Publishing Your App
When your app is finished, if not before, you should upload it with the Chrome Developer Dashboard. Uploading it makes the dashboard generate an app ID, which you might need to complete your application's code. If you're using Chrome Web Store Payments, uploading also allows you to get the OAuth access token that you need to use the Licensing API.
When your app, its Chrome Web Store listing, and all the sites it relies on are ready, you can publish your app. You can publish up to 20 applications on Chrome Web Store.
Step 1: Choose a developer account
Before you upload your app, decide which Google Account you want to be your developer account. This account will own your app (or multiple apps, if you choose) and will receive any payments you get from Chrome Web Store Payments. Instead of your personal account, you might want to choose a dedicated account.
If you're working on a hosted app, you'll need to prove that your developer account owns the URLs that comprise the app. For information on proving site ownership, see the Google Webmaster Tools help article Adding a site. Once you upload your app, the Chrome Developer Dashboard will remind you if you need to verify ownership of any sites.
Note: If you are already hosting your app in Google Play, and you want your Chrome Web Store app listing to show an “Available for Android” link, your app must have the same name as your Google Play listing, and both apps must be owned by the same developer account. To have your CWS item transferred to a different developer account, you must submit this form.
Step 2: Create a ZIP file
To upload your app, you need to create a ZIP file that contains at least one file: your app's manifest. It should also contain a few images and any other files that the app requires. The contents of the ZIP file and manifest depend on the type of app you're writing and its capabilities. For details, see the documentation for the type of app you're writing:
Also see Formats: Manifest Files.
- Set the initial version number in the manifest to a low value, such as 0.0.0.1. That way, you have room to increase the version number when you upload new versions of your app.
- If your packaged app or extension uses Native Client, you can structure your application directory hierarchy and ZIP file in a way that reduces the size of the user download package. For details, see Reducing the size of the user download package.
Step 3: Upload the app
If you need the app ID or an OAuth access token to complete your app's code, then you need to upload the app while you're still writing its code. Otherwise, you can wait until the app is finished. You can upload your app many times before publishing it.
Here's how you upload your app:
- Go to the Chrome Developer Dashboard.
- Sign into the developer account you chose in Step 1.
- Click the Add new item button.
If you've never uploaded an item before, you need to accept the developer agreement before going on.
- Click Choose file, navigate to your ZIP file, and click Upload.
If your app's manifest and ZIP file are valid, then within seconds you should see a page that lets you edit your app.
Step 4: Specify the payment system
If you aren't going to use Chrome Web Store Payments, you can delay or (for free apps) omit this step.
If you're charging for your app, you need to set its price and payment system through the dashboard's edit page for your app. To use Chrome Web Store Payments, you also need to signup your developer account as a Google Checkout merchant, and you need to associate your merchant account with the store. For details, see Register for a Google Checkout Merchant account.
Step 5: Get app constants
In this step, you use the dashboard to get any constants that you need to use in your app's code.
Getting the app ID
You can see the app ID in the URL of any dashboard or store page that's dedicated to your app. For example, the URL https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/aaaaaaaaaabbbbbbbbbbcccccccccc?hl=en has the app ID aaaaaaaaaabbbbbbbbbbcccccccccc. You might need the app ID for several reasons, such as if you use the Licensing API.
You can also see the app ID when you get the OAuth token. The app ID is listed along with other information that you need when using the Licensing API.
Getting the OAuth token
If you support Chrome Web Store Payments, you need an OAuth access token and access token secret, as described in Checking for Payment. For detailed instructions, see that page's Getting an OAuth access token and secret section.
Step 6: Finish the app
Now's the time to finish your app and add any code that refers to the app ID or OAuth access token. You can update your app as many times as you wish. Just remember to increase the version number each time, as mentioned in Step 2.
Step 7: Provide store content
Using the dashboard's edit page for your app, add the store listing information that isn't in the ZIP file, such as a long description, screenshots, videos, and links to related sites. See Supplying Images for help on designing the images for your app, and Branding Guidelines for information on how you can use Google brands.
Step 8: Pay the developer signup fee
Before you publish your first app, you must pay a one-time $5 developer signup fee. You'll see a reminder in the dashboard until you pay the fee. For more information, including troubleshooting tips, see the Registration article.
Note: If you used the Chrome Developer Dashboard before —to publish an extension, for example—you won't see a fee reminder, and you don't need to pay the fee.
Step 9: Publish the app
Publishing your app usually involves a few steps:
- Optional. Publish your app to test accounts, so a few trusted testers can try out the app and its install/payment flow.
- Click the edit page's Preview changes button, and verify that your app's listing looks great and has all the information it should.
- Verify that your app and any websites and supporting pages all work well and look as nice as possible.
- Publish any new websites and supporting pages that your app requires.
- Publish your app.
Note: If you support Chrome Web Store Payments, you can't buy your own app using your developer account due to Google Checkout restrictions. You should first publish to test accounts so that you can test the payment system.
Publishing to test accounts
At the bottom of the edit page for your app is a Publish to test accounts button. Clicking this button publishes your app so that it's visible only to people who are signed in to one of a limited set of test accounts. To specify these test accounts, go to the bottom of the dashboard and click "Edit your tester accounts".
When you publish to test accounts, your app's store listing becomes visible only to you and to people who are logged into those accounts. Your app won't appear in search results, so you need to give testers a direct link to your app's store listing.
Additionally, you can use Google Groups to create a group of trusted testers. You can set a Google Group that you own as your app's trusted tester group. People in this Google Group, in addition to the email addresses configured on your publisher dashboard, will be able to access the item.
Publishing to test accounts is especially useful when you plan to charge for your app using Chrome Web Store Payments. You can buy the app using a test account, and then use that account to log into the app and see how the license server integrates with your app.
Note: To publish to the world after publishing to test accounts, you first need to unpublish the app.
Publishing to the world
Publishing your app is easy—just click the "Publish" link next to your app in the dashboard. Or in the dashboard's edit page for your app, click the Publish changes button.
Publishing an app makes it immediately visible to the world, and soon makes it visible in the store's search results.
Publishing on Google Play for Education
Apps designed for K-12 education can also be opted-in to Google Play for Education in the Developer Dashboard. Google Play for Education is a separate store that allows educators to easily discover, purchase, and deploy apps to their students with just a few clicks. Learn more about publishing apps in Google Play for Education.