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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 Google Play Developer Console.
  2. Select an app.
  3. On the left menu, select Manage Releases.
  4. Next to the release type you want to create, select Manage.
  5. To create a new release, select Create release.

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.

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 Developer 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 Developer 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?


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. 

Manage translations

Text in the "What’s new" section will automatically be translated on Google Play.

If you want to add your own translation, you must first add translations on your Store Listing. Then, you can choose the language from the dropdown and add the translation.

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 Google Play Developer Console.
  2. Select an app.
  3. On the left menu, select Manage Releases.
  4. Next to the release you want to rollout, select Resume.
  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 Manage Releases page.

  • Release name: Name to identify release in the Play Developer 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.


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.

If you have a release saved in draft on the Manage Releases page, you won't be able to edit the release on your app's APK page. To make any additional updates, go back to Manage Releases.

Can I still use the APK page?

For the next few weeks, you'll still be able to upload apps as APKs to production, alpha, and beta from your Developer Console's APK page. After that, the APK page will be removed and you'll need to use Manage Releases instead. 

We'll let you know when the APK page will be removed within the announcement section of your Developer Console.

  1. Sign in to your Google Play Developer Console.
  2. In the top right corner of any page, select the bell icon Announcement.

Published: 2/16/2017

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