Add closed testing requirements(Until release my first Android app.)

Hello. I am zm soft, registered as a developer last year (end of ’23) and started releasing apps. I’m planning to release an app for developers as well, if you would like to check it out.

Changing Google Policies

Although this is a mid- to late-stage release procedure, I mention it first because it is a high hurdle for many developers. The policy change here requires closed testing with 20 or more people to release an app for accounts registered as developers after November 13, 2023. I decided to develop an app in mid-December and tried to register a simple app at the end of December. That is when I first learned of this policy change and was disappointed. It is a difficult requirement for me as I do not have many acquaintances and friends to begin with.

How the testers were collected?

In the end, it was not something I could manage with people close to me, so I made do with social networking. However, I did not use X (formerly Twitter) or Instagram, but registered with the following services and tested each other with other developers to complete the test.

All of these contacts will be in English. I used channels, PL cording(Youtube link. I joined from the overview section)、r/AndroidCloseTesting . In both cases, the basic approach is to take either or both of the following approaches

  • Start your own thread to recruit testers
  • Contact developers looking for testers

A little caution is in order regarding Reddit. Users who originally used the service may not have a problem, but new users are more likely to be banned. Depending on how you first use the service, you may not be able to write posts. I used to DM individual developers who were looking for testers, but soon I could no longer send DMs. After that, I tried to start my own thread to recruit testers, but my posts were rejected. it seems that many developers are restricted from DMing, so it is better to communicate within a thread as much as possible.

How to register as a tester?

Unpublished apps are naturally not visible to other users. Therefore, it is necessary to register users who will become testers on PlayConsole. There are two registration methods available, but I recommend Google Groups.

  • Mailing Lists
  • Google Groups

Tester management via mailing list

For the mailing list, you will need to register the tester’s address yourself by following the steps below. Select “Email lists” in the image above and click [->] in the list.

Registration itself is not difficult, but the number of testers required is at least 20. It is just a hassle to contact each of the other developers individually and register their addresses. Often I lost track of who I had registered and had to re-enter addresses that had already been registered. If registration takes too long, testers may give up participating. The inability of testers themselves to voluntarily participate in testing is a drawback of the mailing list.

Tester management via Google Groups

This is up to you, but testers can join the group themselves, allowing you to complete tester registration without having to deal with them individually.

To create a new group, click on [+New conversation]. Please make sure that anyone can join the group by going to [Group Settins]->[General].

Specific examples of tester recruitment

Based on the above, I will describe specific examples of when I recruited testers using each method. For the mailing list, it is necessary to register the person’s e-mail address, so I created a Google Form and tried inquiring about it.

ex. mailing list

Hi, I want to release my first app. Please help me.
Check the link for details. 

Google Form:

ex. Google Groups

I'm creating an app for developers. 
Please join the group and test it.


Regional settings of the tester

In fact, when you communicate with other developers, you may be told that you cannot access the app even though you have registered as a tester, or you yourself may not be able to access the app as a tester. Most of the time it seems to be due to regional settings. When I actually collect testers, I find that they are from many different regions, such as the US, Canada, India, Japan, and so on, but when I exchange contact information with them, they still don’t know which region they are from. Even if you are developing an app for a specific region, it is a good idea to limit testers’ regions as much as possible so that they can test widely. Specifically, use the following settings to set your target region as broadly as possible. In my case, I made sure to set all regions unless there was a specific reason not to.

Registration for Paid Apps

I have already told you how difficult it is to change closed test requirements, but the hurdle is even higher for paid apps. This is because the paid/free status of the app cannot be changed later, and the closed test also requires a purchase to download the app. For this reason, I have tried to set the lowest possible price during the test period to encourage as many testers as possible to participate. Because of the complexity of setting up the different regions, it is a good idea to create a template for the evaluation prices. I also considered temporarily setting a sale and making it free, but did not go that far because I did not think I would be able to attract testers in a short period of time.

The procedure for setting up a pricing template is as follows.
You can set the pricing template from [Change pricing template] under [Monetize]-[Products]-[App pricing]. It is troublesome if you want to set the minimum price for all regions, but I think it will be easier to deal with other apps when it becomes necessary if you make it once even in the form of modifying only for the region where it becomes an error after setting it collectively with a cheap amount to some extent.

If you have a better way to do this, please comment.


Today, I have shared with you the difficulties of closed testing and how to overcome them. I’m working on releasing app for developers to reduce these difficulties for new developers as much as possible, so please take advantage of it when it is released.

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