Update your apps
When you're ready to make changes to your APK or Android App Bundle, use the following checklist to make sure that existing users will receive your update.
Prepare your updates
- The package name of the updated APK or app bundle needs to be the same as the current version.
- The version code needs to be greater than the current version. Learn more about versioning your app.
- The updated APK or app bundle needs to be signed with the same signature as the current version.
To confirm that an APK's signature will be verified successfully on all versions of the Android platform supported by the APK, you can use the
apksigner tool (available in revision 24.0.3 and higher of the Android SDK Build Tools) with the following syntax:
apksigner verify --verbose --print-certs apkname.apk
If the signature isn’t verified successfully, you need to use the key associated with the APK that you already uploaded.
Learn more about signing your app.
$ jarsigner -verify -verbose -certs my_application.aab
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 app bundle with the correct key.Learn more about signing your app.
Upload your APK or app bundle
Once your updated artifact 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.
Note that app updates can take some time to be delivered to existing users.
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:
- Go to your Play Console.
- Select an app.
- Select Store presence > Pricing & distribution.
- 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Store as soon as an application with the same package name is uploaded to the Play Console (even if the application is unpublished).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.