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Getting into the premier Android marketplace, Google Play, is ultimately straightforward, although it may seem a bit overwhelming at times. In this lesson I'll walk you through the entire application so you can get a better understanding of the process and what's required. To do this, I am going to take advantage of a bit of a back door that currently exists in the Google Play application process. Google does have a new application process in beta as part of their overhaul of the developer console.
So there's no guarantee that this accessibility will be around forever. But in this lesson you will be able to see all the steps. So I'm here in the Android Developer Console, and you can see I don't have an app published on Play yet. So I am going to go ahead and click the Upload Application button to start the process. Now here's the back door. Don't click Choose File and upload any file, instead just click Close. As you can see we're now in the Edit Application screen, where we have access to all the fields.
There are two tabs up top, Product details, where we'll spend most of our time in this lesson, and APK files. Let's take a quick look at the APK files tab. This tab lists all the Android Application Package, or APK, files already uploaded, as well as giving you an opportunity to upload more. Now let's head back to Product details and the meat of the lesson. I'll scroll down just a bit so we can see the first of the six different sections of the application.
We begin with uploading your assets. This area gives a good breakdown of what's required and the accepted formats. You will need to upload at least two screen shots. Some of those marketing images discussed in the previous lessons. These images are displayed on the details pages in Google Play. You will also need to upload a high-res application icon. This is not, as you might think, the same thing as your launcher icon, although it could be a higher resolution version of that image.
Finally, there is a checkbox to opt out of general marketing. I don't know about you, but I tend to think that the more marketing, the better. So I personally would uncheck this option. The next section is Listing details. First, you can choose which languages your app supports and then set the default language. Next, you enter your app's title, which must be 30 characters or less. The other text areas in this section allow you to enter the general description, recent changes, especially helpful if the app is been upgraded, as well as a bit of promotional text.
You'll need to declare whether your app is an application or a game. Once you do, you can further choose its category. I am going to go ahead and set this one as an application, so you can see the whole wide range of categories available. So now if I click on the category list, you can see that there is a good number of options to choose from. Let's scroll down so we can see Publishing options, the next category. The first option here is Copy Protection. This option will soon be deprecated and as the note indicates, using the licensing services is recommended.
Specifying the content rating is generally done for games, and most applications you would select everyone. However, there are a number of exceptions. If your app request the user's location, it cannot use the Everyone option, but it should use Low Maturity. If your app shares location, it should be rated Medium or High Maturity. The other circumstance that would exclude an app from being rated for everyone is if it hosts communication between users.
If your app does, it will need a Medium or High Maturity rating. Next up is Pricing. Unless you have set up a merchant account with Google check out, your app will be free. The following section covers the countries you want to make your app available in. You can choose to allow All Countries, specify specific ones, or if you scroll down a little bit more, select all but certain countries. Next up the supported devices list, this will be populated by the entries in your manifest file, and since we haven't uploaded an APK yet, it's blank here.
You will want to enter your contact details next, so the marketing department can give you a heads-up when those marketing opportunities arise. The penultimate section allows your app to communicate with your servers via the Google Cloud Messaging service. You will need what's called a simple API Key to work with the service. And the final section at the bottom of the application confirms that your app meets Android content guidelines and that your app complies with the US export laws.
There is a helpful link here for you to learn more. It's a lengthy application, I'll grant you, but access to the Google Play marketplace is worth it. Good luck!
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