store.
However, just like any other app store, Google Play Store also has a procedure and guidelines to get an app published in the store. Prior to the submission process, you need to know about few things including the cost to submit the app and what steps you should take for the app to successfully get submitted.
Google’s Developer Dashboard
The very first thing that you need to own for uploading an app is the developer console. It is basically the backend controlling center for the developers that help in uploading the app. Google charges $25, which is a one time fee to own a developer account. The developer account also comes with a number of other features and control options. The developer dashboard for Apple App Store costs $99 per year and Microsoft charges between $12 to $99 depending on the type of account.
Once you have paid the registration fee to Google for the account, you need to fill up the details for making the account active. That includes the developer's name, which will be displayed on the Google Play Store with your app. Along with that, you also need to mention the country from where you will be operating the account. Google does not support all the regions across the globe for uploading apps to the Play store. The listed countries include the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, on the other hand, some of the countries like New Zealand and Singapore aren't on the supported list. So you need to make sure that you have checked the list with your respective location prior to applying for the developer account.
After filling the details and pressing the apply button, it takes almost 48 hours for your account to get active. Google evaluate it and go through every detail before approving the account for the applied users.
Google Play Store Guidelines And Policies
This is where things get serious with the publishing process in the Google Play Store. The search giant has certain guidelines for the apps that you need to follow for successfully publishing the app in the Play store. In case of violating the Play Store terms and conditions, the app will be kicked out of the store immediately. Moreover, if you keep violating the policies with more apps, Google will block your developer account which is worse than anything. You won't be able to operate the developer dashboard and publish any more apps via that account.
According to the guidelines, there is basically four maturity levels and the apps are categorized on the basis of those levels. Before publishing the app to the Google Play Store you need to get one of the maturity levels for your app. The four-levels includes Everyone, Low Maturity, Medium Maturity and High Maturity.
- Everyone Level- The Everyone is understood by the name, your app will be good to go for all category of users including minors.
- Low Maturity Level- Your app will be requiring this maturity level if it comprises any cartoon violent content inside. This means you need to get the Low maturity level to your app if does have some violent content.
- Medium Maturity Level- Your app must avoid any kind of graphically violent content if it does contain the graphic violence then it will be given medium maturity level tag.
- High Maturity Level- This level includes the alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gambling and any other violence.
Along with this, the Google Play Store doesn't allow to publish any app with gratuitous real violence.
Size of Your App
The size of your app’s APK file is important on the Google Play Store, as the company allows only up to 50MB. In case of exceeding that limit, you need to add Android APK’s Expansion file. This will help the app to get the place in the Play store with extra 4GB space on the Google cloud. The extra data of the app will be saved to the cloud and will be recalled along with the app installation. Most of the app’s extra data get downloaded along with installation while some other apps download that data once the user starts it after installation.
App Listing In The Play Store
The other important thing that you must take care of before the upload is the listing that will help the users to know about the app. Most of the developers don't leverage the app listing for their app success. The users after reaching to your app definitely want to know what you have to offer before they make their decision about installing it. What can do it better than the screenshot images? You need to put high-resolution screenshots of the app. Google allows you to put maximum 8 images to a listing in the Play Store that should include
- At least one 7-inch tablet screenshot
- At least one 10-inch tablet screenshot
- Along with these, you need to provide one High-resolution icon image (512 X 512), a feature graphic ( 1024 X 500), a promo graphic ( 180 X 120)
Selecting Countries And Price
Once you have the listing images ready and gone through all the guidelines, it's time to give your app a price tag and choose the countries where it will be available. The price selection is an important task that you need to be careful with. If you put your app for free then you can never turn it into paid. However, the paid price can be adjusted in the future. So, make sure about this aspect before making your app available free in the Play store.