As we all know, there is no app that is always final unless it is a static app that does not require periodic updates. Mostly, when updating apps it is either you want to fix an error that is affecting app users or it’s because of an update
App updates are necessary for any development since they allow new features to be added to the application that will either improve performance or introduce a new feature that was not present in the previous release.
One thing to know while working with app updates in google play store is that each update is categorized as a release such that when a certain update may fail to work or be incompatible with the users, play store allows rolling back to a previous release and give room for fixing the errors.
In this article, we shall discuss how to publish an app update in the google play store or we may also refer to how to update an app in the google play store
The prerequisites of this article are that;
- You must have an app that is currently existing in the google play store. Learn how to publish app in google play store
- You must have a google play store account. Follow this previous article and learn how to create a google play store account
- Suppose you may want to unpublish the app from the google play store. Follow this previous article and learn how you can remove the app from the play store
- If you want to publish an app that shares same properties with another app. Learn https://www.solutionspacenet.com/post/how-to-unpublish-an-app-from-google-play-store how you can change or rename package name in android so that your app can be accepted
- If you want to know the basics of developing android applications. Follow this previous article and begin developing Android applications
- If you want to grant another user the privileges of publishing or updating apps in your google play store account, learn how you can add another user to your google play store account.
How to update an app in the google play store
In order to update your app in the google play store or publish an update to an existing app in the play store, there are some requirements you must fulfill for your app to be ready for publish as an update.
Once you have successfully made changes to your app in android studio and feel that it’s now time to go live after testing in your mobile device or emulator, follow these steps;
Update the version code and version name
Google play store will not accept the same version code for different app versions of the same app. Therefore, for a new update, you must ensure that you update your version code to the next number depending on your naming system
For example, if you are naming them as version 1, 2, 3 or version 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 you should check from the play store the last version of the app you published and then update to the next number depending on the naming system you are using.
To know the current version code in the play store;
- Login to your google play store
- Select the app you want to update in the dashboard
- Click releases overview and you will be able to view the latest releases. The release at the top is the latest release and the latest version code will be in the latest version column as shown below
Once you have known the current version of the app, you will need now to update it in android studio to the next number
To update or change the version code of your app in android studio;
- Navigate to build.gradle for the app in android studio for the project you want to update
- Update the version code and version name to the next version.
In the above screenshot, the version code is 8 so I will update it to 9
- Click sync and wait for the changes to be effected
- Once the sync is completed, you will have updated the version code and therefore it will be accepted as a new release in play store
Generate a signed file for upload in the play store
The next step will be generating a signed file which will be uploaded to the google play store and act as an update.
You can either generate a signed apk or a signed aab file, we explained the differences between apk and aab files
Since we noted that aab files are better compared to apk (click the link above and learn how), we will generate an aab file.
To do this;
- In the android studio, click build and then select generate signed bundle or APK
- In the modal that pops up, ensure that Android App Bundle is selected and click next
- In the next screen, you will be required to select a key and input a password that you used for the previous app signing
If you do not remember them, you will need to create a new one and then set a password and since your app is existing in the play store, you will need to send an email to google play support asking them to change the key for signing your app.
You will send an email to email@example.com with a title for upload key reset for your package name
- Once you sign your app, an aab file will be generated which will be ready for upload to the play store
How to update the app in the play store
The last step will now be uploading the newly signed file to the play store. To do this;
- Open google play developer account
- Select your application which you want to update
- In the left sidebar click production
- Click create new release at the top right
- In the screen that opens, drag or upload your signed file as shown below
Note: If your signed file has errors, you will be notified at this step
- Add what is included in the release for your users to know what they are expecting from the update
- Review release and then proceed to production
Once it has been sent to production, it will have the status in the review
Wait for google to finish the review of the app.
Once the review is successful, your app will be in production and be visible to users
Note: the review can take hours or days before it is released for production
That’s it for this article, hope you have learned how to publish an app update in the play store or update an app in the play store. Hope the discussion and steps have been of help