Testing Google Play

  1. Log in to Google Play publishing/developer console.
  2. Set up what accounts have testing access in Settings > Account Details. You have to use an account that is not the developer account, you cannot purchase items from yourself. Note: it may take up to 15 minutes after saving for changes to take effect.
  3. In order to test you must upload a draft application into the developer console. The application release key must be signed before it is uploaded. Also, the version number of the uploaded application must match the number of the application you are testing.
  4. Set up (physical, not emulated) device/s with:
  • A standard version of the Android 1.6 or later platform (API level 4 or higher).
  • The most recent version of Google Play (update it if not).
  • The same version of the signed draft app is uploaded from developer console into device (.apk can be downloaded from e-mail of device or installed via adb).

In-app products (single issue and subs) that you want testers to be able to (test) purchase need to be uploaded and published first in the dev portal. See here for info on Creating a Product List: (This requires a Google Wallet merchant account - formerly Google Checkout - which you can set up in the Developer Console with the same login).

Once the test (gmail) accounts are set up: if the device has more than one account, the purchase will be made on the account that downloaded the app. Accounts can be removed from device by Settings > Accounts and sync, clicking on an account and remove. This may also require factory resetting the device (In Settings > Privacy > Factory data reset). On older devices you may then need to update from Android Marketplace to the Google Play Store (see

Ensure device is set up for testing by:

Enabling USB debugging on your device: Settings > Applications > Development or On Android 4.0 and newer: Setting > Developer options or On Android 4.2 and newer: Developer options is hidden by default, to make available Settings > About Phone and tap Build Number seven times, return to the previous screen to find Developer options

Test that you can successfully purchase and download a single issue, and purchase a subscription (and then download an entitled edition).

Google Play accumulates completed test purchases for each user but does not pass them on to financial processing. For cancelling purchases, you have these options: Wait for transactions to expire - Clears automatically completed test purchase 14 days after purchase. Manually - Go to Google Wallet Merchant Center, look up transaction, and then cancel it. Subscriptions need to be manually cancelled.


Draft Apps are No Longer Supported Previously, you could publish a “draft” version of your app for testing. This functionality is no longer supported. Instead, there are two ways you can test how a pre-release app functions on the Google Play store:

You can publish an app to the alpha or beta distribution channels. This makes the app available on the Google Play store, but only to the testers you put on a “whitelist”. In a few cases, you can test Google Play functionality with an unpublished app. For example, you can test an unpublished app's in-app billing support by using static responses, special reserved product IDs that always return a specific result (like “purchased” or “refunded”).

In the APK section of your Google Play Developer Console you’ll find the Alpha Testing and Beta Testing tabs. Here you can upload versions of your apps’ APK files and define a list of testers as a Google Group or Google+ Community. Once this is done you’ll receive a URL that you forward to your testers, from which they can opt-in to the testing program.

After opting-in, your testers then go to your app’s product page and when they download the app Google Play will deliver them the alpha or beta version as appropriate. Incidentally, if a user happens to be opted-in to both your testing groups, Google Play will always deliver them the alpha test version.

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request


Powered by Zendesk