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How to deal with Google Play’s new 20-person testing rule for publishing Android apps?

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Unemployed at Taro Community7 months ago

Hi all,

With Google Play’s new policy requiring testing by at least 20 people for two weeks before launching an app, many of us will face a new challenge, particularly for those publishing projects for our resumes. What strategies are there for approaching this requirement, and where can we even find 20 willing testers?

https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2023/11/ensuring-high-quality-apps-on-google-play.html?m=1

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Discussion

(4 comments)
  • 2
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    7 months ago

    This new policy makes life harder for the indie developer because it adds a lot of friction to the publishing process. But in some ways, it's also good that the value of a published Android app has gone up: many of the garbage apps (and there are a lot of them) will go away.

    Regarding how to find 20 willing testers, it's not that hard if you're part of a community -- yay for Taro 😂 If you frame the app as "I'd love to get your feedback and I'm also happy to explain what I built and help you as well", you can get curious developers to try out the app. The main thing is figuring out what value you can provide, as Alex discusses here.

    In terms of real users, here's practically what I recommend:

    • Clearly define who would use your app, the "ideal customer persona" or ICP
    • Identify where your ICP lives on the internet (which subreddits are they on, which Twitter accounts do they follow, which Instagram pages do they chat with?). Build relationships with these people and suggest your app when it can actually help.
    • Make the ask: "I'd like to help solve a problem you're having, so your feedback on the early version of this would be incredibly helpful. I'll be really responsive to any suggestions you have."

    For most normal people, they never get to interact with the developer -- the human -- behind an app, so for the right audience this can work really well.

  • 2
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    6 months ago

    I'm going to be honest - This is one of the dumbest requirements I've ever seen. It is simply way too aggressive. 20 people is a lot - So is 2 weeks. I hope developer backlash gets this requirement rolled back into a strong suggestion instead of a hard requirement.

    In terms of how to find testers, I recommend the following places in order of best -> worst:

    • Your friend circle
    • Taro (make sure to join Slack)
    • LinkedIn
    • Reddit

    As Rahul mentioned, it's important to return the favor in some way - Getting someone to download an app and leave feedback is a good amount of work. Ideally, the other person is also an Android engineer, and you can just trade app downloads + feedback.

    Real talk though: I doubt Google is going to great lengths to truly verify that the 20 testers used the app, so I'm going to make 20 emails and attach them every time I publish a new Android side project. 😂

    For more guidance on side projects, check this out: [Taro Top 10] Building Impressive Side Projects

    • 1
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      Mid-Level Software Engineer at Unemployed
      a month ago

      Finding a tester was more difficult than I expected, so I created app for developer to help each other. It lets developers to exchange tests without message.Fortunately, many people are using it. I've also been able to release some of my own apps using it. Please consider this as one of your options.

      https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.andro.zm.tools.androidtesterspayforward

      If you are interested in my thoughts, please read the article I have written.

      https://dev.to/zmsoft

    • 1
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      Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
      a month ago

      @Nobuya, wow, that's a brilliant idea! Such a great way for developers to help each other with publishing, while also getting valuable feedback.

      I am curious why you built this as a mobile app? Could you have a webapp, or even just an Airtable form, where you collect emails and connect people that way?

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