1. First time?

If you are reading this Online Help, it means that you have decided to generate your Android app by yourself.  
After going through this process, you will be able to test your native Android app on your phone before submitting it to the Google Play Store.

First, go to the page Publish > Publication > Android in your Apollo Apps back office.

To do the process by yourself, select the "I'll do it myself" option with the Ninja picture.

At Step 0, you will be asked if you are publishing this app for the first time, if it's a new version of this Apollo Apps app or if it is an update of an existing app already published on Google Play.

In most cases, it is the first time the app is published, so select the first choice: "This is the first time this app will be available on Google Play" .
 

Note: If it is NOT the first time the app is published and the app has already been created and published with another service, you must upload the Keystore of the existing app at the next step.  

If you don't know what a Keystore is, or don't know how to get it, Apollo Apps can not do it for you or help you in any way, so you must also select "This is the first time this app will be available on Google Play" to be able to go on.  

Your app will be published on the store as a new app (version 1.0).  

When you choose to create the app as a new one, the next screen is as follows:  

 

2. Package Name (ATTENTION: it will show in the URL of your application on the Play Store!!!)

During the Android submission process, you will automatically skip step 2 and arrive at step 3.  

However, in step 2 lies a very important information component of the identity of your app: the Package Name.  

It will determine the Android API Key used to generate your app (See Step 4) and will also determine the Store URL of your app on Google Play.

By default, the package name is set as follows: com.Apollo AppsYOURAPP and it will be at the end of the store URL on Google Play.  
If the name of your Apollo Apps project is "testapp", the package name will be "com.Apollo Apps.testapp", therefore you may want to modify the package name so it doesn't appear as such in the Google Play URL.  

To modify the package name, you must go back to Step 2.  

Google requires a certain package name format. The package name must: 

  • have at least 2 parts, ideally 3. Example: "com.mydomain.myapp" 
  • each part of the package name must start with a letter 
  • the authorized keys are letters, numbers, and _  

The recommended format is: suffix.domain.app  (Example : com.Apollo Apps.app)

3. Log into your Google Cloud Console

Go to your Google Developer Console https://console.developers.google.com  

The login information is the same as your regular Google account. If you are already logged in with your Google account, you should directly access the Google Cloud Console.  

If you don’t have a Google Account, you need to create one to continue this process.

If you have never created a project in your Google Cloud Console, this page will prompt you to do so. If you already created a project, the first thing you see will be the Dashboard.

From there you can create a new project by clicking on the Project menu in the left hand column. Then, in the drop-down menu, click on "Create Project".

An iBox called New Project opens.
Create a name for your project and answer "Yes" to the second question to accept the API Terms of Services.

Then, click on Create.

On the page appearing next, take note of your project number.  

Copy it in the appropriate field at Step 3.1 of your Android submission process in your Apollo Apps backend.  

Then click on the Use the Google API section.

4. Activate the Google Maps & Youtube Data APIs

You are automatically redirected to the API management > Dashboard menu.

Select the following services and enable them:
- Google Maps Android API
- YouTube Data API

You must accept the Terms of Service to activate these services. 

You should then verify that they are activated in the Dashboard tab. 

5. Activate the Google Cloud Messaging API in Firebase

Next step is to activate the Google Cloud Messaging API. It will allow the push notifications to work into your Android app.

To do so go to the Firebase Console http://console.firebase.google.com.  
The Firebase activation will automatically activate the Google Cloud Messaging API  

Click the button "Import Google Project", select the name of your current project in the dropdown list (the name you have given it in the Google Cloud Console at the beginning of this process) click on Add Firebase.

You may be asked a question about the billing. If this case, confirm, and continue with the process.
After you activate the Google Cloud Messaging API, go back to your Google Cloud Console https://console.developers.google.com

6. Verify the enabled APIs

To check the enabled APIs,  go back to https://console.developers.google.com  Dashboard > Google APIs, and you will see all 3 APIs are now activated:

- Google Cloud Messaging API
- Google Maps Android API
- YouTube Data API

7. Set the API Keys

In the menu on the left, select the Credentials tab.

Two keys should already exist at this point:

-Browser key (auto created by Google Service)
-Server key (auto created by Google Service)

8. Set the Server Key (for push notifications)

On the appearing screen, click on Server key (auto created by Google Service)
and edit the page as follows:

1: Edit the name to Server Key  
 
2: Under Key restriction, select the IP addresses (web servers, cron jobs, etc.) option.

3: Copy the 2 following IP ranges as follows in the ibox:

213.251.158.192/27
94.23.134.224/27

After that, click on Save. 

Click on the Server Key again to show the detail, then copy the VALUE of the Server API Key into the field at step 4.2 of your Android submission process in your backend. 

9. Set the Android Key (for Map and Youtube services)

Go back to the Credentials menu and click on Browser key (auto created by Google Service).
 

1: Edit the name to Android Key

2: Under Key restriction, select the Android apps option.

3: Copy Package name and SHA-1 certificate fingerprint in the ibox.
This information is unique for each app, and is given to you at step 5.1 of your Android submission process in your Apollo Apps backend.  

After that, click on Save. 

Click on the Android Key again to show the detail, then copy the VALUE of the Android API Key into the field at step 5.2 of your Android submission process in Apollo Apps.  

BE CAREFUL, DO NOT COPY THE SERVER KEY HERE OR YOUR APP WILL NOT WORK PROPERLY

 

10. Generate you Android ad hoc version

You are done with the Google Cloud console, you can build your app in your Apollo Apps backend.

Validate the last step and click on Build my application.  
Your app will be compiled and you will be able to test it in ad hoc version (meaning the native test version, as opposed to the preview). 

11. Test your Android ad hoc version

After a few minutes, a new screen will appear to inform you your Android app is ready to be tested.  
Click on the button "Test my application" and follow the instructions displayed in the pop-up window. 

12. Go back to editing the app, or send it out for distribution

Once you have tested your app, go back to this page (you can access it by going to Publish > Publication > Android).  

  • To unlock your Apollo Apps backend and edit your app, click on Modify. 

Then, when you want to test your app again or directly publish it to the stores, you will only have to generate the app again. You won't have to start back with the API Keys generation.

- To publish your app on Google Play, if you are satisfied with it, click on Validate.  
Clicking on Validate will lock your backend from that moment until your app is published on the store, so a confirmation will be asked in order not to lock your backend wrongfully.  

Then, all you have to do is submit your Android app to the Google Play Store

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