Android & Kotlin

Android App Distribution

Learn how to publish and distribute commercial apps on the Google Play Store. This book gives you all the knowledge you need for a successful Android app launch including the nuts and bolts of getting your app on the Play Store, how to ensure your app is sleek and secure, how to distribute it to testers and how to attract and manage user feedback and monitor performance post- release. This is everything you need to publish and distribute a professional, secure and successful Android app! By Fuad Kamal & Evana Margain Puig.

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Who is this for?

While Android developers of all experience levels will find the information in this book useful, there are two groups that will benefit the most: New Android developers and experienced Android developers who either haven’t worked on consumer apps or who weren’t involved in the details of releasing the app.

Covered concepts

  • The steps to getting the perfect build.
  • Quickly getting started using the app store.
  • Using test tracks to test your app.
  • Release strategies.
  • How to master app permissions for a great user experience.
  • Best practices for securing your app.
  • Optimizing app size and obfusticating your APK.
  • Techniques for adding features dynamically.
  • How to add build variants and flavors to your app.
  • Automation tools for your local environment.
  • Tips and tricks for getting top ratings and avoiding negative reviews.
  • How to set up CI to automate your deployment process.
  • Monitoring your app performance and vitals.

If you’re planning on releasing a commercial app to the Google Play Store, you need this book. It will walk you through the entire process of uploading the app to the Play Store, distributing it to testers, creating a release strategy and making sure your users will continue to love...


Before You Begin

This section tells you a few things you need to know before you get started, such as what you’ll need for hardware and software, where to find the project files for this book, and more.

Section I: App Store Quick Start

You need some fundamental things to publish an app to the app store. For example, you need the nuts and bolts of building and getting the app published along with some key concepts surrounding test tracks, including beta and alpha releases, and release strategies. Taken together, these concepts are what we like to call minimal viable product, or MVP, for publishing an app to the app store.

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Delivering a great product can seem like a daunting task. This will help you to break those steps down as you begin your journey towards becoming an app store publishing guru.
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This chapter takes you through the essential things needed to publish and app on the app store. By the end of the chapter you will have a version of the PodPlay App on the Google Play Store for internal testing.
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Before you release, you should test your application. The Play Store has a number to make that process easier. In this chapter you will learn about using the Play store test tracks to deploy and gather information on your builds as you move towards production releases.
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In this chapter you will learn about strategies for releasing an app. Along the way you will release your app through internal and external tesing, finishing out with a released app in the Google Play Store!

Section II: Security & Optimization

A secure and svelte app can be the difference between having a successful release and one with problems. This section will show you the various steps of developing apps that are secure, reasonably sized and optimized. Topics covered include app permissions, obfuscation and steps for hardening your app’s security.

Dynamically deploying features allows you to do limited testing. Depending on the technique you use, it can also be a great way to keep the app smaller by only loading features that a user needs. You’ll learn about that in chapter 8.

You also may want to create a white label version of your app or build flavors for testing. Chapter 9 covers all of that to help guide you through creating build variants and flavors.

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Getting permissions right are an important part for having a successful app in the store. This chapter will take you through setting them up using location services as an example.
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Having a secure app can help to keep your users and their data safe. But, adding that in can seem like a daunting task. Luckily there are some tools and techniques to make it approachable.
A svelte and secure application can help to make the end user experience enjoyable and trouble free. This chapter will show you how to make changes to make is harder for the bad guys to hack, while improving the overall app experience.
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You may want to have different features for different users. Instead of having different apps for every user you can have dynamic features delivered through a common application. This chapter will guide you through some techniques to deliver dynamic features.
Having different build variants for testing, white labeling etc. can be a really useful tool but can seem really daunting. This will help you to become a master at it.
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When publishing an app in the real world, build variants are a key component to differentiating builds for different environments such as development vs production. They are also an important tool for developing white label versions of an app. This chapter does a deep dive into the mechanics of creating build variants along with some handy tips and tricks.

Section III: Automation: Continuous Integration & Delivery

Manually building and releasing your app can quickly become time-consuming and error-prone. Chapter 11 guides you through tools and steps to help automate the process. It’s also important to have reliable builds that can build on multiple machines and to constantly integrate code so that releases don’t become a big, error-prone, merging event. Chapter 12 shows you some tips and tricks to get CI set up for your project.

There are a lot of steps to publish a high quality app. Automating them can save you time and ensure that you don't forget one of them. This will take you through a deployment using fastlane.
Continuous integration, CI, allows you to have repeatable builds. This chapter will show you how to use GitHub actions to quickly set up CI for your project

Section IV: Beyond Publication

In an ideal world, you could release an app and, without doing anything, have it be wildly successful and generate money while you relax in the tropics. However, in the real world, an app is a living thing that needs continuous care and feeding.

App ratings can make or break an app’s success in the store. Chapter 13 talks about techniques for cultivating good reviews and addressing negative ones. Two common causes of bad app reviews are app crashes and poor performance. Chapter 14 dives into monitoring and improving your app’s performance to proactively address issues before they turn into poor reviews.

Learn tips and tricks for getting top app ratings and getting feedback before they become negative app store reviews.
It is important to track your app's metrics and vitals to ensure your users have a great app experience. Here you will learn about some of the things to monitor to ensure that things are running smoothly out in the wild.