Update your apps

Prepare your APK

When you're ready to make changes to your APK, make sure to update your app’s version code as well so that existing users will receive your update.

Use the following checklist to make sure your new APK is ready to update your existing users:

  • The package name of the updated APK needs to be the same as the current version.
  • The version code needs to be greater than that current version. Learn more about versioning your applications.
  • The updated APK needs to be signed with the same signature as the current version.

To verify that your APK is using the same certification as the previous version, you can run the following command on both APKs and compare the results:

$ jarsigner -verify -verbose -certs my_application.apk

If the results are identical, you’re using the same key and are ready to continue. If the results are different, you will need to re-sign the APK with the correct key.

Upload your APK

Once your APK is ready, you can create a new release.

Delivery of updates

After you’ve submitted an update to an app, you’ll see “Update pending” near the top right of your app’s Play Console pages. Once the update is published, your update will start being distributed to existing users.

Once your update is available, users can download the update on your app’s store listing page or from their My apps page on the Play Store app. If a user has turned on automatic updates for your app, the update will be downloaded and installed automatically.

App updates take some time to be delivered to existing users. If you’ve submitted an update that hasn’t showed up on Google Play, please wait at least 24 hours before contacting our support team.

Unpublish an app

When you unpublish an app, existing users can still use your app and receive app updates. Your app won’t be available for new users to find and download on Google Play.

To unpublish your app:

  1. Go to your Play Console.
  2. Select an app.
  3. Select Store presencePricing & distribution.
  4. In the "App Availability" section, select Unpublish.

Updating system apps

Users will see system apps (including any pre-loaded apps) in the My Apps section of the Google Play Store as soon as an application with the same package name is uploaded to the Play Console (even if the application is unpublished).

Google Play can manage updates to preloaded applications, provided the following conditions are met:

  • The preloaded app needs to be in the system partition
  • The preloaded app needs to be free
  • The preloaded app needs to be signed with the same signature as the app published in Google Play
  • The package name of the preloaded and updated app needs to be the same
  • The version code of the updated app needs to be greater than that of the preloaded app

If you need to upload a system application and encounter an error message when doing so, please contact us.

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