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7 Things To Do before your Publish App on Google Play

All the very heartiest Congratulations and all the very best for publishing your app on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. If you’re somebody like me then you must be having those crazy wild thoughts in your head, ‘What if my app gets famous!’ or ‘My App will cross more than a 1,000,000+ downloads in a week.’ Well it’s good to think so because after all its us who knows the real value of our app.

Creating an app takes a lot of Perseverance and hard work however a successful app takes some smart work as well. Your app may become very popular in a week or a few days but have you made it secure and sound?

Here are 7 things you should do before publishing our app on Google Play / Apple App Store

  1. Obfuscate your App

  2. Secure your Secret Key

  3. Privacy Policy and Terms of Service ready?

  4. Using Analytics

  5. Using HTTPS

  6. Set correct Version Code

  7. Assets Copyright

1. Obfuscate your App

The moment your publish your app in the Google or the Apple Store, it’s not only in your local drive but is also made available on many different servers, mobile devices and gadgets.
Hackers and Spammers always have an eye on such apps that have great potential of getting popular. They often modify such apps and can easily make the payable assets in your app, free to use for public (for example: Coins in games or maybe some tool in your app for which you charge) and later publish them on different website which contains ads so that they can generate revenues.
Sounds bad naa?

But here is what you can do to prevent this from happening, Obfuscate your app.
Android and iOS apps can be decompiled by downloading the target APK using the Apkpure website and then use Jadx to decompile the code back into Java. One easy way to prevent (or make it harder for hackers) this from happening is obfuscation, you can enable ProGuard in build.gradle file and Build your app again.
android {

  ...

  buildTypes {

        release {

            minifyEnabled true

            proguardFiles getDefaultProguardFile('proguard-android.txt'), 'proguard-rules.pro'

        }

    }

  ...

}
ProGuard renames the variable in your code which makes it difficult for hacker to crack your game or app, however the hacker is still able to view your credentials.

However, remember, ProGuard’s obfuscation transformations are all recorded in a mapping.txt file. Be careful to save this file. Use it for debugging with any stack traces you receive to find your way back to the original method and variable names.

You can alternatively use DexGuard which though doesn’t rename your variables in the code but makes it difficult for hacker to decompile your App.

See Tutorial: How to build your own Calculator app on Android Studio

2. Secure your Secret Key

Before you upload your app on Google Play or Apple App store it’s important to sign your app using some keys provided by respective companies.

If you lose your keystore or think it may be compromised, you can request one from Google or Apple respectively or you may have to upload a new app with new key and name.

3. Privacy Policy and Terms of Service ready?

Google Play and Apple App store, conditions you to provide a link to your company’s or app related Privacy policy and Terms of Service, this is important from legal perspective and also to help the user know about what your company is trying to do with the information that the user provides to you.
However, it is also important to disclose any relevant information and about third part services that the app is using in the Privacy Policy.

Best example for a Case Study on this is UC Browser whose app has recently been banned from the Google Play Store for using their user personal data without their consent.

4. Using Analytics

Publishing your app without installing User analytics in it is like sitting in a dark room with no windows.

You must be aware about how your app is getting used by the user, at what point user leaves the app, why user uninstalled the app, did the app crashed, if yes then when, where and how? Did the user made purchase? If yes then what persuaded him so that you can redesign your marketing campaign and if not, then what turned them off?

Such analytics is not only good for big companies but also if an indie developer uses analytics in their app then they too can redesign their app according to user preference and get their app popular.
We recommend companies like: appanalytics.io and Facebook Analytics to get better details on user experience.

5. Using HTTPS

If your app is making network calls like to some ad service or maybe to some server, make sure that they are secured and using SSL Certificates. Missing on this may put your user data under threat and any hacker could easily attack your app from the backdoor.
For an App developer after User Experience, User data security must be of utmost importance. See Tutorial: How you can get a free SSL Certificate for your website.

6. Update/ Set correct Version Code

Are you updating your app or is it new in production, it’s important to set and keep your version code updated, as this not only keep you informed about the Change Log but also can help you track your app performance basis of user experience which you will track from Analytics.
Also remember that Google and Apple don’t allows an App roll out if version code isn’t updated!

7. Assets Copyright

It’s important to own the work you publish, like for example this blog. Google and Apple have made it compulsory in their Terms and Conditions that a developer must have the copyright to the Assets used in the app, not abiding to which could lead to legal penalties and App would get unpublished too.

However, if you use somebody else’s code or art or service in your app, it’s important to have their written consent if the work isn’t available under Creative Commons and attributing them in your app world be great too.

Once you’re done with steps give above, you’re good to go and publish your app on the Play store, All the very best again!

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