4. May 2023
Open the Google Play Console
Click "Create app"
Enter a name for your app.
Select the main language of your website as default language.
Pick "App" unless your website is a game.
Decide whether downloading your app should be free or cost money.
Click the checkboxes to agree to the developer program and Play App Signing policies as well as the US export laws.
More information on export compliance
Click "Create app" at the bottom right.
Scroll down a bit to the setup section and click 'View tasks'. Make sure you are looking at the setup section and not one of the testing or release sections.
Now go through each task one by one. Here are some tips and explanations for each task:
Always be as detailed as possible! This greatly increases the chances of your app getting approved.
- App Access
If parts of your app can't be used without logging into a user account, please provide a test account to the app reviewers. If you configured your app to be password protected, you will also need to give them the password. You can change these passwords after the app has been reviewed.
- We don't add any ads to your app, however if your website displays ads, those will be shown in the app too. So if your website shows ads, pick 'Yes, my app contains ads'
- Content Rating
- You will have to fill a questionnaire asking you about the contents of your app. Always answer truthfully to avoid issues later on.
If you can't click the "Next" button, you might need to click the "Save" button first.
- Target Audience
- Pick the age of your typical user. This is independent from the content rating: For example if your app is for your website about plumbing, pick '18 and over' because that's probably your usual customer's age. Your content rating might still be 'Suitable for all ages' as your app doesn't contain any content that is harmful for children.
- If your target audience is younger, you might have to fill in additional information.
- News App
- The policy on this is not very clear, but from my understanding this applies mostly to general news apps/websites. Blogs about a certain topic probably aren't considered a 'News app'.
- If your app is a news app, make sure you follow the guidelines and provide the necessary information:
News App Policy
- COVID 19 apps
- Select whether your app is related to COVID 19. If it is, you might have to provide further information and prove that you have the necessary permissions by local authorities.
- Data safety
- Does your app collect or share any of the required user data types?
- Is all of the user data collected by your app encrypted in transit?
Select how users can log in on your website/app. Logging in with an e-mail can also be considered a username.
Add a link to your website where users can delete their account. The account deletion doesn't have to be automatic, a form to request account deletion (and you manually deleting the data) is fine too.
- Select all the data types your website collects or shares with other services (e.g. payment providers). Data from these sections is the most common:
- Personal info
- Financial info (if users can pay for things on your website)
- Photos and videos (if users can upload photos or videos to your website)
- App activity (if you use analytics software on your website, you should tick "Page views and taps in app")
- App info and performance (ALWAYS tick "Crash logs", as we collect those. Your website analytics software might also collect performance data in which case you'd have to tick "Diagnostics")
- Next, you'll have to go through every type of data you collected and provide more information on it.
- Does the data get collected? You will always need to tick this checkbox.
Does the data get shared? Only tick this if the data is shared with a third party. You also don't need to tick this box if any of the following conditions apply:
These exemptions should usually apply to the financial data your users enter when they use a payment service like PayPal to purchase something from your site.
- you're sharing the data with a service provider that just processes the data for you.
- the data sharing is initiated by the user.
- it is very clear to the user that they are sharing the data with a third party.
- the data has been fully anonymized, which is often the case with analytics data.
- Is this data processed ephemerally? You can click "Yes" if you just use the data for something once and don't store it. If you store the data for longer, click "No".
- Is the collection of this type of data required or can the app also be used without it? Keep your cookie popups in mind - these usually allow the user to use the app/website without analytics data being collected.
- Lastly select what the data is used for.
- For crash logs, select only "collected" (the data doesn't count as being "shared" as it's anonymized). Select that the crash data is not processed ephemerally (only while it's in memory). Unless your app uses the "Just Website" layout, select that it's optional as crash reporting can be disabled in the app settings. Select "Analytics" as the reason for data collection.
- Government apps
- Select whether your app/website is developed by or for a government.
- App Category & Contact Details
- Select whichever category fits your app/website best.
- Also add a contact e-mail address. This e-mail will be public.
- App Store Listing
- Describe your app in detail. Usually it's better not to just copy a text from your website but instead take a look at other popular app's descriptions on the Play Store and write your own then.
Upload the needed graphics for your app.
- Make sure you follow the Google Play Developer Guidelines. These are some common mistakes:
- DO NOT include any mention of Covid-19 in your app description. Your app will be immediately rejected unless you provide a governmental approval. This is Google's approach to combat misinformation on the topic but sadly it also mistakingly affects a lot of apps that aren't even about the topic.
- Don't call or describe your app as the 'best app for ...' or 'ultimate ... app', as Google considers that to be deceptive.
If there's no task for it on the main page, click "App content" at the bottom of the side menu and then start the questionnaire for the advertising ID.
Select "No" in the questionnaire, because the app does not use the advertising ID.
Select "No" even if there are ads on your website. They don't need the Android advertising ID and they can't access it anyways. If you answer "Yes" here, you will get an error later.