Build awareness for your apps with pre-registration

With pre-registration, you can build excitement and awareness for your apps and games in countries that you select before you publish them on Google Play.

After you make an app or game available for pre-registration, users can visit your store listing to learn about and pre-register for your new app or game. Then, when you publish your app or game later, all pre-registered users will receive a push notification from Google Play to install it. Eligible devices will also have the app or game auto installed on the day it launches.

Note: Users who already have a test version of your app installed won’t receive a push notification.

Step 1: Prepare for pre-registration

Before you start setting up a pre-registration campaign in the Play Console, read through the pre-registration requirements and guidelines and our recommended pre-registration preparation activities.

Requirements and guidelines

Before you turn pre-registration on, here are a few things to consider preparing in advance:

  • We strongly recommend rolling out a release to a test track and testing your app before starting pre-registration. Pre-registration campaigns can only last 90 days, after which you need to launch your app to production.
  • You won’t be able to use pre-registration until you provide some information about your app’s content, which helps us to ensure that your app is safe for its intended users, is compliant with Google Play policies and satisfies legal requirements. Learn what information you need to provide to prepare your app for review.
  • After you make an app or game available for pre-registration in a country, you need to launch it in production there within 90 days.
  • You can make up to two apps or games available for pre-registration at a time.
  • We recommend setting up your pre-registration campaign when  your app’s declarations and configurations are as close to your intended production version as possible. This makes your app eligible for autoinstall and also ensures that users who pre-register will receive a launch notification.
Advance actions to prepare for pre-registration

Create a complete store listing

Before starting your pre-registration campaign, make sure you’ve created a comprehensive store listing that includes graphic assets and has been translated into other languages. This can increase the likelihood that pre-registered users will install your app or game.

Make your app eligible for auto install

If you choose to make your app eligible for auto install, Play can deliver your app to users’ devices automatically on launch day (if they’ve opted in). 

There’s a couple of things you need to do to make your app eligible for auto install:

  • Declare whether or not your app contains ads.
  • If your app or game offers in-app products, ensure that the current version of your app bundle or APK on your pre-registration track includes  <uses-permission android:name="com.android.vending.BILLING" /> in the app manifest.
    • Note: Users’ ability to use the auto install feature depends on certain conditions.

Important: Auto install’s availability and functionality is subject to the following conditions:

  • The user can only use auto install if they:
    • have an Android M+ device, and
    • are using Google Play Store version 19.2+.
  • Google accounts belonging to children under 13 and managed enterprise accounts aren't eligible to auto install apps.
  • Apps over 150MB will only be downloaded and installed using WiFi, regardless of the user’s install settings.
  • Devices will only proceed to auto install an app if the device has sufficient battery. 
  • Ineligible devices will still receive the standard pre-registration launch notification, and Google Play will reattempt to auto install the app when the device meets the required conditions.

Prepare to drive traffic to your listing

We recommend preparing to drive traffic to your pre-registration listing in advance across your promotional channels using deep links on third party websites, social media, press articles, email newsletters, etc.

  • Tip: After you turn pre-registration on, your pre-registration listing URL will be: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=package name of your app or game
  • Example: If your app’s package name is your.new.app, your pre-registration listing URL would be: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=your.new.app

Use Google Play's official pre-registration badge

Use Google Play's official pre-registration badge to promote your campaign on external websites. This can help to drive pre-registrations ahead of your app launch.

Step 2: Specify pre-registration devices

You can upload app bundles or APKs to specify the devices that users can use to pre-register for your app. The Play Console uses your app's manifest to know which devices to support for pre-registration. 

Notes: 

  • Any app bundles and APKs you upload on your pre-registration track are only used to specify your supported devices, and won’t be released to users. 
  • If your app contains in-app products, make sure at least one of the app bundles or APKs you upload includes the Google Play Billing Library.
Specify devices that users can pre-register for your app on

To upload an app bundle or APK that specifies devices for pre-registration:

  1. Open the Play Console.
  2. Select an app or game.
  3. On the left menu, select Release > Launch > Pre-registration.
  4. Select the Supported devices tab.
  5. Drag and drop your Android App Bundles (.aab) or APKs into the box to upload, or select Upload.
  6. Select Save.

Step 3: Add countries that users can pre-register in

You can choose what countries and regions you want pre-registration for your app to be available in. 

Note: These are the countries or regions where the user is registered on Google Play, not their physical location.

Add countries/regions for pre-registration

To make your app or game available for pre-registration, you must select the countries where you want users to be able to pre-register. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Play Console.
  2. Select an app or game.
  3. On the left menu, select Release > Launch > Pre-registration.
  4. Select the Countries / regions tab.
  5. Select Add countries / regions.
  6. Select countries/regions where you want to make your app available for pre-registration.
  7. Select Add countries / regions.

Note: You can also add countries after your pre-registration campaign starts. The 90-day window for a country starts when you make pre-registration available in that country for the first time.

 

Step 4: Offer users pre-registration rewards (optional)

With pre-registration rewards, you can give users a managed product for free after they pre-register for your app or game. Pre-registration rewards work similarly to promotions. However, instead of typing a promo code to receive a free item, users receive an item after selecting the Pre-registration button on an app’s store listing.

Important things to know about pre-registration rewards

Before you start setting up pre-registration rewards, here are a few important things to know:

  • You can create one pre-registration reward for the lifetime of an app or game’s pre-registration campaign. 
  • After you create a pre-registration reward, it can’t be edited or deleted.
  • You can turn rewards on or off, but not while your pre-registration campaign is active.
  • You can only offer active in-app products, not subscriptions or inactive in-app products, as pre-registration rewards.
  • You need to set up a pre-registration reward before starting your app’s pre-registration campaign.
  • Your app needs to have in-app products and be able to implement the flow of consuming the reward, similar tto supporting promotions (see technical requirements for details).
  • Instead of reusing an existing managed product, you must create a managed product that you specifically use for pre-registration rewards.

Failure to deliver pre-registration rewards to users may result in suspension of your app from the Play Store.

Technical implementation requirements
  • You need to create a managed in-app product SKU (example: in-app item, special character, currency pack) that Google Play can deliver to users who pre-register.
  • Before you start your pre-registration campaign, your managed product used for pre-registration rewards needs to be active.
  • Similar to using promotions, your app must be technically able to handle when developerPayload and orderId aren’t present.
  • You need to notify users when they’ve received a reward within a reasonable amount of time using in-game messaging.
    • Note: You can complete the technical work required to message users in between launching a pre-registration campaign and your app’s full launch.
Create and set up a pre-registration reward

Before turning on pre-registration in any country where you want to use pre-registration rewards, make sure to set up the pre-registration reward first to help ensure that pre-registered users receive their reward.

  1. Open the Play Console.
  2. Select an app.
  3. On the left menu, select Release > Launch > Pre-registration.
  4. Select the Rewards tab.
  5. Choose whether or not you want to give users a pre-registration reward:
    • Do not give users a pre-registration reward: If you choose this option, you just need to save your changes before going to Step 5: Start pre-registration.
    • Give users a pre-registration reward: If you choose this option, continue with the steps below.
  6. Review and agree to the Pre-registration reward Terms of Service.
  7. At this point, if you haven’t created an in-app product before, you’ll see a message prompting you to create one. Instead of using an existing managed product, you must create a managed product that you specifically use for pre-registration rewards. Enter the following information in the “Create pre-registration reward” section:
    • Product: Select your product from the dropdown.
    • Reward badge (optional): This badge will be shown on your store listing next to the pre-registration reward.
    • Terms and Conditions URLs: Provide a link to your Terms and Conditions that users must accept before they can receive the reward. You can provide additional links for different countries/regions.
  8. Select Save and then Create to confirm you want to turn on the pre-registration reward.
    • Reminder: Users will see the reward on your store listing. You can’t change or remove the reward while your pre-registration campaign is active.
Remove your pre-registration reward

You can’t change the pre-registration reward while you have an active pre-registration campaign, but you can if your campaign hasn’t started yet, or there are no countries or regions with active pre-registration campaigns. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Play Console.
  2. Select the app or game that you want to turn off the pre-registration reward for.
  3. On the left menu, select Release > Launch > Pre-registration.
  4. Select the Rewards tab.
  5. Select Do not give users a pre-registration reward.
  6. Select Save and then Remove to confirm that you want to turn off the pre-registration reward. 
    • Reminder: Users won’t see this reward on your store listing. You can’t create a new reward while your pre-registration campaign is active.
Test pre-registration reward delivery before your app launches

Because pre-registration rewards are similar to promotions, you can test them using the same methods. To test delivery of a pre-registration reward, generate and redeem a promo code on your Play Console for the managed product you’re using as a reward.

Step 5: Start pre-registration

After you’ve specified the supported devices, chosen the countries you want your campaign to run in, and decided whether or not to offer a pre-registration reward, you’re ready to start pre-registration.

After you turn pre-registration on, make sure to promote your campaign using your app or game’s pre-registration listing URL across your promotional channels. Common channels you can use include using deep links on third party websites, social media, press articles, and email newsletters.

Start your pre-registration campaign
  1. Open the Play Console.
  2. Select the app or game that you want to turn off the pre-registration reward for.
  3. On the left menu, select Release > Launch > Pre-registration.
  4. Select Start pre-registration.

If this is your first time starting a pre-registration campaign, the “Track summary” section on the Pre-registration page – which to this point was empty – will populate with your pre-registration release information.

Pre-registration management

When your pre-registration campaign is up and running, there are a range of management activities that you may find helpful, like viewing statistics, checking how much time is left in different countries or regions, and running tests. You may find these helpful as you build up to your app or game’s launch.

View pre-registration key performance metrics

To view key performance metrics both during and after your pre-registration campaign:

  1. Open the Play Console.
  2. Select the app or game that you made available for pre-registration.
  3. On the left menu, select Statistics.
  4. Configure a report using two of the available pre-registration metrics:
    • Pre-registered users: The number of users who have pre-registered for your app
    • Conversions: The number of pre-registered users who installed your app within 14 days after release
  5. After choosing the metrics you want to view, save your report.

You can also view summary statistics for pre-registration by selecting an app and viewing release details on the Releases overview page, or in the “Track summary” section of the Pre-registration page.

View pre-registration summary statistics

After you’ve started using pre-registration, you should keep track of how much time your campaign has left in each country or region where you've made pre-registration available. If you haven't launched within 90 days in any of these countries, your pre-registration campaign will be terminated in all countries and new pre-registration campaigns can't be started.

Here’s how to view pre-registration summary statistics, and keep track of how much time your campaign has left in each country and the status of each country:

  1. Open the Play Console.
  2. Select an app or game that you made available for pre-registration.
  3. On the left menu, select Release > Launch > Pre-registration.
  4. Find your pre-registration release in the “Track summary” section and review the information, which will include:
    • Pre-registration status: 
      • Draft or In review: The country / region has been enabled and is in review
      • Active: Pre-registration is running and your app must be launched to production by the date specified (90-day limit)
      • Expired: Pre-registration has exceeded the 90-day limit and your app must be launched immediately
      • In production: Pre-registration has launched to production, or the app has launched to production in this country without pre-registration running there first
      • Inactive: Pre-registration has been paused (the 90-day limit still applies)
      • Not started: Pre-registration has not yet been started
    • The number of sign-ups
    • The number of supported devices
    • The number of countries / regions you added
Launch your app or game from pre-registration

When you’re ready to launch your game or app and end the pre-registration campaign, here’s how to select the countries where you want your app or game to be available. After you publish your app or game on production, users who have pre-registered will receive a Play Store notification letting them know the app or game is available for download, and eligible devices will have the app or game auto-installed.

  1. Sign in to your Play Console.
  2. Select the app or game that you want to launch.
  3. On the left menu, select Release > Launch > Production.
  4. Select the Countries / regions tab.
  5. Select Add countries / regions.
  6. Select countries/regions where you want to make your app available.
  7. Select Add countries / regions

Important: To make your app available on Google Play in the countries you select, make sure to publish your app or game on the production track.

Testing during pre-registration

You can use pre-registration at the same time as other pre-launch features on the Play Console, including pre-launch tests. Here are some important things to know about using pre-registration and running tests at the same time:

  • You can run a pre-registration campaign in countries that you select and simultaneously run pre-launch tests in others.
  • If you’re running an open or closed test in a country where you now want to make your app or game available for pre-registration, you can still switch to pre-registration. After you switch to pre-registration in that country:
    • Users who have already joined your test will continue to receive updates released on their respective testing track. Other users will see a Pre-register button instead of an Install button on your store listing.
    • Note: If you turn pre-registration on in a country where you were running an open test, users in that country will no longer be able to opt in to your test through your store listing, but they can still join via the “Opt in” URL available in the Play Console.
      • To get the opt-in URL for your test, sign in to your Play Console, and then visit Release > Test > Closed testing or Open testing and select the Testers tab.
      • Your test opt-in URL will be: https://play.google.com/store/apps/testing/package name of your app or game
      • Example: If your app’s package name is your.new.app, your test opt-in URL would be: https://play.google.com/store/apps/testing/your.new.app
    • Users who have already joined your tests will not be able to pre-register until they uninstall and opt out of the testing program for your app.
    • If you’ve already turned pre-registration on in a country where you later decide that you want to run an open or closed test, it’s important to know that when you release the test in that market, users that are eligible and opted-in for testing will receive the pre-registration notification asking them to install. They will not receive a subsequent notification after you launch your app or game in production. For closed tests, the users that you've invited and have opted-in to testing will receive a notification.
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