If you prepare to launch a new product, you probably came across information that an application that is good in terms of technical and visual aspects does not guarantee success, and it is not enough to fit into the expectations of the target group and achieve all business objectives. An element that can significantly affect the app’s popularity is the ease and availability in the Google Play store.
Android App Bundles
An Android App Bundle is a package that contains the compiled code and services for a released product. App Bundles are collections of applications that are uniquely designed for the platforms on which they are installed. Resources of both resolutions were found in the old APK objects. The app’s scale was reduced as a result of this approach, while the final mobile interface only used the sources of its resolution. All applications submitted to Google Play must be App Bundle by the second half of 2021.
As a result, starting in the second half of 2021, there would be no need to create, sign, or maintain various APKs to customize them for different devices. Thus, users installing new mobile gadgets will have access to smaller and properly optimized files. Most Android App Bundle projects would not need much work from developers to create app packages that support customized APKs. The developer will create a signed Android App Bundle if the app code and resources are arranged according to the rules. This can be done with Android Studio or the command line, and then the application can be uploaded to Google Play.
An application that follows these guidelines will take up much less space, and the result will be an improvement in its performance, increasing audience satisfaction and willingness to use the app, which affects higher scores in Google Play.
A new image format for the Web – WebP
WebP is a type of graphic format introduced by Google. By using this format, it is possible to maintain the excellent quality during optimization. Unlike JPG and PNG, the WebP format supports both types of compression – it does not degrade the photo’s quality while reducing the file weight. So if we’re considering image uploads in the context of best optimization for Google Play, WebP features 25% to 35% smaller graphics while maintaining the optimal quality for the average viewer.
To get a WebP file from PNG and JPG format, you need to convert it using the “Convert to WebP” function in Android Studio. Although this format has not been on the market long enough, it is highly recommended for optimizing apps on Google Play. With the capabilities it offers, it may soon become the most popular and desired format.
Upload key of the application in Google Play
One of the steps of optimizing application delivery automation in Google Play is configuring the upload key. If Google Play signs an app, the device signing key is managed and secured by Google, and it is used to sign APK files for further delivery. This method works perfectly in case of any unwanted actions related to the key, such as passing it to unauthorized people or losing it. However, assigning the code under the app increases the security by putting the responsibility of owning the key in Google’s hands.
It is not necessary to use Google Play app signing. Instead of using a software pack, you can also install an APK file and handle the keys yourself. If you store such key yourselves, though, you risk not making any improvements to our app in Google Play if you lose it. The explanation for this is that the software must be signed with the same key any time it is used.
Shrinking, obfuscating, and optimizing
When creating an application, it is a good idea to focus on weight – the lighter the final product, the better. Systematic removal of unnecessary code and resources is the easiest way to achieve this criterion. To do this, run the “shrinking in your release build” option, and thanks to it, you will also apply obfuscation, shorten class and member names and perform optimization, characterized by a more drastic plan for shrinking the application ever further.
Remember to use the R8 compiler to perform compile-time code optimization tasks such as code shrinking, resource shrinking, obfuscation, and optimization while using the Android Gradle module 3.4.0 or any newer edition.
Shrinkage of the code
Thanks to this, you can find and eliminate redundant elements from your program and library, making code shrinking an indispensable method for avoiding the 64k reference cap. If the program only uses a few APIs, shrinking can detect the library code that isn’t being used and securely delete it, leaving only the objects used and needed.
It is compatible with code shrinking and eliminates redundant services from apps in the app’s library dependencies. Following the removal of unused code, all properties to which there are no longer connections can be securely deleted.
The obfuscation is used to make the names of groups and participants shorter. It aids in the reduction of the size of DEX files used to initialize and operate Android programs.
The process of optimization
Optimization aims to reduce the DEX files in the app further.
App’s specification in the Google Play
A few additional factors need to be taken care of for a successful launch of your app in Google Play. These are universal principles for any app, and following these tips carefully will result in better optimization.
Description of an app
The most prominent issue for an application in comparison to others is its name. It should be specific, catchy, and easy to use. When configuring a new product in Google Play, it is worth remembering that the title will be the first thing users will contact. You will also need to add a short and long description. Both descriptions should contain keywords, be concise and present your product in the best possible way.
A vital element of the application is also its graphic design. During the development process, an inseparable part is planning the entire design and visual identity. At this stage, a logo and any screenshots, which will be suitable to promote the application or present it in Google Play, are created.
Graphics should be adjusted to different resolutions and devices. Even though smartphones are the leading application carriers, it is worth remembering tablets, Android TV, Automotive, or Wear OS. Adjusting graphics for a given device should also depend on the purpose and category to which the application is assigned. Customizing an app dedicated to sports activities, measuring mainly user activity, will not be necessary for Android Automotive.
Tags and categories
When creating an app promotion plan, one of the elements you determine is the app’s category. The information determined at that stage you can use when creating tags and assigning a specific type in Google Play. The tags make it possible to search for the application when the user does not know the name of the product, so focus on providing relevant but not the most popular phrases.
Remember that taking much time to determine even such details is necessary so that the newly created application has a good reception right from the start. It is much better to add information when the product is expanded than to keep changing it.
Release train – a structured update process
In addition to the aspects mentioned above affecting the excellent reception of a new product by users, it is worth working on features that will significantly optimize the development process. One of them is a “release train process” characterized by detecting bugs before they reach the production stage. This, in turn, allows developers to react immediately and adequately, eliminating problems even before releasing the application.
The release train operates on the concept of a “fail-safe” mechanism, which minimizes output losses due to implementation errors. Application upgrades are eventually released in this scheme, up to a certain number of consumers. Detecting errors in the version with just 2% of users helps one to leave the arrangement with the specific mistake and hammer out a workaround without exposing all users to the flawed program thanks to such a system.
Best optimization tips for Google Play in 2021
A properly conducted Android app optimization process relies on the cooperation of both parties involved. Tech experts are responsible for successful development and testing, updating, and detecting any bugs, while the client’s role is to provide all the necessary information, give constant feedback, and execute the previously established plan. Optimization is a part of the whole process of launching a new product; however, it is worth spending enough time to ensure that the application achieves and produces the expected results.