Welcome to Part 2 of our comprehensive guide on publishing your Android app using Bitrise! In Part 1 of this series (if you haven’t read it yet, you can find it here), we walked you through the process of generating a signed app binary using Bitrise, empowering you to automate and streamline your app’s build process. In this continuation, we will dive into the next crucial step: setting up Google Play and getting your app ready for publication. So, fasten your seatbelts as we explore the ins and outs of leveraging Bitrise to seamlessly upload and publish your Android app on the world’s largest app distribution platform. Let’s get started!

Setting up Google Cloud Platform

We need to set up a Google Cloud project and a Service Account for Bitrise to authenticate with Google Play to publish our app.

Google Cloud Project Setup

To begin, the first step is to create a new Google Cloud project. You can do this by visiting the Google Cloud console. Once you’re there, select the current project name in the top-left corner of the page and click on it to either select an existing project or create a new one.

Setup a Google Cloud Project

If you need to create a new project, click on New Project, simply enter a name for the new project, and click Create. Make sure the project name clearly reflects the purpose of your project.

Create a Google Cloud Project

By following these steps, you’ll establish the foundation for your work within Google Cloud.

Create a Service Account

Applications use Service Accounts to make authorized API calls by authenticating as either the service account itself, or as Google Workspace or Cloud Identity users through domain-wide delegation. When an application authenticates as a service account, it has access to all resources that the service account has permission to access.

To create a Service Account, start by visiting the Service Accounts page. Once on this page, click on Create Service Account.

Create a Google Service Account

Service Account Details

On the new Service Account Details page, provide a name and description for your Service Account to make it easily identifiable. After filling in these details, click Create and Continue.

Google Service Account Details

Service Account Role

Now, it’s time to select the role for your Service Account. In this case, choose the Browser role to ensure it has the appropriate permissions. After selecting the role, simply keep the third step as it is and click Done to complete the Service Account creation.

Google Service Account Role

Create a Private Key for the Service Account

After creating the Service Account, you will be redirected to the list of all Service Accounts. The next crucial step is to generate a private key for it.

Proceed by clicking on the three-dotted icon on the right side of your Service Account and selecting Manage Keys. On the keys page, click ADD KEY and then select Create new Key. Make sure to keep JSON as the selected type, and then click Create. Your browser will automatically download and save the key to your local machine. Be sure to keep this file safe because you’ll need it when configuring Bitrise settings.

Create Private Key for Google Service Account

Setting up Google Play Console

Initial Setup of Your Android App on the Google Play Store

If you already have an Android app set up on the Google Play Store, you may skip this step.

  • Create a Google Play Developer Account:
    • Sign in to your Google account.
    • Visit the Google Play Console website.
    • Agree to the terms and conditions and pay the one-time registration fee.
  • Create a New Application:
    • Click on “Create Application.”
    • Choose the default language and enter the title of your app.
    • Click “Create.”
  • App Listing Details:
    • Fill in the app’s basic information, such as the default language, app title, and a short description.
    • Upload a high-resolution app icon and feature graphic.
    • Add a comprehensive description, detailed screenshots, and promotional videos to showcase your app’s features.
  • App Content Rating:
    • Complete the content rating questionnaire, answering questions about the app’s content and audience.
    • The Google Play Store will assign an appropriate content rating based on your responses.
  • Pricing and Distribution:
    • Set the pricing model for your app (free or paid).
    • Choose the countries or regions where you want to make your app available.
  • App Releases:
    • Upload your AAB (Android Package) file. Ensure it’s signed with a Keystore for security.
    • Define release tracks (alpha, beta, production) and manage the rollout strategy.
    • Configure advanced settings like targeting specific devices and setting up advanced optimizations (such as app bundles for optimized APK delivery).
  • Optimize for Discoverability:
    • Add relevant keywords to improve searchability.
    • Choose a category and add relevant tags to your app listing.
  • App Review and Launch:
    • Review all the information and settings to ensure they are accurate.
    • If your app requires review by Google Play for compliance, wait for the review process to complete.
    • Once the review is successful (if applicable), click “Publish” to make your app live on the Google Play Store.

Connect Google Play to Service Account

Before Bitrise can start managing app releases, you need to set up API access to your Google Play Developer Account. Begin by going to the Google Play Console. This is the portal where you manage your Android app’s distribution and configurations.

Once you’re in the Google Play Console, locate and click on API Access in the left-side menu. This section is where you set up the necessary access for your Service Account to interact with your app’s information and data. Scroll down to Service Accounts section. Click on Manage Play Console Permissions button for your Service Account.

Connect Google Play to Service Account

In the Invite user window, you’ll find the Email address field pre-filled. Ensure you do not make any changes to it. Click the “Invite User” button located at the bottom-right of the window.

You have successfully prepared your Google Play Console project. A services credential account has been created which is authorized to manage your releases.

Setting up Bitrise Workflow

Managing Release Notes

Before we can publish a release to the Google Play Store, we need to provide Release Notes for the new update. Bitrise provides a utility step just for that.

Add Bitrise Release Notes Step

To begin, visit your Bitrise Dashboard and select the Android app you’re working on. Once in your app’s dashboard, click on “Edit workflow” to make changes to your Bitrise workflow. This is where you’ll integrate the release notes extraction step.

Now, add the Release notes extractor step to your workflow, placing it after the “Git Clone Repository” step. In the configuration of this step, you’ll need to specify the changelog file path. We will be using the default path and name i.e

Add Bitrise Release Notes Step

Add Change Log File to Project

Add the file to the root directory of your project. This is where you’ll store your changelog information.

Add Change Log File to Project

Additionally, it’s essential that the format of your file aligns with the standards outlined by KeepaChangeLog. You can refer to the provided demo file for detailed format guidelines.

# Changelog

## [1.2.0] - 2023-07-08
This represents your new app release version and date.

### Added
Write the newly added features here separated by newline.

### Changed
This heading is for changes in existing functionality.

### Deprecated
This heading is for soon-to-be removed features.

### Removed
Write removed features here.

### Fixed
Write any bug fixes here.

### Security
Any improved security measures in case of vulnerabilities i.e two-factor authentication etc.

Finally, push all the changes to Git Remote for Bitrise to read

Adding Service Account JSON

Within the workflow editor, please navigate to the Code Signing & Files tab enter an ID under GENERIC FILE STORAGE for the Service Account JSON file, and upload it using the button below.

Bitrise Adding Service Account JSON

Note the file URL (e.g. $BITRISEIO_ServiceAccountJSON_ID_URL) as it will be needed in the next steps.

Adding Google Play Deploy Step

The Step uploads your Android app to Google Play. It works with both APK and AAB files. Please note that to successfully use this Step, you must upload your first APK or AAB file manually, using Google’s web interface! Once you upload one APK or AAB of your app to Google Play manually, you can use Bitrise for all subsequent versions.

Start by navigating to the Workflows tab within Bitrise and add the Google Play Deploy step after the Android Sign step.

Bitrise Adding Google Play Deploy Step

Configuring Google Play Deploy Step

Within the Google Play Deploy step, you need to configure several variables. The first one is the Service Account JSON key file path. This variable should point to the JSON file you uploaded earlier e.g. BITRISEIO_ServiceAccountJSON_ID_URL. Next, provide the Package name of your app from build.gradle file. Set App file path to just $BITRISE_AAB_PATH. Lastly, the release Track will be production because we want to release the app for everyone.

Bitrise Configuring Google Play Deploy Step

Once all these configurations are in place, save the changes you’ve made to your Bitrise workflow. After saving, start a build to initiate the deployment process of your Android app to the Google Play Store using Bitrise.


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In conclusion, leveraging the power of Bitrise for Android app publishing significantly elevates the efficiency and reliability of your development workflow. By seamlessly integrating continuous integration and delivery processes, Bitrise automates the build, test, and deployment stages, allowing developers to focus more on innovation and less on repetitive tasks. Embrace Bitrise to unlock the true potential of streamlined app deployment and set your development journey on a path of success.

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About Waheed Abbas

Mobile Apps Developer skilled in Java, Kotlin, and Swift for Android and iOS platforms. Passionate about crafting innovative mobile solutions. Follow me on LinkedIn.