Home » Simplifying Staged Rollouts on the App Store and Google Play for Everyone

Simplifying Staged Rollouts on the App Store and Google Play for Everyone

by Andrei Neacsu
7 minutes read
Staged Rollouts on App Store & Google Play | HyperSense

Dive into the world of staged rollouts on the App Store and Google Play, a powerful strategy that can enhance your software development process. This article simplifies the concept for both technical and non-technical readers alike, shedding light on how staged rollouts contribute to better app performance and user satisfaction.

What are Staged Rollouts?

Staged rollouts are a release strategy that allows developers to gradually introduce new app updates to a small percentage of users before making them available to everyone. This approach helps identify potential issues early on, minimizing the impact of bugs and ensuring a smoother experience for the wider user base.

Phased Releases in iTunes Connect

Phased releases on the App Store are managed through iTunes Connect, allowing developers to incrementally release app updates to users over a period of time. This gradual rollout enables developers to monitor user feedback and app performance, address any issues that arise, and, if necessary, halt the release.

To implement a phased release, the developer must first submit their app update for review. Once approved, they can opt for a phased release during the submission process. The default rollout starts at 1% of users, and the percentage increases over time. Developers can also manually adjust the distribution percentage, accelerating or slowing the release as needed.

If any issues are identified during the phased release, developers can pause the rollout, fix the problems, and submit a new build. The phased release will resume with the updated build, ensuring that users receive a stable and improved app experience.

Constraints and best practices for phased releases on the App Store include:

  • Phased releases are only available for app updates, not for new app launches;
  • The maximum duration for a phased release is seven days, with the distribution percentage increasing daily by default (1%, 2%, 5%, 10%, 20%, 50%, and 100%);
  • Select a diverse group of users for the initial release to ensure a wide range of device models and software versions are tested;
  • Monitor user feedback and analytics closely during the release, and act promptly to address any concerns or issues.
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By following these best practices and understanding the constraints, developers can leverage phased releases on the App Store to deliver a better, more reliable app experience for all users.

app store connect phased release.png

Staged Rollouts in Google Play Console

Staged rollouts on Google Play are managed through the Google Play Console, providing developers with a controlled method to release app updates to a percentage of their user base. This approach allows developers to gather feedback, identify issues, and ensure a stable app experience before a full release.

To initiate a staged rollout, developers must submit their app update for review. After approval, they can configure the release as a staged rollout in the Google Play Console by selecting the desired percentage of users to receive the update. The rollout percentage can be manually increased at any time, and developers can also halt the rollout if problems are discovered.

If a rollout is halted due to issues, developers can submit a new build with the necessary fixes. The staged rollout will then continue from the previously reached percentage, ensuring that users receive an improved and stable app experience.

Constraints and best practices for staged rollouts on Google Play include:

  • Staged rollouts are available for both app updates and new app releases;
  • The developer has full control over the rollout percentage and can adjust it at any time;
  • Aim for a diverse group of initial users to test the app on various device models and Android versions;
  • Closely monitor user feedback, app performance, and crash reports during the rollout to identify and address any issues promptly.
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By adhering to these best practices and understanding the constraints, developers can effectively utilize staged rollouts on Google Play to deliver a seamless and reliable app experience to all users.

google play staged roll-out.png

Comparing App Store and Google Play Staged Rollouts

While both the App Store and Google Play offer staged rollouts, there are some differences between the two platforms that developers should consider when planning their release strategy.

Phased Releases in iTunes Connect:

  • Only available for app updates, not for new app launches;
  • Rollout duration limited to seven days, with default distribution percentages increasing daily (1%, 2%, 5%, 10%, 20%, 50%, and 100%);
  • Managed through iTunes Connect and relies on the App Store’s review process.

Staged Rollouts on Google Play:

  • Available for both app updates and new app releases;
  • No maximum duration for the rollout, with developers having full control over the distribution percentage;
  • Managed through the Google Play Console and subject to Google’s review process.

Despite these differences, both platforms share common best practices for staged rollouts, such as targeting a diverse group of initial users, monitoring user feedback and app performance, and addressing issues promptly. Adapting your staged rollout strategy based on the platform’s specific features will help ensure a successful and smooth release, ultimately leading to a better user experience for all.

HyperSense’s Commitment to Staged Rollouts and Quality Software Solutions

Staged rollouts on the App Store and Google Play are powerful tools that enable software developers to deliver more reliable and seamless app experiences to users. By understanding the unique features and best practices of each platform, developers can effectively leverage staged rollouts to ensure a successful and smooth release.

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At HyperSense, we recognize the importance of these strategies in our daily work. We carefully plan and execute staged rollouts for our software products, utilizing both the phased release system in iTunes Connect and Google Play’s staged rollout features. By doing so, we are able to efficiently identify and address any issues before they reach the majority of our users. This proactive approach not only ensures a better app experience for our clients and their users but also contributes to our commitment to delivering high-quality software solutions.

Whether you are a developer looking to improve your app release process or an app user wanting to understand the development cycle better, staged rollouts offer valuable insights and advantages for everyone involved. Embrace this release strategy and join us in our pursuit of building better, more reliable software.

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