Distribute Android apps to testers using the Firebase console

This guide describes how to upload Android App Bundles (AABs) to App Distribution and distribute generated APKs using the Firebase console. To follow this guide, you'll need to have access to a Google Play account for which you're an Admin or Owner, and an app that's been published on the Play account.

About distributing Android App Bundles

App Distribution integrates with Google Play’s internal app sharing service to process the AABs you upload and serve APKs that are optimized for your testers' device configurations. When you distribute AABs, you can:

  • Run optimized APKs (served by Google Play) that are optimized to your testers' devices.
  • Uncover and debug device-specific issues.
  • Test app bundle features like Play Feature Delivery and Play Asset Delivery
  • Reduce the size of downloads for your testers.

Before you begin

  1. If you haven't already, add Firebase to your Android project.

    If you aren't using any other Firebase products, you only have to create a project and register your app. However, if you decide to use additional products in the future, be sure to complete all of the steps on the page linked above.

  2. Connect your Firebase project to your Google Play account. Once connected, apps that meet the following requirements are automatically linked between your Firebase project and your Google Play account:

    • The app you upload to Google Play and Firebase must share the same package name.

    • The app in Google Play must be in a published state. An app is published when its app store listing has been completed and approved, and the app has been distributed to a following Google Play track: internal, closed, production, or open-testing.

    To connect your Firebase project:

    1. Make sure you are the Owner of your Firebase project and the account Admin or Owner of your Google Play account.

    2. In your Firebase project, navigate to (Settings), then click Project settings > Integrations.

    3. If you haven't already, enable Google Analytics via the Google Analytics card. This is required for linking your project to Google Play.

    4. Click Link on the Google Play card.

Step 1. Build your app

When you're ready to distribute a pre-release version of your app to testers, build your AAB (visit the Android Studio documentation for instructions).

Step 2. Distribute your app to testers

To distribute your app to testers, upload your AAB file using the Firebase console:

  1. Open the App Distribution page of the Firebase console. Select your Firebase project when prompted.

  2. On the Releases page, select the app you want to distribute from the drop-down menu.

  3. Drag your app's AAB file to the console to upload it.

  4. When the upload completes, specify the tester groups and individual testers you want to receive the build. Then, add release notes for the build.

    See Manage testers for more on creating tester groups.

  5. Click Distribute to make the build available to testers.

Once you distribute your build, it becomes available in the App Distribution dashboard of the Firebase console for 150 days (five months). When the build is 30 days from expiring, an expiration notice appears in both the console and your tester's list of builds on their test device.

Testers who haven't been invited to test the app receive email invitations to get started, and existing testers receive email notifications that a new build is ready to test (read the tester set up guide for instructions on how to install the test app). You can monitor the status of each tester-whether they accepted the invitation and whether they downloaded the app-in the Firebase console.