Every day for the past week, I taken you on a journey to teach you everything you need to know about creating your own Android apps. The first day was spent teaching you how to download & install the Java Development Kit (JDK), Eclipse, and the Android SDK. The second day was spent teaching you how to configure Eclipse to work with the Android SDK and how to create your first Android app. Day three was spent teaching you how to create a layout and how to add code to make your app functional. The fourth day was spent teaching you how to test and debug your app with the Android emulator. Day five was spent teaching you how to monetize your app by placing AdMob ads in it. On day six, I taught you how to run your app on actual Android devices including cellphones and tablets. Today, I am going to teach you how to publish your new Android app to the Google Play store so that others can enjoy your hard work and so that you can make some money from it. So, let’s jump right in.
The first thing you need to do to get your new Android app into the Google Play store is to have a Google account. Most of us already have a Google account of some kind. Whether it’s Gmail, YouTube, or any of the other services Google offers, I’m sure you already have a Google account. If you don’t, head on over to http://www.google.com, click on the grey “Sign In” button in the upper-right corner, and click on the red “Sign Up” button in the upper-right corner of the next page. You can also access the Google registration page directly at https://accounts.google.com/SignUp. After you have created a new Google account, come back here to continue.
After you have signed up for a new Google account, you will need to head over to the Google Play Developer Console and register for a developer account. You can access the Google Play Developer Console at https://play.google.com/apps/publish/v2/. Once you get there, go ahead and login using your Google account. This will take you to the developer agreement page. Here, you will need to read and agree to the Google Play Developer distribution agreement which is located just above the big blue “Continue to payment” button. After you have read the agreement and checked the box indicating that you have read and accepted it, go ahead and click the blue “Continue to payment” button.
On the next screen, you will be presented with a dialog window that requires a $25 registration free. Yep. That’s right. Nothing is free. But, at least Google only charges their developers $25 to register for a developer account unlike other companies which I will not name. Go through each of the payment steps until you have completed your payment and moved on to the last step of the developer registration process. The last step is just as simple as the other steps. You will need to enter your name, email address, website URL if you have one, and a phone number. According to Google, they ask for your phone number just in case any issues should arise with any of your content. They also claim that they will never sell or distribute your phone number. But, just to see it for yourself, you can click on the link under phone number that reads “Why do we ask for your phone number?” After you have finished filling everything in on the last step of the registration, click the blue “Complete registration” button and you will now be a Google Play developer.
Now that you are registered as a Google Play developer, you should be at a page that has some stuff on it such as “What is new?” and so on. Feel free to checkout everything that page has to offer. When you’re done, click the blue button that reads “GO TO THE NEW CONSOLE NOW”. But, before you do, it is probably a good idea to book mark the Google Play Developer Console page.
Once you are logged into the Developer Console, click the blue button at the top that reads “Add new application”.
Select the default language of your app and enter a title for it, then click the blue “Upload APK” button. Note: The title has to be 30 characters or less. This is also the title that will appear for your app in the Play store. So, make sure you use a title that does a decent job of explaining what your app is as a lot of users will only see the title and never take the time to actually read the description of your app which we will take care of shortly.
When you click the “Upload APK” button, you will be taken to a screen that includes another big blue button in the middle that says “Upload your first APK”. It will also save your default language and title before closing the dialog. Go ahead and click the blue button to “Upload your first APK”. Then, on the next dialog window that pops up, you can either drag your APK from your filesystem onto the dialog or you can click the “Browse files” button and locate your APK the old fashion way. Either way, just make sure you get your APK uploaded. Once your app has been uploaded, it will appear in the console.
After you have entered everything on the Store Listing tab, click on the “Pricing and Distribution” tab. On that page, you can decide whether or not you want to charge a fee for your app. If you decide you want to publish a paid app, you will need to first setup a merchant account. You can learn more about that by clicking the supplied links at the top of the Pricing and Distribution page. Since I have already placed AdMob ads in my app, and because it is a rather simple tool, I have decided to provide my app for free. You will need to decide for yourself how you would like to distribute your app.
After you have selected whether you want to distribute your app as paid or free, select which countries you would like to distribute your app in. Keep in mind that there are certain countries that you Google will not allow your app to be downloaded in. So, make sure you click on the “Learn more” link next to the “US export laws” section. You will also need to make sure that you have read and agree to the Content Guidelines & US export laws by checking the boxes next to each. When you are done, click the blue “Save” button at the top.
If everything checks out, you should see green checks next to each tab of the Developer Console.
Whenever you are ready to publish your app to the Google Play Store, click the “Ready to publish” button in the upper-right corner of the page and click “Publish this app”. When you click the button to publish your app, take note of the message at the top of the screen that informs you that it may take several hours for your app to appear throughout the entire Google Play Store.
That’s it! You have now published your first Android app to the Google Play Store! You can use your mobile device or your computer to check that your app has been published. To see your app in the Google Play Store from your computer, go to Google and click the “Play” link at the top. Or, you can jump straight to the Google Play Store by going directly to https://play.google.com/store. Do a search for the name of your app. Chances are, your app will not appear on the first page of the search. So, you will need to click the “More apps results” link in the upper-right corner of the search results page.
Once your app appears in the Google Play Store, feel free to come back here and share a link to your app with the rest of us in the comments below. As soon as my UDP tester app appears in the store, I will come back here and post a link to it too. Until next time, happy coding!
Update: My UDP Tester app has finally appeared in the Google Play Store. You can access it from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.prodigy.mobile.android.udptester&feature=search_result.
Create Your Own Android Apps for Fun or Profit
Part 1: Downloading and Installing Java, Eclipse, and the Android SDK
Part 2: Configuring Eclipse and Creating Your First Android App
Part 3: Creating a Layout and Adding Some Code
Part 4: Testing Your App with the Android Emulator
Part 5: Monetizing Your Android App with Google AdMob
Part 6: Running Your Android App on Cellphones and Tablets
Part 7: Publishing Your Android App to the Google Play Store