You may have developed what you believe to be a solid application for the Android platform. While the app may work well in your care, what about making it public? What are the steps necessary to do so? This tutorial will discuss an overview of what you need to do to get your Android app ready for publication so that other users can enjoy what it has to offer. You will not be shown the steps necessary to publish the app itself. Instead, this is a step-by-step guide of the prerequisites you should complete before taking the final step of submitting the app for publication on the Android Market.
The first step in preparing your app for publication once it is developed is to test it properly. This doesn't mean testing the app on one Android device and calling it a day. If possible, you should try to test your app on as many Android devices that you can get your hands on to ensure compatibility. Of course, there are other ways to test your app (we'll discuss these in a bit) that don't require a physical Android device, but they are not as useful. When you test your app on a physical device, you get to see how its user interface looks and interacts in a realistic setting. Besides its look, your app's performance can also be gauged and monitored, as can its effects on battery life. Make sure that when you test your app on a physical device that it's done under network conditions that are reasonable and not ideal.
As mentioned, there are other app testing avenues that you can try out in addition to testing on a physical Android device. There's the UI/Application Exerciser Monkey, which is a program that will run on your physical device or an emulator. It works by producing randomized event streams of actions such as user clicks, touches, gestures, etc. Another option is the Instrumentation testing class that can be used to run JUnit and a variety of other test cases.
Protect your app
Once your app is tested and good to go, it's time to move into some of the formalities associated with the publication process. The first thing you may want to consider is the addition of a End User License Agreement (EULA) Why? There are several reasons to include such an agreement, and it's in your best interest to do so if you want to ensure that you and your organization are protected. It's a litigious world, and you can never take too many precautions from outsiders who may become disgruntled with your product. It's also a good idea to include a EULA to protect your intellectual property. After all, you don't want your hard work to be stolen by others.
Another addition that deserves some consideration is that of the Android Market Licensing Service. This service's value comes from the fact that it allows you to control access to your applications in a secure manner. If enabled, the service will check the licensing status of an app's user. The status will then give you the ability to apply constraints to the use of the app. For instance, if the user has not yet paid for the app, you could restrict them to using it five times before having to make a purchase. You could also restrict the app's usage to a specific time period before it expires. Since you do not need to register or have a special account to use the licensing service, it's something you should definitely look into.