Android - Single-Issue Only: Testing Your App Before Distribution

This article contains a list of steps you can follow to test a Single-Issue Android app. Single-Issue apps are unique, "one-off" apps that contain a single Mag+ Issue and cannot deliver new content. Single-Issue Android apps distributed through Google Play are created differently than typical Android/Kindle Fire apps because they must use Google Play's APK Expansion File feature for attaching content. To learn more about Google Play's APK Expansion files, read the Android developer documentation entitled "APK Expansion Files."

To test typical Android/Kindle Fire apps that can feature continuously updated paid and free content, along with integrations with subscriptions, read the article "Android/Kindle Fire - Testing Your App Before Distribution."

Before You Begin

How to Test a Single-Issue Android App

1. Login to the Google Play Developer Console <https://play.google.com/apps/publish/> and click on the app you want to test.

2. Click on the APK tab to show APK settings and then click on the Beta Testing tab.

3. Click on the "Upload new APK to Beta" button and choose the ".apk" file you downloaded from the Mag+ Publish portal.

For more information on Mag+ Issues in Android Single-Issue apps, please read the article "Android - Managing Issues for Single-Issue Android Apps."

4. Once it has uploaded, you will see a confirmation screen similar to the one below.

5. Click on the "Use Expansion File" drop-down menu and select "Upload a New File."

Important notes

  • Sometimes you must upload your APK twice before the option to add an expansion file appears. This is a known bug in Google Play.
  • The Google Play Expansion Files documentation states that you should not have to re-upload the expansion file when updating the APK. For Mag+ apps, this is not the case. You must upload your expansion file again if you update the single-issue APK.

6. In the dialog that appears, select the MIB you exported from the Mag+ Production Tool which will be embedded in your app.

Note: For more information on creating a Mag+ Issue Bundle (MIB) using the Mag+ Production Tool, refer to the section "Assembling Your Issue."

7. Once uploaded, it will appear within the tab.

8. Click on the "Pricing & Distribution" tab and make sure "Content Guidelines" and "US Export Laws" checkboxes are checked.

9. Click on the "APK" tab and click on the "Publish App" button.

10. The status will change to "Updates Pending."

Note: The status can remain in Update Pending for up to 10 hours before the apk becomes available in Beta Testing.

11. Click on the "Manage List of Testers" link to add your testing Google Group.

Note: You must have set-up a Google Group of testers in order to add them to your app. Information on creating a Google Group can be found by reading Google's documentation. Members of that group must also be invited to be members of your Google Play account. For more information, refer to the bottom of this article in the section called "Inviting Testers to Your Google Play Account."

12. Enter the email address of your testing Google Group and then click the "Add" button.

13. Once your app is done processing, a link will appear in the "Manage Beta Testers" screen  that you can copy and send to your Google Group testers.

14. Testers that click on the link will be directed to a page where they must confirm to become a tester. They should click on the "Become a Tester" button.

15. They can then click on the "download it from the Google Play Store" link.

16. In the screen that appears, they can then click on "Install" to install it to their device.

17. When testing is complete, go back to the Google Play Developer Console, click on your app and go to APK > Beta Testing and click on the "Promote to Prod" link.

Important Information

Note: When submitting your app to Google Play there is now a review process. Your Android app should be reviewed within a few hours and then appear in the Google Play store within 24 hours, provided there are no problems discovered.

Inviting Testers to Your Google Play Developer Account

In order to test Single-Issue apps before they are published, you must invite your testers to have access to your Google Play account. This allows them to download test versions of your app.

1. Log-in to the Google Play Developer Console and go to Settings > User Accounts & Rights.

2. Click on the "Invite New User" button.

3. In the window that appears, enter an email address, set the user's privileges, and then click on "Send Invitation."

Note: Users who are only beta testers of your app can be set to a role of "Read Only."

4. The user will receive an email asking them to accept the invitation. Be sure that they accept the invitation.

5. Once they accept, they will be able to access your Google Play Developer account when they receive an invitation for beta testing.

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