Introduction: Publishing an Android App to the Google Play Store

After many hours of designing, implementing, testing, and debugging your Android Application, you are finally ready to publish it to the Google Play Store. These instructions will make the task of publishing your app both quick and painless. The process should take less then ten minutes.

You Will Need:
-A completed Android application project in Eclipse or an already created “.apk” file
-An Internet connection
-A credit/debit card to pay for Google Developer license
-At least two screenshots of the app, stored on your computer

Step 1: Opening Eclipse

The first thing you will need to do is open Eclipse and ensure that your error-free project appears in the package explorer on the left.

*Note: If you are not using eclipse or you have already exported an “.apk” file,  you may skip to Step: 10.

Step 2: Selecting "Export"

Then, Right-click your project folder and select “Export” from the drop-down menu.

An “Export” dialog box should then appear.

Step 3: Selecting Export Type

Once the “Export” dialog box appears, open the folder tree titled “Android,” and select “Export Android Application.”

Click “Next.”

A dialog box labeled “Export Android Application” will then appear in place of the old.

Step 4: Checking for Errors

The “Export Android Application” dialog will check your selected project for errors. If none are present, the dialog will say “No Errors Present, Click Next.”

       *Note: If there are errors, you need to fix them and start the exporting process over.

Click “Next,” if no errors are present.

Step 5: Entering a Keystore

The next screen in the dialog will prompt you to enter a “keystore.” A keystore is a type of account that encrypts a stamp onto the final application file.

If you have previously created a keystore, then you may enter the name and password and skip to Step: 8.

If you have not created a keystore in the past, you will do so now by selecting the radio button labeled “create new keystore.”

Step 6: Creating a New Keystore

Click the “browse” button and select a location to store your new keystore file.

A good place to store the keystore, for future use, would be the same directory that your project files are in. Type in a name that you will remember and select “save.”

Step 7: Choosing a Password

Next, you will need to choose a password you will remember, or keep the password in a safe place.

*Note: If you lose your keystore password, you will not be able to release an update for your app in the future.

Enter the password into the password field, followed by the confirmation box and select “Next.”

Step 8: Choosing an Alias

Now you will need to fill out the alias, password, and validity fields on the “Key Encryption” screen, as well as one field from the “certificate issuer” section located below.

It is a good idea to use your name for the alias, because it is easy to remember and it will never be displayed. Again, choose a password you will remember. The number you choose to enter for the validity field, will be the number of years your app is available in the store.

Step 9: Choosing File Export Destination

The last step in exporting the app to a file is to click “browse” and select a destination to store the “.apk,” or android application package file.

A good place to store it is in the same directory that the project file exists.

Click “finish,” to export the file, and then exit eclipse.

It is now time to upload the newly created “.apk” file to the google store.

Step 10: Navigating to Google Developer Site

Open up a web browser, search for “Developer Console - Google Play,” and navigate to the site with that as its name.

The proper site is shown in the green box in the figure attached to this step.

Step 11: Logging Into Google Developer Console

Get logged in to google’s developer console.

If you do not already have a google developer account, follow Google’s steps to create one, by clicking “Sign Up,” in the top-right of your screen. The last step in the process of creating a developer account is paying a one-time $25 developer fee using a credit or debit card.

Step 12: Adding a New Application

Once inside the console, click the blue button at the top labeled, “+ Add New Application.”

Step 13: Initiating APK Upload

In the “Add New Application” dialog, ensure that the correct language is selected from the drop-down menu and then type the name of the app as you wish for it to appear in the Google Play store.

Then, select the “Upload APK” button at the bottom.

The console will then take you to the new homepage for your app.

Step 14: Initiating APK Upload (part 2)

At the new homepage for your app, select the blue button labeled “Upload your first APK to Production,” centered on your screen.

Step 15: Selecting & Uploading APK File

A dialog will appear, where you can “browse” and “open” your “.apk” file you exported in steps 1-9.

Upload progress is shown, and if the upload is successful, you will be taken back to the console.

Step 16: Adding a Description

After successful uploading of the APK, a description needs to be added to the “store listing” page found by navigating the tabs at the left (tabs are shown in green box in attached figure).

Type an application description in the “description” text box. The description will appear in the Google Play store on the page for your app.

Step 17: Adding Screenshots

The next step in the “Store Listing” tab is adding sample screenshots.

To upload screen-shots, scroll down and click one of the three “+ Add Screenshot” buttons corresponding to the type of device they were taken on.

A browse dialog box will open allowing you to select the screenshots from a directory on your computer.

Step 18: Adding a Store Listing Icon

Next, add a store listing icon.

The listing icon is the main picture that pops up at the top of the screen in the Google Play Store.

A browse dialog box will open allowing you to select the icon the same way Step 17 allowed you to select a screenshot.

Step 19: Filling in Details

The final step on the “Store Listing” page is filling out the categorization, contact details, and privacy policy, located below the icon selection area.

Fill out the required fields as you wish and hit save. The “store listing” tab should now have a green check-mark next to it.

Step 20: Step 20:

Finally, click the “Pricing & Distribution” tab, where you will select paid or free, distribution countries, and check the boxes saying that your app complies with content guidelines and US export laws.

Select "Save," at the bottom.

Step 21: Publishing the Application

Once all three tabs at the left have a green check-mark, you are now able to select “Publish this app” from the “Ready to Publish” drop-down menu in the top right corner of the developer console.

A confirmation bar should appear at the top, stating that your app will appear in the Google Play store in just a few hours.

Step 22: Conclusion

This completes my instructions on publishing an Android app to the Google Play Store. I hope that you found my instructions helpful, and that you were successful in publishing your app.

If you were unable to complete any of the tasks listed in my instruction sheet, you can seek help on