I'm attempting to publish a FOSS app ( sevonj.github.io )

I made a simple timer app for Android, desktop, and browser. I think it's ready for most part, and I'm starting to look into publishing it.

I decided to start with Android / Play Store, which immediately gives me a roadblock. Google Play Console says:

  • Have at least 20 testers opted-in to your closed test (1 tester currently opted-in)
  • Run your closed test with at least 20 testers, for at least 14 days

I want to look into F-Droid and Flathub once I have this sorted out. But before that, any opinions on the app, or volunteers for testing, as I don't have 20 friends to ask?

Thanks.

https://github.com/sevonj/visualtimer/

Edit: Let's try Play store again with this: https://groups.google.com/g/jyl-test-group

Edit 2: It works, at least someone besides me was able to join:
https://suppo.fi/pictrs/image/93e21c06-45d3-433a-afd7-7b4d92db8f31.png

What a pain.
I'll look into preparing an F-droid release as soon as I have time.

Tiuku ,
@Tiuku@sopuli.xyz avatar

It's quite interesting to read about these hurdles, even though I'm not planning to publish anything in the foreseeable future. Always just on the downloading side. Thanks for posting. Hope you get it sorted out!

thegiddystitcher ,
@thegiddystitcher@lemm.ee avatar

Happy to help with the play store test if you decide to try and get the 20 🫡

Bezier OP ,
@Bezier@suppo.fi avatar

Okay, I have a new link. Let's hope it works.

thegiddystitcher , (edited )
@thegiddystitcher@lemm.ee avatar

Joined group, still can't get in on the Play link but I've made a note to check back and see if it's updated tomorrow. What a faff!

Update: store link now works for group members.

jwr1 ,
@jwr1@kbin.earth avatar

I literally just finished doing the same thing for my own foss app (and I also used Flutter). Right now I'm waiting for my production review. To get people added to your closed test, you have to either collect a list of email address, or create a google group they can join. If you use a google group, that will be a bit easier for testers to join since people can click the group link, and then the test link, instead of waiting for you to add their email.

If you can't initially get all the testers you need, I would recommend making a post on the AndroidClosedTesting reddit; I found them really helpful to get the last few testers I needed.

Bezier OP , (edited )
@Bezier@suppo.fi avatar

Thanks, this seems a much less painful solution.

Blackilykat ,
Churbleyimyam ,

Happy to test and give feedback if you have an apk or can get it on f-droid.

Rentlar ,

A testing version of this app hasn't been published yet or isn't available for this account.

Region is Canada. I'd be happy to test your app for you. I have an older phone though.

vort3 ,
@vort3@lemmy.ml avatar

I tried to help and become a tester, but I'm getting an error. Do you need to specifically add my account to your list of testers so I can access it or something? If that's the case, I can PM you my account.

Bezier OP , (edited )
@Bezier@suppo.fi avatar

Thanks!

Do you need to specifically add my account

I'd hope not, but it's starting to look so. Man, I thought the link would do the job.

I can add you and anyone else who wants to, but I'm not sure if I can get all 20 people for this anymore.

vort3 ,
@vort3@lemmy.ml avatar

Ok then, let me know if I can help.

Fubarberry ,
@Fubarberry@sopuli.xyz avatar

I'd be happy to be a tester, but trying the link you provided gives me the following message:

App not available
A testing version of this app hasn't been published yet or isn't available for this account.

Skelectus ,
@Skelectus@suppo.fi avatar

It's probably wrong region, not targeted on the track.

Bezier OP ,
@Bezier@suppo.fi avatar

What region? I'll try to add a bunch of countries to the test.

Fubarberry ,
@Fubarberry@sopuli.xyz avatar

I'm in the US.

Bezier OP ,
@Bezier@suppo.fi avatar

US was enabled from the beginning so it wasn't that, then.

lemmyreader ,

Don't know about Google but you can set up your own F-Droid repository, and you can also prepare to try to get it to ship via the main F-Droid repository. And if you have releases on Github you can maybe ask to have it also included with IzzyDroid F-Droid repo https://android.izzysoft.de/intro.php

Bezier OP , (edited )
@Bezier@suppo.fi avatar

Yeah, I think I won't wait for the Play release to happen anymore because Google experience has been nothing but a bunch of hoops they want me to jump through.

GolfNovemberUniform ,

Why don't you just publish it on F-Droid?

Bezier OP ,
@Bezier@suppo.fi avatar

I will. I initially had trouble producing apks that my phone won't refuse to install, so I went for play in case that'd fix it.

GolfNovemberUniform ,

Hmm what Android version is your phone? I heard that on A13 and 14 there are some issues with installing APKs from external sources

Bezier OP ,
@Bezier@suppo.fi avatar

Older. Not sure if it was on me or on Google, but it works now.

socphoenix ,

The one time i published on the play store I just skipped that part and hit publish. I think it took several days to go live the first time but otherwise didn’t seem to matter.

Bezier OP ,
@Bezier@suppo.fi avatar

Was that a long ago? They seem to enforce it for me.

socphoenix ,

About a year ago now, it is possible they’ve changed things since.

thegiddystitcher ,
@thegiddystitcher@lemm.ee avatar

Yeah I recently helped out with this mandatory testing thing for !raccoonforlemmy, seems it's a relatively recent new hoop for devs to jump through.

merde ,
@merde@sh.itjust.works avatar

do we need to have google play store and a google account to help you with testing?

Bezier OP ,
@Bezier@suppo.fi avatar

The 20 testers is specifically a play store requirement, so it has to go through it.

There same build is on github too, it just doesn't count towards Google's requirement.

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