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Prepare & rollout releases

With a release, you can manage your app's APKs and rollout your app to a specific track.

Step 1: Create a release

A release is a combination of one or more build artifacts that you'll prepare to rollout an app or app update to the alpha, beta, or production track. To start your release:

  1. Go to your Play Console.
  2. Select an app.
  3. On the left menu, select Release management > App releases.
  4. Next to the release type you want to create, select Manage. You can select between:
    • Production: When you create a production release, this version of your app is available to all users in the countries you've targeted.
    • Alpha: You should create an alpha release as your initial app test. Once you've tested with a smaller group of employees or trusted users, you can expand your test to a beta release.
    • Beta: You should create a beta release after you've created an alpha release. Your beta release can include a wider range of users for testing, before your app goes live in production.
  5. To create a new release, select Create release.

Note: For more information on alpha or beta releases, go to set up alpha/beta tests

Step 2: Prepare your app's release

  1. Follow the on-screen instructions to add APKs, describe what's new in this release, and name your release. For more information on any of these fields, select the matching section heading below.
  2. To save any changes you make to your release, select Save.
  3. When you've finished preparing your release, select Review.

Country distribution

For details on managing country availability across your app's production, alpha, and beta releases, go to distribute app releases to specific countries

Release details

Select a section heading below for more information.

APKs to add

Following the instructions above, you can add APKs directly to a release. Once you've uploaded an APK to a release, you'll see the details listed in the "APKs to add" section.

APKs to deactivate

In the "APKs to deactivate" section, you'll see the APKs from your previous release that will no longer be served to users.

To move an APK to the list of "APKs to retain," click Retain.

APKs to retain

In the "APKs to retain" section, you'll see the APKs from your previous release that will continue to be served to users. 

To move an APK to the list of "APKs to deactivate," click Deactivate.

Release name

The release name is only for use in the Play Console and won't be visible to users.

We'll auto-populate the field with the version name of the first APK added to the release.

To make your release easier to identify in the Play Console, add a release name that's meaningful to you, like the build version ("3.2.5-RC2") or an internal code name ("Banana").

What's new in this release?

Overview

Let your users know about recent updates you've made in this release of your app. Your "What's new" description shouldn't be used for promotional purposes or to solicit actions from your users.

Add release notes & manage translations

In the "What's new in this release?" section, add the description for your app's release between the relevant language tags. Language tags will be shown in the text box for each language your app supports.

To change your app's supported languages, you must first add translations on your Store Listing. When you return to the Prepare release page, the latest set of languages will be shown in the text box.

When entering text, make sure the language tags are on separate lines from the release notes. The format should match the following: 

<en-US>

The release notes description can take up multiple lines.

</en-US>

Copy from previous release

To copy release notes from a previous release, select Copy from previous release. On the next screen, selecting a release will copy the release notes and any translations into the text box for further editing. This will replace any existing release notes you may have entered.

Step 3: Review and rollout your release

Prerequisite: Before you can rollout your release, make sure you've completed your app's store listing, content rating, & pricing & distribution sections. When each section is complete, you'll see a green check mark next to it on the left menu.

Once you're ready to rollout your app:

  1. Go to your Play Console.
  2. Select an app.
  3. On the left menu, select Release management > App releases.
  4. Next to the release you want to rollout, select Edit release.
  5. Review your draft release and make any additional changes that are needed.
  6. Select Review. You'll be taken to the "Review and rollout release" screen, where you can make sure there aren't any issues with your release before rolling out to users.
  7. Review any warnings or errors.
  8. For production releases of published apps, select your rollout percentage.
    • If you're rolling out your first production release, you won't see the option to select a rollout percentage.  
  9. Select Confirm rollout.
    • If you're rolling out your app's first release, clicking Confirm rollout will also publish your app to all Google Play users in the countries you selected.

Step 4: Review release details

Once you've created a release, you'll see the following information for the latest app release you rolled out to alpha, beta, and production on your App releases page.

  • Release name: Name to identify release in the Play Console only, such as an internal code name or build version.
  • Rollout details: A timestamp indicating the last rollout event for each release.
  • Device support: A summary of your app's device compatibility, including supported, unsupported, and excluded devices. Device support is managed per app instead of per release or track.
  • APK details: A list of active version codes added in your current and previous releases.
  • Rollout history: A timeline that shows timestamps for when your app's release was halted, resumed, or served to a new percentage of users.
  • Release history: A list of all previous releases with version code details, rollout history, and release notes.

Tips

Draft releases

When you save a release in draft, you can separate the preparation of your release from the rollout. This can be helpful while you add or edit other parts of your app's information.

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