How to make successful App release to Google Play or App Store

App release is one of the major stages of the software development, that’s why I have collected a lot of notes about this topic and usually tries not to fail. During my working experience, I created special release checklist with the points of actions and checks that I need to do before, during and after release, this record is relevant for mobile app development. And now I guess this checklist matured to be the potential guide for those who release his products to App Store or Google Play.

Before release

Check your backlog whether all tasks are closed and exceptions from google play console, xCode organizer are fixed.

Ask PR, Marketing, Sales team if all their tasks for this release are completed and marketing materials, campaigns are ready for release. Check that all split-tests, analytics, external SDK are ready for the current release version of the app, e.g. they send correct version of the app.

Receive release accept from QA team, double check with QA affected areas of the app. Check certificates, in-app purchases, sign up/in, update from previous version.

Notify support team about planned release and make the list of features that were changed. It will help support team to identify new problems as fast as possible.

Release

Do not release on Friday! Best time for release Monday-Tuesday.

Make soft release, if it does not affect your ad campaign. Google Play provides useful tool named as “Staged rollout”, it will help you to share new version to the specified percentage of users. Share new version to 20–30% of users and wait 24–48 hours for exception logs and support requests and if there are no problems, you can expand release to 100% of customers.There is no such tool in App Store, that why you can use passive methods of soft releasing.
First, use the less downloaded app, if you have two type of app Free or Paid, release the app where there are less customer/downloads.
Second, release at the end of the day downloads peak.This method will give you more place for maneuver and time for fixes.

After release

Monitor reviews, crash reports, support request and analytics.
This reports usually show the success of release, any extraordinary things should be analyzed.

Don’t relieve your team in first 48 hours. According to statistics, the most critical issues reproduce in first 48 hours, customers will notify you by reviews, support request and Google Play and App Store will receive information about crashes. That’s why your team should react immediately in first 48 hours.

In conclusion, I want to write that my primary purpose for this article was to describe the concept of releasing without immersion in details and actions that should be done during each step. As you understand this list of activities is not a panacea for all projects, but it helps to minimise risks of fail during the releases.

Good luck!