This article explains how to manually submit your Android app to the Google Play Store for the first time, using the .AAB file obtained via the Google Play publishing process in AppMachine. 



Creating a new app record


  1. Open your browser and navigate to the Google Play developer console: https://play.google.com/apps/publish/?hl=en
  2. Once logged in, you'll find yourself on the 'All Apps' page. This is the landing page of the Google Play developer console, which provides you with an overview of all apps that have been created and/or published on the developer account.
  3. Use the Create app button in the left -bottom or top right corner of the screen to create a new app within your developer account. After clicking the button, you should see a page similar to the screenshot below.
  4. Enter the name of your app and select the default language. This is the language of the content used in your app. 
  5. Choose  'App' at the third question.
    * Please note that 'Game' apps cannot be made through AppMachine and require different publishing settings and options than regular apps.
  6. Select whether your app is Free or Paid. Note that Free apps cannot be made into Paid apps after they have been published to the Google Play Store. Also note that Paid apps require you to set up a Google Merchant account.
  7. Lastly, check the boxes for the available declarations and use the 'Create app' button in the bottom-right corner of the screen to continue.
    If you haven't yet accepted the Play App Signing Terms of Service during a previous app submission, then you will notice a third checkbox being available for this.



Initial app setup


  1. After using the 'Create app' button to create your app, you'll find yourself on a page with several steps to 'Get started setting up your app'
  2. On this page, locate the 'Set up your app' section and click the 'View tasks' button.
  3. This list appears of tasks you need to take:The tasks listed on the screen show which settings have to be provided by you before you'll be able to publish the app into the Google Play Store. We'll go through these settings one by one.

A. Set Privacy policy


  • Enter the URL on which your app's privacy policy can be located.
  • When you've set the privacy policy URL, use the Save button in the bottom-right corner of the screen to save your changes. 
  • After saving the changes, use the Dashboard button in the top-left corner of the screen to navigate back to the Dashboard.

 

B. App access


Within the App access settings you'll have to declare whether or not your app contains content which can only be seen if users login, or enter a password, or if they have to perform any other type of authentication.
>> If your app has locked content like this, for example via a Lock block, user registration or some other form of login functionality then you will have to provide Google with a way to access this content.

After saving the changes, use the Dashboard button in the top-left corner of the screen to navigate back to the Dashboard.

C. Ads


Within the Ads settings you'll have to declare whether or not the app contains advertisement.



After saving the changes, use the Dashboard button in the top-left corner of the screen to navigate back to the Dashboard.

D. Content rating


Within the Content rating settings, you'll have to answer a series of questions regarding the content used in your app. Your answers will give your app an IARC content rating. This rating will provide users in the Google Play Store with an indication of the content which your app displays.
The email address you provide for this rating will be used to contact you about your content ratings, and may be shared with rating authorities and IARC.

Click on the Start questionnaire button to fill in all the details

Enter your contact email address and Select Other App Types and click Save in the right bottom corner,.

  • Answer Various questions will be asked which you have to answer based on your app's content.
  • For the Online Content question, you should answer Yes, if you have for example a RSS feed in your app or show data in a Webservices block.
  • Click Save in the right bottom corner. 
  • Click Next
  • Click Proceed
  • After filling in all the Content rating questions you will see this screen:
    Use the Dashboard button in the top-left corner of the screen to navigate back to the Dashboard.



E. Target audience


Within the Target audience settings you'll have to answer a series of questions concerning the audience that your app is created for. Note that choosing anything under the age of 18 may place your app in the kids category, which will result in additional restrictions in terms of allowed content. This may impact the review of your app. If your app is not specifically created for a younger audience, then we advise you to always choose the ages 18 and over.

After saving the changes, use the Dashboard button in the top-left corner of the screen to navigate back to the Dashboard.


F. News apps

Explain if your app is a News app or not.


After saving the changes, use the Dashboard button in the top-left corner of the screen to navigate back to the Dashboard.

G. Covid 19 app tracing and status apps

Your app probably isn't a Covid tracing app, so select the bottom option

H. Data safety 

First you will be asked wether your app collects data, after that you need to answer questions about each type of user data.




App Category and contact details 

  • Category
  • Email address
  • Phone
  • Website

After saving the changes, use the Dashboard button in the top-left corner of the screen to navigate back to the Dashboard.

Set up your store listing

You should now setup how your app is presented in the Play Store.


Within the Store listing settings you'll have to provide the following information for your app:


  • Short description
  • Full description
  • App icon : 512px  by 512 px
  • Feature graphic
  • At least 2 phone screenshots.
    png or jpeg, max 8 MB


Please note that it is not allowed to add keywords to your descriptions, as this is cause for Google to reject the app from the Google Play Store.

Concerning the screenshots: You'll only have to upload a minimum of two Phone screenshots to be compliant with Google's guidelines. Screenshots for other displays (e.g. tablet) are displayed, but are not required as long as at least two screenshots are provided for one of the device types.

After saving the changes, use the Dashboard button in the top-left corner of the screen to navigate back to the Dashboard.

If you plan to sell your app in the Google Play Store as a paid app, then please follow the steps in this help center article before continuing with the release of your app.


Release your app

Now that we're finished with the initial app setup, you'll notice that the initial app setup section is no longer displayed on the dashboard page of your app. This means that this part of the publication is successfully completed.

  1. On the App dashboard click View tasks in the Publish your app on Google play. 
  2. Go to the various tasks
  3. After opening the 'Select countries and regions' task, you'll be shown the following screen:

  4. Click the Add countries and regions hyperlink. You will be able to select the countries in which you would like your app to be available. Save and approve again.
  5. To create a new release, click Create new release in the top-right corner
  6. Make sure you have clicked the Download button in the Google Play section of your Publish dashboard and have downloaded the AAB file
  7. Open a Finder on your Mac machine and look for an AAB file with a name which looks like this:
  8. Drag and drop the AAB.file onto the screen in de App Bundle area, or by using the Upload button displayed on the page.
    On Mac devices, you cannot use the Upload button 

  9. After the uploading is finished, your screen will look something like this:
  10. A name for the release will automatically be filled in.
  11. Scroll down to manually enter some Release notes
  12. Save your changes in the bottom-right corner of the screen
  13. Click Review release in bottom right corner.
  14. Review the new version and click Start rollout to Production to release the app into the Google Play Store.
    You will this warning which you can ignore.

  15. Roll out to production

  16. Your app should now be displayed with a 'Pending publication' status in your developer console app overview. Google will review the app and, if accepted, the app will become available to download from the Google Play Store.

In case the app is rejected -or suspended as Google calls it- you will receive an email notification from Google on the owner email address of your Google Play developer account explaining why the app was suspended and what needs to be changed.

The time it takes Google to review is generally anywhere between 1-3 days, depending on the amount of apps that have been submitted to Google.

Congratulations, you've successfully updated your Android app in the Google Play Store!