How to publish / upgrade Android application on Google Play( former Android Market )

* 日本語版は別途。

Publishing on Google Play ( Android Market ) is very easy. I thought to write knowledge of how to release, but Google has already perfect documents.

@see
Android Developers – Publishing overview

Thus I’ll talk about some check points and my failure story.

1. NEVER lose your keystore file!

As you can read Signing your applications section, ALL Android application must be digitally signed with a certificate whose private key is held by the application’s developer.
And if you want to upgrade your application, new .apk must be signed with a same key.

Unfortunately, my application’s keystore file was override by new one by myself…

It was a simple mistake. When I did upgrading operation, it seemed to be unsuccessful. But in fact, the reason was simply I didn’t put “Upload” button(I was satisfied just upload app on the server. Since I have no friends who has experienced upgrade Android application. During trying some operation, accidentally override old keystone file(Yes I did it!).

As a result, my first application was destined to being version 1 forever…

It was sad result. But fortunately, the number of active installs was only 50.
Then I made a new key, changed package name and released new one immediately.
That’s a my first and biggest failure story.

Of course, I commit the file it to repository and changed owner to root and “sudo chmod 644 hoge.keystore”.
I strongly recommend you to do it immediately if you have not done it.

2.Versioning

As you read Versioning Your Application section, we have to versioning each release in AndroidManifest.xml

Google says first versionCode should be 1. versionName is String, so you can naming it as you like.
And when we upgrade, versionCode have to be larger than before.
If current version is 1, next version is higher than 2. 2 is natural, but you can versioning 200 is also OK. Then when you upgrade next time, the versionCode should be higher than 201.

3. App Install Location

Android devices internal memory is very small. So if your devices are higher than Android 2.2(Currently major version is 2.3.3),
you can install application in SD card.
If you want to allow it you have to change AndroidManifest.xml

@see
App Install Location

Currently my application’s setting is

android:installLocation="preferExternal"

But I think “auto” is more better. I will change it, if it is no problem…

I wil write other tips.

But as Google says, “Before you distribute your application, you should thoroughly test the release version on at least one target handset device and one target tablet device.” it is basically but very important.

At first I have to learn Android Testing framework.

Thanks for reading!

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