Jun 20 AT 1:21 PM Taylor Wimberly 8 Comments

A Look Inside the Android Developer Console

Are you interested in developing applications for the Android mobile platform? Chances are you will want to publish them to the Android Market so the millions of Android users can download them. Getting an app live on the Market might be easier than you would expect.  The simple process involves 3 steps: register, upload, and publish.

Register

Before you begin, the first step is registering a developer account with Google.  Visit the Developer Signup page where you will create a profile, pay a one time $25 fee, and agree to the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement.  I highly suggest reading the distribution agreement seeing as it fits on 6 printed pages.  The registration fee is handled with Google Checkout.

Creating an account only cost $25.

Creating an account only cost $25.

Upload

Once your account has been approved, it is time to upload your first application.  From the Developer Console home screen, simply click Upload Application.  As the file is uploaded, it is scanned to make sure it is properly signed.  If there are any issues, a detailed error message will be displayed.  After the file has successfully uploaded, it is time to create the directory listing and publishing options.

The options available when uploading an application include:

  • Language
  • Title
  • Description – Only 325 max characters
  • Application Type – Applications or games
  • Category – Communication, Entertainment, Tools, etc.
  • Price – Free or paid
  • Copy Protection – On or off
  • Locations – Countries the app is published in
  • Contact Information

Once all the information is entered it is time to move to the next step.  Note that any of this information can be changed at a later date.  However, copy protection cannot be disabled once turned on.  If you attempt to remove copy protection from your app in a future version, it could cause the app to crash for users who are upgrading.

Uploading an appliction.  See gallery for a detailed full screen view.

Uploading an application. See gallery for a detailed full screen view.

Publish

When it comes time to publish your software, a single click will do the job.  Since there is no approval process, your application will appear in the Market within minutes.  The same can be said when pushing out a new update for your app.  This is one of the main benefits of the Android Market vs the Apple App Store, where approval can sometimes take weeks.

Click Publish and your app is available for download minutes later.

Click Publish and your app is available for download minutes later.

Developer Console Stats

After your application has been live for a couple hours, you will begin to see stats reported in the Developer Console.  These stats are not live and update periodically throughout the day.  It might look pretty at first, but you will soon find there is no detail to the information provided.  This is a major disappoint for users familiar with other Google services like Analytics or Adsense.

The information that is provided for each Market app includes:

  • Total downloads
  • Active installs
  • Number of ratings

Unfortunately, you are not able to review Market comments or individual ratings.  Android users might also wonder what happens to data when you uninstall an application.  The uninstall survey responses are not shared with the developer.

These are the only stats provided by the Developer Console.

These are the only stats provided by the Developer Console.

Summary

The Android Market is extremely easy to use, but lacks the detailed information of other Google services.  Anyone can publish an application and begin selling in the same day.  I’ve been told over and over that the Market team is hard at work, so I would expect to see upgrades coming soon.  If Google is able to provide stats that were only half as detailed as Analytics, I would be overjoyed.

If you are a developer, what changes would you like to see in the Android Market?

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • zibit

    I would love to know the actual number of sales for an app. Currently for a paid app you get the number of purchases but it doesn’t take into account refunds. The only way to get the number of sales that stuck after 24 hours is to count the green dots on the transaction list page. Also, the ability to view and interact (even on a limited basis) with commenters would be fabulous.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Google Checkout doesn’t provide this data? We have yet to do any paid apps so I don’t know what that looks like.

  • http://www.nexsoftware.net nEx.Software

    It’s not hard to get the real sales data from Google Checkout. Takes a small amount of work, but still very easy.

    • http://www.nexsoftware.net nEx.Software

      To elaborate…

      Open Google Checkout, go to the Orders tab, then Search.
      Find Generate Order Report… Set the date range (up to 1 month at a time), choose orders with status of charged, and then click download. This will give you a CSV file with each successfully charged order, open with Excel or another spreadsheet and you can easily see the count. You can also do this with cancelled by me to see that count easily.

  • http://swordiApps.blogspot.com swordiApps

    1) i want more statistics. google is the master of analytics – why didnt they integrate this into the dev console.

    i hope there will be comming more in the near future

    2) the market search is very bad. google has the best search engine but the search via the phone on the market is very bad. its hard to find good apps, becaus you need very very long time to get 250 000+ downloads

  • http://wiki.ubuntu.com/MagicFab Fabian Rodriguez

    I’d like to know what are the requirements or criteria for an application to be accepted ? This is a major pain point for Iphone devs so it would be interesting to compare both.

    • http://www.nexsoftware.net nEx.Software

      All apps are accepted initially. Unless someone reports it as objectionable, it stays. This is a good thing in a lot of ways, but has its problems as well. Mostly, there is little to go on to assess the security or even functionality of an app. No one has looked at it to say that is works as advertised and does not breach security. On the other hand the freedom and speed to market is phenominal. Basic advice is to read the Market terms and make sure your apps adhere. If they adhere to those terms, the only major risks are related to the ratings received by users (who can be brutal, by the way).

  • Aunt Jane

    Any possibility of a detailed article on how to publish the upgrade to an app? I am trying and am stuck right now.

  1. zibitGuest 6 years ago

    I would love to know the actual number of sales for an app. Currently for a paid app you get the number of purchases but it doesn’t take into account refunds. The only way to get the number of sales that stuck after 24 hours is to count the green dots on the transaction list page. Also, the ability to view and interact (even on a limited basis) with commenters would be fabulous.

    • Google Checkout doesn’t provide this data? We have yet to do any paid apps so I don’t know what that looks like.

  2. nEx.SoftwareGuest 6 years ago

    It’s not hard to get the real sales data from Google Checkout. Takes a small amount of work, but still very easy.

    • nEx.SoftwareGuest 6 years ago

      To elaborate…

      Open Google Checkout, go to the Orders tab, then Search.
      Find Generate Order Report… Set the date range (up to 1 month at a time), choose orders with status of charged, and then click download. This will give you a CSV file with each successfully charged order, open with Excel or another spreadsheet and you can easily see the count. You can also do this with cancelled by me to see that count easily.

  3. swordiAppsGuest 6 years ago

    1) i want more statistics. google is the master of analytics – why didnt they integrate this into the dev console.

    i hope there will be comming more in the near future

    2) the market search is very bad. google has the best search engine but the search via the phone on the market is very bad. its hard to find good apps, becaus you need very very long time to get 250 000+ downloads

  4. Fabian RodriguezGuest 6 years ago

    I’d like to know what are the requirements or criteria for an application to be accepted ? This is a major pain point for Iphone devs so it would be interesting to compare both.

    • nEx.SoftwareGuest 6 years ago

      All apps are accepted initially. Unless someone reports it as objectionable, it stays. This is a good thing in a lot of ways, but has its problems as well. Mostly, there is little to go on to assess the security or even functionality of an app. No one has looked at it to say that is works as advertised and does not breach security. On the other hand the freedom and speed to market is phenominal. Basic advice is to read the Market terms and make sure your apps adhere. If they adhere to those terms, the only major risks are related to the ratings received by users (who can be brutal, by the way).

  5. Aunt JaneGuest 4 years ago

    Any possibility of a detailed article on how to publish the upgrade to an app? I am trying and am stuck right now.