Android/Kindle Fire - Building an App Step-by-Step

This article contains a list of steps you can follow to create a typical Android or Kindle Fire app. Typical Android/Kindle Fire apps can offer free or paid content as well as integration with subscriptions.

If you are creating a Single-Issue Android app, you must follow the instructions in the article "Android - Single-Issue Only: Building an App Step-by-Step." Single-Issue apps are unique, "one-off" apps that can only contain a single Mag+ Issue and cannot deliver new content. These types of apps use a special Google-only feature called APK Expansion files.

Before you begin

  • In order to create an Android app, you must have a valid Mag+ Publish account. Visit publish.magplus.com to sign up. You also must have filled out the appropriate information under the Admin tab associated with your brand.
  • You will also need a valid account for the Marketplace you will be using (Google Play or Amazon App Store) that you have set-up previously in order to fill out all fields required by the Mag+ Publish portal.
  • If using an analytics service, be sure to sign up for the service and get your unique key.
  • Make sure your Android/Kindle Fire app is properly configured to serve free or paid content to readers. For more information, consult the following articles:

Important Information

  • Mag+ does not support Kindle Fire 1st generation. When submitting a binary to Amazon, the 1st Generation checkbox must be unchecked.
  • Since Kindle-only builds are not supported in the Google Play Store, the checkbox "All non-Amazon Android devices based on my manifest" must also be unchecked when submitting a binary to Amazon.
  • For detailed information on creating an Android/Kindle Fire distribution channel, refer to the section "Setting Up Distribution Channels."

Building and Configuring a Typical Android/Kindle Fire App

1. Log in to the Mag+ Publish Portal at <http://publish.magplus.com> and click on your Brand.

Note: If you have only one Brand, you will immediately be presented with a tabbed interface with various options.

2. Click on the Apps tab.

3. Click on the Android tab in order to configure settings associated with Android (including Kindle Fire) devices.

4. (Optional) If you have special content like Banners and Featured Content to display in your app, you can set them via the appropriate link.

More Information

5. Click on the links under Market Settings to make sure the appropriate information is set.

Note: Google Play and Amazon Market Settings are configured when you set-up your Android/Kindle Fire Distribution Channel. For more information on creating an Android/Kindle Fire distribution channel, refer to the section "Setting Up Distribution Channels."

6. Click on Assets and Configuration > Upload Help MIB file.

Click on the "Browse" button to locate your Help MIB file.

Important Information

  • Use the radio buttons below "Browse" to specify the device the Help file is intended for
  • For tablets, regardless of market, Mag+ recommends the creation of an Android 800 x 1280 Help MIB
  • The Help MIB contains only one Vertical with information on how to navigate your app
  • If you update the Help MIB, a rebuild of your app is needed
Note: For more information on creating Help MIB files for Android, read the article "Android - Universal Apps: Help Issue MIB Files."

7. Click on Assets and Configuration > Build Settings.

Verify that your app build settings are complete and correct.

Important Information

The setting Options > In-app billing option must be set properly for the type of content you are delivering. The types are as follows:

  • Enable in-app billing: This should be set for apps providing in-app purchases (both for paid content subscriptions and free content subscriptions)
  • No in-app billing: This should only be set for apps that serve free content and without any subscription options.
  • Single issue: This should only be set for apps that will serve a single issue of embedded content.

8. (Optional) Click on Assets and Configuration > Analytics Configuration.

You are not required to include any analytics tools with your app. If you do, you will need to provide a unique key for your chosen analytics service in order for it to function properly.

For more information, read the article "Reference - Mag+ Analytics 101."

Analytics Options

9. Press the "Build" button to build your app.

Important Information

As you finish each section of the Market Settings and Assets and Configuration screens, a status message will tell you if the section is complete or incomplete.

Note: You can only generate a build when all required sections are labeled "Complete".

When each section is listed as complete, you may build your app by pressing the "Generate New Build", 'Build for Google Play' or 'Build for Amazon' buttons (the various buttons will become enabled based on your settings).

When you press a build button, the Mag+ Publishing portal will begin creating your app on the Mag+ servers. Note that the page will not refresh automatically. You may refresh the Build page every few minutes to check if it is complete, but you will also receive an email to the designated administrator email address when the build is done.

Note: The Build History area of the page will indicate whether a build was created successfully or if there were any errors.

Once finished, the Build History area of the screen will show you a filename of the successfully created app (an .apk file) that you may click to download.

This .apk file is what you upload to your particular market or send to your device for testing.

Note: If you get a single, generic "Generate new build" button, you may submit the resulting .apk file to either Google Play or the Amazon App Store.

For more information on delivering your app to the Google Play or Amazon App Store, refer to the articles in the section "Delivering Your App."

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