Distribute your instant experience

Once you've built an app that supports an instant experience, you can use the Play Console to distribute your app to users.

Tip: If you use the Android App Bundle to build your app, you only need to build, sign, and upload a single artifact once to support your app’s installed version and instant experience.

Step 1: Create a release

To start your release:

  1. Sign in to your Play Console.
  2. Select an app.
  3. On the left menu, select Release management > Android Instant Apps. You'll see three track types:
    • Internal test: Use the internal test track for quick deployment of your instant experience during development. Before you can publish your instant experience, you must upload an APK of your installed app on the App releases page.
    • Alpha: Use the alpha track to send out a release candidate to testers. Before you can publish your instant experience, your installable app must be published to the internal test, alpha, beta, or production track on the App releases page.
    • Production: Use the production track for the public release of your app, including any instant experience. Before you can publish instant experiences, your installable app must be published and have a production APK on the App releases page.
  4. Next to the release type you want to create, select Manage. For more information about setting up each track type, select the relevant section below.
    • Note: If you’re using an instant-enabled app bundle, or if you’ve already uploaded an installable bundle, you can select Add from library to upload a bundle containing an instant experience to your release track.
  5. Save your changes.
  6. Select Create release.

Track Details

Internal test and alpha
Create testers list

To distribute your instant experience to the internal test or alpha track, begin by creating your list of testers.

  1. Sign in to your Play Console.
  2. On the left menu, select Settings Settings > Manage testers > Create list.
  3. Type a name to identify your list of testers.
  4. Add email addresses separated by commas or click Upload CSV. If you use a .CSV file, put each email address on its own line without any commas. If you upload a .CSV file, it will overwrite any email addresses you've added.
  5. Click Create list.

Add Testers list

Tester configurations apply to the corresponding installed and instant app track. For example, when you add a tester list to the alpha track for your installed app, the same list applies to the alpha track for your instant experience. 

  1. Sign in to your Play Console.
  2. Select an app.
  3. On the left menu, select Release management > Android Instant Apps.
  4. Next to the internal test or alpha track, select Manage.
  5. Next to "Test method," select Closed test using testers lists.
  6. Select the name of your list.
  7. Copy the "Opt-in URL" to share with your testers.
  8. Save your changes.

Share your opt-in URL with users

After you create a test, you'll get a URL link to your instant experience to share with your testers. After clicking the opt-in link, your testers will get an explanation of what it means to be a tester and a link to opt-in.

A user can only test one instant experience release track at a time. This means if a user is trying your app's internal test release and then opts in to test the alpha release, they will automatically be removed from the internal test release.

Production

When you're creating a production release, you can change the countries where your instant experience is available. By default, the selected countries will match where you offer your installed app.

To change your app's country distribution, look for the "Instant app release countries" header and select the down arrow Drop-down arrow.

Step 2: Prepare your instant experience's release

  1. Follow the on-screen instructions to add your instant experience APKs and name your release. 
    • 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 in your manifest.
    • 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").
  2. To save any changes you make to your release, select Save.
  3. When you've finished preparing your release, select Review.

Step 3: Review and roll out your release

Prerequisite: Before you can roll out 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. 

If you've filled out these sections for the installed version of your app, the same information will apply for your instant experience. Keep in mind, instant experience availability is defined by your instant experience manifest and not by your app's device exclusions

Once you're ready to roll out your instant experience:

  1. Go to your Play Console.
  2. Select an app.
  3. On the left menu, select Release management > Android Instant Apps.
  4. Next to the release you want to roll out, 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 roll out" 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. Select Start rollout.

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 the internal test, alpha, or production track on your Android Instant Apps 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.
  • 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 or resumed.
  • Release history: A list of all previous releases with version code details, rollout history, and release notes.

Direct users to the mobile web

A percentage of users

If you're interested in testing the performance between mobile web and your instant experience, you can direct a percentage of traffic to mobile web. This is known as mobile holdback.

To set up mobile holdback:

  1. Sign in to your Play Console.
  2. Select an app.
  3. On the left menu, select Release management > Android Instant Apps.
  4. Next to the production track, select Manage.
  5. Next to "Settings," select the down arrow Drop-down arrow.
  6. Next to "Mobile holdback," select Edit
  7. Enter the amount of traffic you want to direct to mobile web. For example, if you enter 0.95, 95% of instant experience-eligible traffic will be sent to mobile web. The remaining 5% will be sent to your instant experience.
All users

If you've found an issue with your instant app and want to redirect all of your users (across all tracks) to the mobile web:

  1. Sign in to your Play Console.
  2. Select an app.
  3. On the left menu, select Release management > Android Instant Apps.
  4. Select Stop serving > Confirm.

Fix an error

If you're receiving an error about split APKs, go to the Android Developers site for more information.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?