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February 06, 2023

How to use Google Play Console

The purpose of this article is to serve as an introductory guide to the Google Play Console platform by going over the services that make it up and the options it offers.

We will first review the timeline with the Google deadlines for apps in the Play Store to comply with the relevant rules.

We will then give you a detailed description of the services that make it up and the options it offers the various developers who may use this tool.

Finally, we will provide a series of tips and considerations for using the platform.

Tutorial timeline

In order to create a safer and more stable ecosystem, Google is constantly evolving its policies.

To stay up to date with the deadlines, it's best to subscribe to the Android Developers Newsletter, which we discuss in detail later.

The table below lists all the changes that had to be addressed over the past year, as well as those that will need to be considered in the near future.

tabla actualizaciones search controle

Introduction: what is Play Console?

Google Play Console is the link between developers and Google's user community. It is a platform for publishing applications and video games on the market, and for tracking their subsequent performance through the many services it offers.

All the applications published for the more than two billion active devices worldwide - which represents an incredible audience and a great opportunity to reach any corner of the planet instantly - go through the platform.

Google makes it possible to use closed testing tracks to avoid possible errors, and to track apps thanks to launch reports, dashboards with statistics, analysis of user and tester opinions and many other tools that are detailed in the sections below.

It is also a fantastic tool for growing businesses, since it can be used to create experiments in the Play Store listing, create application campaigns to encourage the installation of the app through the search feature on Google, Play Store or YouTube, and it provides real-time app purchase reports.

In short, it's a highly versatile and complete tool to make the most of your applications.

How much does a Google Play Console account cost?

To have an account in the Google Play console, you will need to pay the $25 or €21 registration fee, which is really affordable compared to the annual $99 for the individual account or the $299 for the business account on Apple's platform. This payment lets developers distribute and update all their apps or video games as needed.

By contrast, the support and the associated review periods will be slightly delayed compared to Apple's platform.

How to create a developer account in Google Play Console

How is an app published in Google Play? You first have to create a Google Play developer account. This requires logging in with your Google account and having two-factor authentication enabled.

There are two ways to create a developer account: for yourself or for an organisation or company. Depending on the option selected, you will have to provide certain information.

Personal account

In the case of a personal account, you have to provide the following information:

  • Developer name
  • Contact name
  • Contact email
  • Contact address
  • Contact phone number (international format)
  • Website

Organisation account

In the case of an organisation account, you have to provide the following information:

  • Developer name
  • Name of the organisation
  • Address of the organisation
  • Phone number of the organisation
  • Website of the organisation
  • Contact name
  • Contact email
  • Contact phone number (international format)

Once all fields are complete, you will need to read and accept the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement, as well as the Google Play Console Service Terms.

How to upload an app to Google Play Store

Next, we explain how to publish an application in Google Play Store.

Application listing
Before launching any app, the customer has to provide certain information that will be added to the app's listing: app name, short and long description, privacy URL, app screenshots, feature graphic, DEMO user, high-res app icon, default language, category, content classification, contact email address, and availability (countries or regions).

You can also optionally include a phone number, website, promotional graphic and a TV banner, if necessary.

The following fields, mentioned in the paragraph above, can also be configured in the various languages that the application may support: name, short and long description, new features, privacy policy, feature graphic and app screenshots.

All these details must be properly entered in the main Play Store listing and Store Settings sections in the Google Play Store Presence section.

Application distribution

The main service of Google's developer console is to distribute applications or their updates.

This deployment process can involve a set of internal testers (100 users at most) or the community of end users, and there is also the option to filter by device type.

The phased deployment is another feature of the distribution of applications. It is possible to schedule an upload to production for a specific percentage of users, which will be ramped up periodically until it gets to 100%. This allows developers to identify possible bugs and fix them for the entire user community.


In addition, before an application is distributed, developers can check which devices are compatible, as well as the number of users who have installed the app and an average rating per device, in order to explicitly exclude those terminals that have problems with the application.

Finally, each distribution will have a description of new features, which refers to the changes made to the last version and will be shown in the store listing.

To use this service, go to the side menu > Production > Create new version.

Google Play services

The Google Play console has several tools for distributing and managing Android apps and games.

Feedback from internal testing

As mentioned in the previous point, Google offers the option to subject the app to a series of internal tests before starting production, which should be done continuously to avoid possible problems and bugs in the apps.

All these tests will be done using internal, or closed, testing channels where the users involved can write comments that will not be visible to the community of end users. This is very useful for getting direct feedback on the features implemented in the beta version.

opinion google

Statistics dashboard

The statistics dashboard displays a wide range of metrics and relevant information on the applications distributed. It shows the number of installed and uninstalled apps along a timeline that lets developers see any significant peaks, the countries where their apps are being installed, their ratings and the failure rate.

dashboard search console

It is true that this panel is quite similar to that provided by Firebase, however, the number of metrics in the latter is higher, since it offers the option to set up and monitor customised events and many other features. Developers should therefore integrate the Firebase libraries in their apps to get the most from these statistics.

This service is available in the Statistics option on the side menu of the Google Console.

Android Vitals

The ASO (App Store Optimization) positioning is responsible for placing the applications in the top spots in online stores like Google Play. It does so not just by making sure that the app description or title matches what the user is looking for, but by taking into account the quality of the app to rank it in the search algorithms.

Android Vitals is an initiative that is intended to improve the stability and performance of Android devices by encouraging developers to improve their apps through their positioning in the marketplace. This tool seeks to group various metrics on the terminal, such as stability (ANR rate), the time it takes to launch the application or each of its screens, battery use or processing times (slow rendering and frozen screens), and it displays them on the Android Vitals dashboard.

Applications that use this service will be reviewed by Google on a regular basis, and if any of the metrics has been marked with an exclamation, this means that it is below the minimum threshold and may be penalised.

The Android Vitals dashboard is accessible in the Quality block on the side menu of the Console.

Device catalogue

The device catalogue is a service for consulting and managing the devices that are compatible with the application in question. It offers information on the list of terminals available for Google Play and checks how downloads or ratings vary by terminal. It also provides detailed information on the reasons why a device is not compatible with the app.

It is important to note that this service only shows the compatibility of an application with terminals on the market based on their characteristics, but it does not mean that the app has been tested on all the devices listed.

It also lets developers check the specifications of the devices so they can figure out how to support different terminals.

Finally, and in order to keep users from having a bad experience with an application, it gives the option to restrict installations on specific devices.

lista dispositivos

Reviews analysis

One of the most characteristic and important services in the Google Play console is the analysis of user reviews or comments. This is a section where developers can group comments on similar topics in order to analyse the problems that most affect users.

In addition, with the main goal of fixing problems faster and getting higher ratings for their app, it offers developers two great tools.

The first is the data crosscheck, which provides information on which specific versions cause the most errors in the community, and also offers the option of filtering comments by number of stars, language, version or keywords in the reviews.

This information will be accessible in the Ratings and reviews option on the side menu of the console.

administración de coments


This section of the Google Play Console lets developers manage everything related to the monetisation and finances of the application.

One of the alternatives to increase revenue is to sell products inside an app using Google Play Billing. This increases user retention, since those who make purchases in the app are more likely to remain customers.

There is also the subscription model, in which Google Play is responsible for payments, notifications and managing subscribers. To encourage customer purchases and retention, there are options like free trials, introductory prices, promotions, grace periods, etc. There is also a report generation section to monitor subscriber growth and analyse cancellations.

This service is accessed from the side menu > Monetisation.

Other considerations on the Google Developer Console There are other aspects worth noting when using the Google Developer Console, such as privacy policies, wait times to review and deploy apps, or tips to improve the user experience.

Privacy policies

Privacy policies refer to that legal document that describes how an organisation collects, processes and handles user data.

It is one of the most important aspects of Google Play's mobile apps, since they all have to comply with the applicable regulations. In fact, in 2017 over 700,000 apps were rejected and removed from the store because they were not in compliance, so developers need to be careful in this regard.

There are two key points to consider:

  • Creation of the document and inclusion in the Google console: As mentioned earlier, every application registered in Google Play must have its corresponding privacy policy.

If there isn't one, the developer can create it using online tools like Shopify or PrivacyPolicies.

Once created, it must be properly included in the console. To do this, go to the Policy > Content section of the application, located in the side menu, and search for the "Privacy policies" section.

politica privacidad google

Next, in the Privacy Policy option, enter the URL of the document created earlier.

poniendo url a política de seguridad

Once this URL is added to the app listing, it will be reviewed by Google to make sure that everything is correct.

It's also important to note that the URL must be operational at all times; if not, the app will be rejected.

  • Creation of acceptance screen: For a few months now, in addition to including the corresponding privacy policy within the console, Google has required an explicit acceptance screen for users in every app distributed. This screen must clearly show the purpose of the data collection.

All of this is listed in the current version of TermsFeed.


Android offers its community of developers various newsletters with the latest news and suggestions. You can subscribe to them at this link to get monthly updates on the latest Android products and updates, deadlines for complying with Google's rules, suggestions to succeed in Google Play, as well as relevant information on updates and new features on Google Play Games.

Wait times

Google requires developers to wait before new apps or updates are distributed, since all the changes have to be replicated on its servers.

Until recently, wait times were around 24 to 48 h; however, due to the situation involving Covid-19, the turnaround time is as long as one week.

Similarly, replies from the support team are also experiencing slight delays, taking up to 120 h, which is something to keep in mind to avoid possible problems.

It also highlights how important it is for the customer to be aware at all times of all the delays caused by Google in its app publishing and updating processes.


These are some of the most important tips when it comes to properly managing the Google Play console:

  • Rely on beta testers before the final distribution of any app to make sure it works correctly.
  • Routinely update your apps to gauge the impact of the new versions on the market.
  • Experiment when selecting different images or colours. This will help you select the option picked by the majority of users.
  • Respond to user comments on a regular basis as a way to provide additional support to the community.
  • Avoid having multiple internal channels open simultaneously, since this can cause problems with reviews of the corresponding updates.

Why should you be on Android?

According to the results of the IT Reseller and Statista reports, 86% of smartphones sold over the last two years are Android terminals.

grafico circular de cuota de mercado

Similarly, the number of app downloads is similar to what was shown in the previous figure, with Android reporting a total of 28.3 billion downloads in the third quarter of 2020, thus tripling its App Store competitor.

All these figures reveal the importance of Android apps and the Google Play Console today, hence the need to use it properly to exploit this tool to the fullest.

It's also essential to keep in mind each and every point in this document (especially the tips and considerations on privacy policies), since 55% of the total market was rejected for reasons related to policies and their use.

In conclusion, in addition to the distribution of apps offered by the Google Play console, it's important to take the time to correctly use the various tools mentioned in order to fully leverage their potential.

The statistics dashboard, Android Vitals, and reviews analysis of user and internal tester opinions will greatly help to optimise and improve the applications deployed.

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