Publishing an App in the Android Market

The first version of my Android experimental cell logger app is ready so it's time to publish it. I've put the source under the GNU public license so feel free to experiment with it. As you are reading this post the easiest way to get the app and the source is as follows:

  • For convenience you can pick it up in the Android market. Just search for "cell logger" and you'll find the app with my name as publisher. Or, just click here.
  • The bundled .apk file for installation. If you've come here with your Android device, click on the link and it will install right onto your device. If you've never downloaded an app outside the Android market you'll get an error message saying you have to allow installation of apps from unknown sources. Once done the app will install.
  • And here's the source code. It's the full Eclipse development folder so you'll find everything inside to compile and run it from there.

So what does it take to publish an app on the market and how difficult it is? You can find the detailed version from a programming perspective here. In essence pretty much everything for publication is already done when you compile the app into an ".apk" file and use a real set of self generated signature keys. These are a precondition anyway if the app runs on anything but the Android simulator. So this step was already done as well. In addition, the market requires two screen shots and a 512×512 pixel logo. I decided to generate the logo out of one of the screenshots by cropping and resizing. It's a research project so I decided that this will do for the moment.

From an administration point of view first thing that is required to publish the app in the market is a Google account. I decided to create a new one and it just takes a couple of minutes. Once done, the next step is to create an Android market account via the publisher page of the Android market web site. Access to the market as a publisher costs $25 and probably keeps out those who just want to look. Also, you need to share credit card details and for the general Google account a mobile phone number has to be given that is verified via an SMS. And finally an email address has to be given that is also verified. In other words, everyone who publishes something in the market can be identified unless someone really goes the extra mile and uses an unregisted throw away SIM card, stolen credit card credentials and an anonymous email account.

Once the registration is done, the app is published in a few minutes. The ".apk" file has to be uploaded, a description should be entered, the 512 pixel logo and two screen shots must be added and that's it. Very simple and straight forward.