Android App Development For Dummies

I’ve recently launched my first 2 Android applications and other than the actual code handling I’ve discovered that there are some basic pieces of information that I was missing which made my initial work a little harder than it could have been. Since I didn’t bump into this information in one organized source, I’ve decided that it’s about time there will be one.

Let’s start with the url of the app – you’ve probably noticed by now that the url of the app in Google play is drawn from the name of the app’s package and the name of the developer. What you might have not noticed is that there’s a customary structure for an Android app url which is agreed upon by all app developers. This is the customary structure – ‘com.DeveloperName.AppName’ and you create this by including ‘com.’ just before your developer name. Unfortunately I was aware of this only by the time I’ve launched my second app. So you can see that my first app’s url – ‘https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=koomix.lol_cats’ looks very different from my second app’s url – ‘https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.koomix.funnyfailpics’. I’m not sure what influence it has on the app itself since both apps are performing about the same as far as ranks and installs are concerned.

Another important thing to remember is the App keystore. This is actually crucial. You need to use the same customer key details is you want to upload new versions on an already published app. If you didn’t keep these details there’s no way to retrieve them. The only thing you will be able to do is upload a complete new version of the app and remove the old one. Of course this means you lose all your installs, reviews and rating history and start from scratch. So do yourself a favor and keep record of your app keystore.

And while we’re in the matter of versions, another important thing to know is the versions numbering. Each time you update a version you need to specify within the app a version number. If you don’t specify the next number on the sequence which follows the number on the published version, Google market place won’t let you upload the new version. This is not actually that crucial to know from advance, but it does save some time.

The last thing to know is actually about the app page on Google market place. When you upload an app to Google play you need to include certain details in order to complete the submission.

This is a list of the must have components:

  • The app file – certified and in apk format
  • Screenshots – at least 2, maximum 8
  • High resolution icon – this will be the icon of the app on Google market place and it has to be with these dimension: 512×512, jpg or 32 bit png, Maximum 1024kb
  • App title – maximum 30 characters
  • App description – maximum 4,000 characters

 

These are some additional components which are nice to have but not obligatory:

  • Developer’s website url
  • Featured Graphics – this will be the big header image of the app and has to be in these dimensions: 1024×500, jpg or 24 bit png.
  • A promotional video url (usually on Youtube) – It’s actually highly recommended to create a video about your application. From my experience it does wonders to the app’s install rate.
  • If you’re targeting none English languages you have an option to add specific description and title per any language you want to include.

That’s about all the important information you should have in mind when you develop an Android app. You can now continue to the easy part of it all – actual programming.

Author info:

Lenny Rozen is a mountain climber amateur and a self-employed Android app developer who has recently successfully launched his first two apps to the Android market place: LOLCats – Funny cat pictures and LOLFail – Funny Fail Pictures. Look him up on his G+/FB page or at his site – Koomix.com.


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