This article explains how to manually update your published Android app in the Google Play Store using the .APK file obtained via the 'Create new APK' button on the Publish page in AppMachine.
Please note that this documentation shows screenshots of the classic developer console. If your screens do not match the ones in this article, then please click the 'Use classic Play Console' button on the main page of the console to navigate to the classic console.
Navigating through the Google Play developer console.
Before we start updating the app's data in the Google Play developer console, let's first get familiar with the console itself and get a sense of where everything is located. This starts off with logging into the console and explaining the way the console is navigated. Please take the following steps:
- Login on https://play.google.com/apps/publish/?hl=en with your Google Play developer account.
- Locate and click on the app in the app list to open it.
- After opening the app, you'll find various sections within the left-side menu of the page.
To update your app in the Google Play Store, both its listing as well as the binary (APK) file, we'll be focusing on the 'Store presence' and 'Release management' sections.
The Store presence section is used to control the metadata of your app, for example the app's description and screenshots.
The Release management section is used to upload a new binary (APK) file of the app which will update the app's code.
Updating the app's metadata.
Within the Store presence section, there are several pages on which the app's presence in the Google Play Store can be edited:
- Store listing.
On this page you'll be able to update your app's presence in the Google Play Store. For example the app title, description and screenshots can be edited here.
- Pricing & distribution.
On this page you'll be able to update the availability of your app. For example in which countries or regions your app should be available, or whether the app should be available in the Google Play Store at all.
- Content rating.
On this page you'll be able to update the IARC content rating which has been given for your app. If you haven't made any big changes in your app pertaining to the content, then you can leave this rating as it is.
- App content.
On this page you'll be able to update the App content specifications of your app. For example whether or not your app contains ads, what your app's target audience is, and whether or not your app requires users to login.
In order to be able to submit or update an app in the Google Play Store, all 4 of the above mentioned sections have to be completed. Please note that in order to complete some of these sections, you will sometimes first have to upload the APK file of the app.
Updating the app's APK file.
To upload the app's APK file, navigate to the App releases page of the Google Play developer console. On this page, click the Manage button within the Production track section of the page.
* If a release has already been created you will see an Edit release button on the Production track page displayed in the screenshot below. If that is the case, click the Edit release button. On the next page, scroll to the bottom and use the Discard button to remove the release. After removing the existing release, you will be re-directed to the 'Create Release' page displayed below.
After clicking the Manage button, or after discarding an existing release, click the Create Release button to create a new release for your app.
On the next page, upload your app's APK file via the provided tools.
Note: The release name will be automatically determined based on the internal version number of the app, please don't change this.
If you wish you can add release notes for this version at the bottom of the screen. This will allow you to tell your users what's been added to the app in this latest release.
Once you've completed the upload and provided all the required information, use the Save and Review button to continue to the next page.
On the next page, you'll be able to set the rollout percentage of your app. Set this to 100% to ensure all your app users are presented with the latest version of the app.
When you're ready to release your new app version to your app users, use the Start Rollout to Production button and confirm the rollout.
Congratulations, you've successfully updated your Android app with a new store version!