Google Play publishing with codemagic.yaml

How to deploy an app to Google Play using codemagic.yaml

Codemagic enables you to automatically publish your android application to Google Play.

Note: This guide only applies to workflows configured with the codemagic.yaml. If your workflow is configured with Flutter workflow editor please go to Publishing to Google Play using Flutter workflow editor.

Codemagic enables you to automatically publish your app either to one of the predefined tracks on Google Play or to your custom closed testing tracks.

In order to do so, a service account is required when setting up publishing to Google Play. The service account JSON key file must be added to Codemagic to authenticate with these services.

Configure Google Play API access

  1. To allow Codemagic to publish applications to Google Play, it is necessary to set up access using Google Play API.

  2. In the Google Cloud Console, navigate to Dashboard > IAM and Admin and click Create Service Account.

    Google play start

  3. In step 1, fill in the Service account details and click Create. The name of the service account will allow you to identify it among other service accounts you may have created.

  4. In step 2, click the Select a role dropdown menu and choose the role. In this example we will use Service Account User as the desired role. Start typing the name of the role that you wish to add.

    Google cloud editor

  5. In step 3, you can leave the fields blank and click Done.

  6. In the list of created service accounts, locate the account you just created. Copy its email address, which will be required later. Then, click on the menu in the Actions column, then click Manage keys.

    Google cloud key

  7. In the Keys section, click Add Key > Create new key. Make sure that the key type is set to JSON and click Create. Save the key file in a secure location to have it available.

    Google cloud json

  8. Back in Google Play Console, navigate to Users and Permissions and click Invite new users. Enter the email id which you copied in step 6.

  9. Navigate to Users and Permissions. Click on the invited user and go to App Permissions. Add the desired applications to grant access.

    Google play selected

  10. Ensure that you check the Releases section. You can leave the rest of the settings as default and click Apply (financial data permissions can be left blank).

    Google play apply

  11. On the Account permissions tab, leave everything as it is. (There is NO need to grant the service account Admin access).

  12. Finally, click Invite user to finish setting up the service account on Google Play. In the Invite user window, the Email address field is pre-filled. Under Permissions, the default ones are already selected. You can go with these. Click Invite user at the bottom of the page.

    Google play all

Configure publishing in codemagic.yaml

Once you make all the preparations as described above and configure publishing to Google Play, Codemagic will automatically distribute the app to Google Play every time you build the workflow.

Note: The very first version of the app must be added to Google Play manually. You can download the app_release.aab from the build artifacts. In addition, each uploaded binary must have a different version; see how to automatically increment build version on Codemagic.
  1. Save the contents of the JSON key file as a secure environment variable in application or team settings:

    1. Open your Codemagic app settings, and go to the Environment variables tab.

    2. Enter the desired Variable name, e.g. GCLOUD_SERVICE_ACCOUNT_CREDENTIALS.

    3. Copy and paste the key file content as Variable value.

    4. Enter the variable group name, e.g. google_credentials. Click the button to create the group.

    5. Make sure the Secure option is selected.

    6. Click the Add button to add the variable.

    7. Add the variable group to your codemagic.yaml file

            groups: - google_credentials

  2. Configure publishing section in codemagic.yaml to publish to Google Play:

    # Contents of the JSON key file for Google Play service account saved 
    # as a secure environment variable

    # Name of the track internal, alpha, beta, production, internal app sharing,
    # or your custom track name
    track: internal

    # Optional Priority of the release (only set if in-app updates are supported)
    # integer in range [0, 5]
    in_app_update_priority: 3

    # Optional. Rollout fraction (set only if releasing to a fraction of users)
    # value between (0, 1)
    rollout_fraction: 0.25

    # Optional boolean To be used ONLY if your app cannot be sent for review automatically *
    changes_not_sent_for_review: true

    # Optional boolean. Publish artifacts under a draft release.
    # Can not be used together with rollout_fraction. Defaults to false
    submit_as_draft: true

    # Optional. Enable release to be promoted to another track in addition to where it is
    # originally published.

      # Name of the track to which release is promoted.
      track: alpha

      # Optional. Rollout fraction (set only if releasing to a fraction of users)
      # value between (0, 1)
      rollout_fraction: 0.25

      # Optional boolean. Promote the release as draft.
      # Can not be used together with rollout_fraction. Defaults to false
      promote_as_draft: true
  1. Codemagic enables you to automatically publish your app to one of the tracks:

    • Internal — publish for internal testing and QA
    • Alpha — publish for testing with a small group of trusted users
    • Beta — publish for testing to a wider set of users
    • Production — release the app to production
    • Custom — release the app to a custom closed testing track

    In order to publish to a track (e.g. internal) and immediately promote the same release to another track (e.g. alpha) to reach a wider audience, additionally configure the release_promotion section.

Note: You can use the “Wear OS Only” track to manage Wear OS releases in Play Console. To target “Wear OS Only” track, add wear: in the track name.

track: wear:internal

  1. If your application supports in-app updates, Codemagic allows setting the update priority. Otherwise, in_app_update_priority can be omitted or set to 0.

  2. In addition, Codemagic supports staged releases, allowing users to choose which fraction of the testers or users get access to the application. To release to everyone, omit rollout_fraction from codemagic.yaml.

Tip: You can override the publishing track specified in the configuration file using the environment variable GOOGLE_PLAY_TRACK. This is useful if you’re starting your builds via Codemagic API and want to build different configurations without editing the configuration file.

Note: To use different Google Play Console accounts for publishing your Android apps, set up separate workflows.