How to submit a Custom Mobile App to Google Play?
Want to know how to submit a mobile app on Google Play? We’ve put together this guide to show you how to get your app into the Play Store. Read on to find out more…
You’ve planned and developed an awesome smartphone app… what comes next?
The next step is to upload your app to the Google Play store to ensure as many people as possible download and use it.
With over 111 billion app downloads worldwide in 2021, having a presence in Google Play is a surefire way of getting your app noticed.
If you’ve never uploaded an app to Google Play before, you might not be sure where to start.
How long does it take? Do you have to pay? What do you do if you after submitting the app to google play are not published?
If you’ve come to this blog post asking the question ‘How do I upload an app to Google Play? We’ve put together this guide to answer all your questions.
- What is Google Play?
- How can I publish a mobile app in the Play Store for free?
- Does Google Play charge a commission?
- How do you upload an app to the Google Play Store?
- How long does it take to publish a mobile app in the Play Store?
- Which is better – Google Play or App Store?
- In summary: Ready… Set… Google Play!
Before we start, what is Google Play all about? Let’s take a look.
What is Google Play (or Play Store)?
Google Play (sometimes known as the Google Play Store or Play Store) is the official app marketplace for Android phones. It launched in 2008 and was originally known as Android Market before rebranding to Google Play in 2012.
With over 2.5 billion users, it’s a great place to submit an app (to Google Play) and start making a profit.
There are other app marketplaces available, and you can even release your smartphone app through your own website if you want to. However, Google Play is by far the easiest way for users to download apps to their phones, as it comes on all Android phones by default.
How can I submit a mobile app to Google Play for free?
You have to pay a one-off charge to submit a mobile app to Google Play.
Paying a one-off fee of $25 lets you open an account on the Google Play Development Console. This gives you access to the tools you need to submit mobile apps to Google Play, as well as useful resources to enhance your knowledge. Once you’ve paid for an account, you can upload as many apps as you like free of charge.
Google Play charges this fee for quality control. It ensures that all apps submitted to the store are high-quality and do not contain bugs or any malicious code that may harm customers.
You may be interested to know that it costs less to publish a mobile app in the Play Store than it does on the App Store, the IOS counterpart. Apple charges $99 a year for this functionality.
We’ll go into a bit more detail about the differences between Google Play Store and App Store later on in this article.
Does Google Play charge a commission?
Yes. Google Play charges a tiered commission (referred to as ‘service’ fees) on the money you make through its marketplace.
Developers pay 15% for the first $1m of earnings they make on Google Play each year, which goes up to 30% for earnings over $1m. This commitment applies to both app downloads and in-app purchases.
Developers need to actively enroll in Google Play Development Console to take advantage of the lower commission rate.
If you have an app that sells for $1, this means that Google Play will take a commission of 15 cents or 30 cents, depending on the overall earnings you receive.
How do you upload an app to the Google Play Store?
If you’ve decided that you want to upload an app to the Google Play store, how do you go about it? Here are the five steps you need to follow to ensure success.
1. Register with the Google Play Development Console
The first step is to open a Google Play Development Console account, which you can do for $25.
You’ll need a Google account to be able to do this, so be sure to create one beforehand.
It can take up to 48 hours for your Google Play Development Console account to be approved, so allow yourself plenty of time.
2. Link your account with Google Wallet and create a Merchant Account
Once your account is approved, you need to create a payment profile. This is where you will receive any profits your app makes.
Log into your Google Play Development Console account, click on reports, select financial reports, and click on set up a merchant account. Follow the details, and your merchant account will be automatically linked to your development account.
If you’re planning on making your app available for free, you can skip this step.
3. Start creating your app
The next step is to create your app. You can do this by selecting all applications from the menu and then adding a new application. You can create as many apps as you like in your Google Play Development Console account.
Here you will:
- Select the language your app will use. This is set to American English (en-US) by default
- Enter the title of your app – no more than 30 characters. You can change it later if you have to
- Create your app store listing. It’s important to be aware of how you can use SEO to improve the chances of your app appearing in people’s searches. You will need to include a title, description, and app icon and provide screenshots of your app
- Upload your app files. Google Play uses the Android Package Kit (APK)
- Select the right app categories using the app rating questionnaire. Google Play will ask you a series of questions that cover:
- If there is any adult content in your app
- Whether your app contains advertisements
- If any part of your app is restricted (for example, if you need to sign in or pay for a membership, you need to provide access for the reviewers)
- Specify what countries you want your app to be available in. Your app will be made available in all countries by default, but you can specify particular countries or exclude countries if you want to
- Assign a price to your app. Bear in mind that you can move from a paid app to a free app later, but you can’t move from a free app to a paid app. If you want to do this, you’ll have to create another app
4. Submit the app to Google Play
Once you’re happy with everything, it’s time to submit your app to Google Play and wait for quality review processes.
How long does it take to submit the app to Google Play?
Google advises that it can take up to seven days to publish a mobile app in the Play Store. However, in our experience, it takes much less time than that.
We’ve published some of the apps to Google Play where they’ve been approved in two or three hours.
Don’t panic if your app gets rejected. You’ll be told why it didn’t pass and have the opportunity to make any amends before you resubmit.
Some of the reasons why an app might be rejected from Google Play include:
- Your app’s metadata is missing or incorrect;
- Your app is seen as low-quality, spammy to too similar to other apps;
- The app contains inappropriate content, has got the wrong rating, or has been left unrated;
- Your app does not adhere to Google’s privacy or security policy;
- Your app is seen as incomplete – if you have the words ‘demo,’ ‘test’, or ‘beta’ anywhere, Google Play will treat it as a red flag
The Google Play Development Console has plenty of tools you can use to test your app before you launch it, including closed/open testing and pre-launch reporting. This will increase the chances of your app passing the first time around, so be sure to test thoroughly.
Note, that you can register the app as a person or as a company. In case you want to be presented as a company, check this article, where we wrote about where to register a startup.
5. You’re done!
Congratulations! Your app is now in the Google Play Store! It’s time to start promoting your app and encourage people to download it.
Marketing your mobile app, whether on social media, PPC advertising, or a press campaign, will help make people aware of your presence on Google Play
When your app is live, you can access a wide range of stats about your app through the console including:
- Number of installs
- Number of uninstalls
- Rating and reviews. You can benchmark your ratings against apps that are similar to yours
- Crashes and application not responding (ANR) errors
If you need to make any updates to your app, it’s relatively easy. Just select your app in the Google Play Development Console, make the appropriate changes, resubmit the app rating questionnaire, and republish.
Google has more information about how to publish an app on Google Play here.
Which is better – Google Play or App Store?
We’re often asked by startups if they’re better off publishing a mobile app in the Play Store or the App Store.
The honest answer? It depends on your target audience and what you want! There are advantages and disadvantages to both app stores.
It costs less to submit a mobile app to Google Play ($25 one time vs $99 a year), and the review process is typically shorter. However, the more stringent quality control process on the App Store means higher-quality apps and less competition.
Both stores take a 30% commission on your download and in-app purchases by default. However, they both offer a scheme where you pay a reduced rate of 15% if you earn less than $1 million a year. What’s more, AppStore very ore has a startup program that allows you to cut commission down to 15% at the very beginning and not wait for a year to withdraw.
One thing to consider that may affect your decision is that Google Play, like all Google services, is not available in China. Google Play is also not available in countries including Bhutan, Brunei, Mongolia, and Palestine.
This means if you are planning to launch your app internationally, the App Store may be a better option as you’ll reach more people.
To maximize the likelihood of your app is successful, we recommend submitting it to both Google Play and the App Store. However, if time and money are an issue, feel free to choose the marketplace that operates more in line with the needs of your business.
Find out more about submitting an app to the App Store
In summary: Ready… Set… Google Play!
If you’ve asked the question, ‘How do I submit a mobile app to Google Play?’ we hope this article has given you the answers you’re looking for.
It may seem like a daunting process to upload your app to Google Play, especially if you’ve not done it before. However, be mindful of the guidelines, take your time, and you’ll be an app publishing pro in no time at all!
And remember, if you need a little extra support, we’re here to help.
Want to know more about app development and how to build an app that everyone wants to download? Here are some of our favorite articles.
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- How to find mobile application development consulting;
- Lean startup in healthcare app development;
- How to launch a car rental app with lean startup methodology;
- How to use lean startup in fitness app development;
- Six steps to building a mobile app startup;
- Top ten tips for hiring mobile app developers for your startup.
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