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Instant Apps Publishing Guide


1. Studio Publishing Requirements

  • App must be live in the Google Play Store or submitted for pre-reg.
  • Have your Google Play Application ID handy (may be called Google Bundle ID).
  • Your app should be installed on the device you will be using and your device should be connected to your computer via USB.

Required: Set your device to de-bugging mode!


Important: PC users must install a USB driver on device in order to publish a GPI. See here for list of drivers and device manufacturers:

2. How to Publish from Studio

  1. Click the Publish icon to open up the publishing window.
  2. Select Google Play Instant as your output.
  3. Enter your Google Play Store ID.
  4. Enter a version number for your GPI.
  5. Check the quality of your output.
  6. Click “Generate File” to generate your APK!

3. Publishing Best Practices

Double check your Google Play Store ID before generating your file.

  • This field cannot be modified once your GPI is published!

Recommended: Ask your developer for the Google Play Store ID rather than grabbing it from the app store URL.

The Version field can be modified after published, but must be manually updated.

  • Version code must be greater than version code of previous upload and less than or equal to version code of main app.

When checking the quality of your output, click “View Details” to view your file sizes.

  • Clicking “Preview” will allow you to see how the quality of your files will appear when published.

4. Uploading to the Google Play Store

Upon publishing from Studio, you will receive one debug-signed release APK. The release APK will need to be signed and zipped.

  • This can be used for testing on any device.
  • APK will need to be signed in order to convert to a release APK and upload to the Google Play Store.

Note: The “zip” refers to the compressed archive format; not the “zipalign” step that is also performed with APKs.

The GPI APK must be contained in a .zip file or the upload will not work!

  1. Download the unsigned release APK and a Mac shell script to the same folder
  2. Create a third file called with the following definitions customized to your app signing key. Make sure to add it to .gitgnore.
    KEYSTORE_PASSWORD="your keystore password"
    KEY_ALIAS="your key name/alias"
    KEY_PASSWORD="your key password"
  3. Type the following command into the command line:
     sh appname-release-unsigned-vX.apk

5. Publish

  1. Go to and select your existing app.
  2. Navigate to Release Management > Android Instant Apps.
  3. Create release for Internal Test / Alpha / Production as desired. Note: It can a day or longer for an Internal Test or Alpha track GPI to appear in the Play Store for registered test devices.
  4. Upload the zip file created by the script.

    Important: If you have zipped the APK yourself instead of using the script, use command- line “zip” and make sure that no _macosx or .ds_store folders are in the file or else the upload will fail.

  5. No modifications to the main app are needed.

6. Troubleshooting

  1. If you receive an error message when uploading your APK, make sure you have signed and zipped the release version prior to uploading.
  2. If you receive a “version number already exists” error:
  • If you have uploaded the build to the Internal Test track or Alpha track, “Manage” that track and choose “Release to Instant Production”.
  • Check the “Artifact Library” tab, look for an existing APK with that version number, and delete it.

7. Need Help?

Contact Support or your dedicated Customer Success Manager.

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