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Dominik Roszkowski
Dominik Roszkowski

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Planning to release new mobile app? Here are some hints before you click PUBLISH.

Here are some of my thoughts after publishing few apps both to AppStore and Google Play over several last months. If you're at the beginning of your developer journey, then it's the guide for you.

The list is taken and redacted from my tweet.

1️⃣ First of all, if you're new developer and it's your first app prepare yourself for a long wait. First review for a new account may be longer both for iOS and Android. On Google Play your app may stay in the "extended review" for couple of days.

2️⃣ Remember to secure the keystore you're using to sign the Android app. You won't be able to use different one after you upload the first release. People really often lose them in unexplained circumstances 🤯

3️⃣ Add some crash reporting to your app. It may be Crashlytics or any other reliable tool. Depending on the popularity you'll see dozens of crashes on some weird devices in the first days. Some of them may be called e.g. Batmobile 🦇(these are bots) but other may be really popular devices.

4️⃣ Consider to automate creation of your screenshots. Maybe implement some mock repository to always get the same data? Or use UI tests and run them on several devices? Depending on the complexity at some point you will detest recreating screenshots manually.

5️⃣ Depending on your attitude to privacy consider adding some kind of analytics. The store dashboards are enough at the beginning, but sooner or later you will want to understand your users better. Some of the state of the art are Firebase Analytics, Mixpanel, CleverTap, Flurry...

6️⃣ The first 50-100 users of your app may be bots e.g. from Google Play pre-launch report or apk aggregators. At some point you may want to disable pre-launch report because of its impact on analytics.

7️⃣ Prepare the privacy policy. If you are complete newbie try to understand what your privacy policy should cover. There are some automated tools to help you create the one for your app. Create separate e-mail alias or account just for this app.

8️⃣ Think about versioning scheme of your app. I highly recommend to use tags in your git repository to have clear understanding of what's in a given release. Maybe start a changelog?

Show the app version label in your app to make error reporting easier.

9️⃣ Remove unused fonts and other assets from your app. Create adaptive icon on Android if you haven't done it yet.

🔟 Think if you need some kind of non-intrusive force update mechanism. In case of some nasty bug you'll be able to upgrade your users faster.

1️⃣1️⃣ Consider a polite way of requesting user rating. Maybe show a snackbar after 5 consecutive launches? Or ask for review after successful process? Or at least add a button in your settings. You will be over the moon through the first 10-20 reviews 😄

🏁 And finally tell your friends and family about your new app. It's hard to reach first 20-50 users and they will definitely help you.

Good luck with your adventure 🎉. Feel free to share your advices if you have some!

You can also read this as a Twitter thread.

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