Mobile Android App Development

What Android Developers Need To Know About Google Play Submissions (2024 Guide)

Google Play Store is the original and biggest store for Android apps. As of 2024, there are over 3.3 million apps listed on Google Play Store. The store organizes apps into categories to help users find apps more easily. There are features such as charts indicating the highest rated and most downloaded apps in each category. It is a rich marketplace with stiff competition for visibility. Google also has policies that developers must abide by and every app must pass a review process before listing.

In this article, we explain all that developers must know about the Google Play Submission process in 2024.

Creating a Developer Account

Publishing an app on the Google Play Store requires a developer account. A standard account only lets you download apps and other forms of content on Google Play Store. A developer account has more features including publishing apps and receiving statistical data on such an app. A Google Developer account costs a single one-time fee of $25. The account owner has to provide their name and address for verification.

A developer account lets a developer into Google’s cloud environment for app building. From here, a developer can access services and tools such as Google AI Studio, TensorFlow, Keras, Firebase, and Google Play. The Play Store is not only meant for app listing but it also has tools to help app owners create engaging experiences for users and maximize app revenue.

Google Play’s Developer Policy Center

Google Play has explicit policies that developer account owners must comply with to remain part of the community. First, Google Play classifies certain apps as ‘restricted content’ and has policies on each. For financial services, for instance, any app that provides financial services must comply with local laws wherever the app is offered.  The goal is to protect users from potential financial risks.

Google Play also has a policy on the appropriate use of other people’s intellectual property. Impersonation is also prohibited, including where an app is presented in a way that might mislead target audiences.

It is important to read all of the policies including that on the appropriateness of content that targets children.

Following App Development Practices

The success of an app is highly dependent on app quality, even before its submission for listing on the Google Play Store. Developers must pay close attention to the performance and speed of their apps. By hosting app servers on the cloud, developers can reduce an app’s dependency on the device’s processing power as well as minimize battery drain. Other best practices include thoughtful UX writing for easier and more intuitive navigation. With the use of consistent design elements (icons, color schemes, and typography), developers can achieve a great-looking app.

Carrying out proper tests before submitting an app not only saves time but also minimizes the chances of going to market with a bad product. An app that is ready for the market should be responsive when users are interacting with it. In addition, remember that an average user has over 30 different apps installed on their device. A single app’s drain on resources such as CPU, battery, and memory must be reasonable. Developers must track such metrics against world-class benchmarks.

App Packaging

An Android Package file (APK) is the file format used to distribute Android mobile apps. Developers prepare this file by compiling their code as well as images and other assets necessary to run the app. All these must be digitally signed for authenticity.  Normally, a production release APK should be signed by a certified authority.

Google Play requires developers to version each APK they upload to distinguish it from previous releases. A useful feature is that developers can submit incremental updates containing only changes to the app. This means that end users need not download a large file. Updates, therefore, take a shorter.

Your Google Play Product Page

The Google Product Page is the page users see when they click on your app from search results or from a list in a category chart. The page contains information users need to decide whether to install an app or not. During the submission process, you are required to provide the following information that will feature on this page.

App Name

The name of the app can only have a maximum of characters. Developers have the option to use different names to localize the app in different markets and languages.

Short Description

This is a summary that tells users what your app does and its unique selling point. One best practice is to avoid having a call-to-action at the end, inviting users to install the app. If useful, you should localize the description too.


These are images of your app’s different pages. Google Play allows developers to submit screenshots of the app on different device types. Developers can upload up to 8 different screenshots for each device type.


An icon is meant to be a memorable image that communicates what your apo is about. A high-fidelity image is recommended as the icon is used in different locations in the Google Play Store.

Preview Video

A preview video is meant to capture the essence of your app’s user experience. It communicates what still images cannot. The video is hosted on YouTube and developers only submit a YouTube URL in the preview video field.


Google Play provides pricing templates to help developers simplify the distribution of paid apps. However, developers can opt to create their own pricing structures with the option to localize or use universal pricing. Google Play takes a service fee for paid downloads and in-app purchases too.

The App Review Process

When publishing an app for the first time or when pushing an update, developers should expect that a review could take up to a week before approval. There are quite a few tests that an app must pass.

An automated checks process looks out for malware and compliance with Google Play technical requirements. The app should be compatible with different user devices and Android versions. If the app passes this step, there will be further checks on the app’s content, functionality, and overall user experience. Human reviewers carry out this process to ensure that prohibited content and low-quality apps do not get featured in the Store. Normally, developers fill a rating questionnaire as guidance on the age appropriateness of the app’s content. This must be verified.

There are cases where the developers may be asked for further information to aid the review process.

Other reasons for rejection include cases where an app plagiarizes content from another app. The automated checks run by Google Play are meant to prevent spamming, which is the publishing of an app multiple times. Instead, the store is designed to prioritize value for users seeking solutions.

If an app Is rejected, developers receive a detailed explanation of the reasons. There is an option to appeal the rejection through the Develop Console. The support team considers all additional information provided and there are cases where this leads to approval after an initial rejection.

App Store Optimization

App store optimization is the practice of understanding factors that affect your app’s visibility and taking the right actions to maximize such visibility. For any app category, there are thousands of apps seeking user attention. Only through a combination of high quality and app store optimization will the chances of getting a critical number of downloads increase.

Keywords are the primary method to improve visibility. An app’s description must feature relevant keywords users are likely to use in their search. In addition, if there are other marketing efforts taking place away from the Play Store, such as on blog posts and social media, that content has to be optimized for the right keywords.

As mentioned earlier, high-quality screenshots and app icons will affect the first-time impressions of potential users.

Encouraging happy customers to leave reviews is extremely important. People rely heavily on what real users think of apps before deciding whether to engage or not.  Positive reviews are worth much more than an inorganic marketing budget.

App Analytics

The Google Play Developer Console provides a rich pool of analytics tools for developers to understand how their app is performing. Some of the most basic metrics include total installs, active users, revenue generated, and reviews. Users can quickly understand their churn and retention rates from the number of uninstallations.

Another category of insights revolves around user engagement with an app. Besides the number of active users, developers can see the average length of user sessions, the number of times users log in in a day, and how long it takes before a user returns to the app. This information is used to infer user satisfaction and to make improvements over time.

Crash reporting.

Google Play provides crash reporting tools to help developers understand the nature of errors that users encounter and other information to help troubleshoot and improve the overall availability and stability of the app.


App users can also benefit from Google Play’s breakdown of user ratings and reviews. It is not enough to see the average ratings of an app. Developers can benefit from seeing how average ratings are evolving. Besides this, there are tools to analyze user sentiment, which can help understand users’ reactions to feature changes and pinpoint areas for potential improvement.

Geography and Demographics

Developers receive a detailed report on how their app is performing across different regions and age groups. Other useful ways to break down the data are device type, language, and Android version. All this helps determine the nature of content to feature on the app. For instance, if an app is attracting a global audience, the content should be relatable to a worldwide audience.

Carrying Out Successful App Launches

Once an app receives the green light for publishing, it is essential to have a well-coordinated launch process. A pre-launch marketing campaign helps to build anticipation for the app. Social media, newsletters, and influencer campaigns are just some of the ways to gain attention and build up to the launch date. A lot of apps also tend to have a website from where users are redirected to app stores to download the app.

It is possible to do a beta launch of the app to a limited audience who get to test and review the app. This helps gather feedback used to improve the app before it is available in more markets. Such segmentation can be done through geography or by sending an invite link through newsletters.

Once the app is live, you can get it featured in magazines, blogs, influencer channels, and newsletters. Where appropriate, events that gather user communities could also be used to create a buzz around the app. App owners also have the chance to use promotional pricing to help boost downloads immediately after an app launches or during significant moments of the year, such as Black Friday.

App Maintenance and Updates

Developers should have a policy regarding app maintenance and updates. It is very likely that once an app launches, users will have suggestions to make on how the app can serve their needs better.  In addition, any bugs realized should be fixed within a short window before they become a reason for uninstalling the app.

Updates should be based on user comments as well as a product roadmap. The development team should also look out for evolving security threats and push necessary fixes to address them.

Finding the Right Development Team

For app promoters, finding the right team to build your app from scratch until its launch on the Google Play Store can be quite a challenge. The right team should possess the right skills and experience in handling mobile app projects from start to launch. Failure to keep up with Google Play technical standards and community guidelines can cause projects to stall at the launch stage.

At NS804, we endeavour to deliver world-class business applications. Regardless of the stage at which we meet you, our team will walk with you until the app is ready for market. To engage with us, reach out through our website here.

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