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android – Can I have a lower version code at production from alpha testing channel

Posted by: admin June 15, 2020 Leave a comment

Questions:

I need to publish my application first at alpha testing channel at play developer console and then to production. Lets say that I publish the application at alpha with version code 1.0.0. After testing it, I need to publish updates of the application so I increase the version code to 1.0.1, 1.0.2, etc.

  1. After I finish testing, can I upload a new apk to production with an initial version code 1.0.0? I don’t want to promote the apk published at the alpha channel that will have an increased version code i.e. 1.0.5. Will that cause any issues?

  2. Do you have any other recommendation how to handle this case?

Thanks,

Lupe

How to&Answers:

In Android, application versioning consists of two things.

  1. android:versionCode – An integer value that represents the version of the application code, relative to other versions.
  2. android:versionName — A string value that represents the release version of the application code, as it should be shown to users.

What is visible to the users is the second one. So you can have for example a version in alpha where android:versionName is "1.0.0" and android:versionCode is 1 (integer), then do your testing and fixes and when you are ready to deploy in production keep android:versionName to "1.0.0" but have android:versionCode increased by 1 from the last value it had in alpha, e.g. android:versionName="1.0.0", android:versionCode=5 (the production is the 5th update from your initial aplha deploy). Of course you can change "1.0.0" to whatever you like, you can lower it too e.g. "0.9.0", it’s android:versionCode that always should be incremented by 1.

You can read more here: Versioning Your Applications

Answer:

Version codes need only to be unique. As per document system does not enforce that new apk should have a greater version code.

Though a device, having installed an apk with a higher version code (17 in your case) will neither get update notification from play store nor play store will show that an update is available, because apk has a lower version code (10 in your case). It does not matter that v10 is uploaded after v17.