Mobile app development is a labyrinth of multiple complex processes. Once you develop an application, though, submitting it to an app store of your choice is even more complicated. There are a number of aspects you need to take care of, before you can get your app approved by app stores. This particular article deals with the things you should do before submitting your mobile app to the Android Market, now referred to as the Google Play store.
Register as an Android Developer
Firstly, register yourself as a developer for the Android Market. You can distribute your products on this marketplace only and only after you have completed this step.
Test, Test and Test
Testing your app thoroughly is always the most important thing you should do before submitting it to the marketplace. Android offers you all the tools necessary for testing, so make sure that you make full use of them.
Though you can use emulators to test your app, it is most preferable to use an actual Android-powered device, as this will give you a complete feel of your app on a physical device. This will also help you verify all the UI elements of your app and ascertain the app’s efficacy under realistic testing conditions.
Android Market Licensing
You may want to think about using the Android Market licensing facility available to developers. Though optional, this will be beneficial to you, especially if you intend to develop a paid app for the Android Market.
Licensing your Android app lets you gain full legal control on your app.
You could also add a EULA or End User License Agreement in your app, if you so wish. This will give you full control over your intellectual property.
Prepare an Application Manifest
Preparing an app manifest is one more important step. Here, you can specify your app’s icon and label, which will be actually displayed to your user on the Home Screen, Menu, My Downloads and everywhere else where it is required. Even publishing services may display this information.
One useful tip for creating icons is to make them as similar as possible to built-in Android apps. This way, the user will more easily identify with your app.
Using MapView Elements?
In case your app uses MapView elements, you will have to register in advance for a Maps API key. For this, you will have to register your app with the Google Maps service, so as to be able to retrieve data from Google Maps.
Note here that during the process of app development, you will receive a temporary key, but before actual app publication, you have to register for a permanent key.
Clean Up Your Act
It is very important that you remove all backup files, log files and other unnecessary data from your app before submitting it to the Android Market. Also make sure that you turn off the debug feature.
Assign a Version Number
Assign a version number for your app. Plan this number ahead of time, so that you can appropriate number each subsequent update version of your app in the future.
After App Compilation
Once you are through the compilation process, you can go ahead and sign your app with your private key. Make sure that you commit no errors during this signing process.
Once again, test your compiled application on an actual, physical, Android device of your choice. Thoroughly check all your UI and MapView elements before final release. Also make sure that your app works with all the authentication and server-side processes as stipulated by you.
Wish you luck with the release of your Android app!