Updating Your Branded Android App


Follow the procedure and notes when updating your branded Android App.

Since August 2021, Google Play requires the Android App Bundle format (.aab) for publishing new apps. For more details see: About Android App Bundles. With this change, the APK has been replaced as the standard publishing format.

General Information

ownBrander generates 3 artifacts with every build:

Artifact Type Notes


Android App Bundle for Play Store distribution after August 2021


Needs signing. Use for distribution methods other than Play Store


Install directly to your device for debugging purposes

For the Android App Bundles, Play App Signing is required. For more details see: The future of Android App Bundles is here. Play App Signing is a safety feature provided by Google. Every new release will automatically be signed by Google. With this, apps no longer need to be signed locally.

Navigate to the Google Play Console page and click on the Play Console button.

You will then land on the Google Play Developer Account sign-on page. After successful log-on, choose the appropriate developer account.

Google Play Developer Account

The page should appear like this. Choose the designated app, which is to be signed and/or updated.

Google Play Developer Main View

Create a New Release and Activate App Integrity

Navigate to and click Production

Google Play Console Production

and continue by clicking the Create new release button.

Google Play Console New Release

Google Play Console will guide you through this. Follow the steps to validate your app integrity. Click the Activate button.

Google Play Console App Integrity

Since this is a new release version candidate and the key comes from the Java KeyStore, choose this option. Otherwise, choose according to your existing key scheme.

Google Play Console App Signing

Follow the instructions pertaining to the chosen key scheme, here: JavaKeyStore. Download the PEPK-Tool as instructed.

Google Play Console App Activate Signing

Gather your keystore parameters:

  • KeyStore Alias

  • Key Store Password

  • Key Alias Password

These are the parameters you previously used to sign your app. Perhaps you kept them stored in the ownBrander.

Input the command below into an open terminal window. As seen in the screen after the command, you can click on the copy-to-clipboard icon (Step 2) to copy the entire command block, but you must modify the "foo" parts of the command as follows:

  • foo.keystore must be replaced by the keystore name, here: damken

  • Alias is the app name, here: damkencloud, aka the Key Alias.

java -jar pepk.jar --keystore=foo.keystore --alias=foo --output=encrypted_private_key_path
Google Play Console KeyStore

After executing the above command, you will be prompted to enter both your KeyStore Password and then your Key Alias Password. Keep in mind that these passwords remain invisible while you type them. Note that multiple entries or typos lead to errors.

You can also check your signing parameters in ownBrander if you have uploaded them for previous versions.

Google Play Console KeyStore Password

If you download the PEPK tool on macOS, you’ll need additional permissions in the macOS Security & Privacy settings:

Google Play Console Security & Privacy width=450

Proceed by clicking on the button to upload your private key.

Google Play Console Upload Private Key

Double-click the file to upload it. After a successful upload, click on the Save button (bottom right of the page).

The following is a depiction of the upload file.

Google Play Console Upload File

You will be redirected to the Terms of Use page. Click Accept after reading them.

Navigate back to Production. The certificate is now displayed.

Google Play Console Certificate Shown

In the Production bar move to the Release review button.

Google Play Console Release Review

Notice the check-mark by the App Integrity field.

Google Play Console App Integrity OK

Upload the Android App Bundle

Proceed by clicking on Upload in order to upload the *-release.aab file you previously downloaded from your shared account from your personal folder on customer.owncloud.com.

Google Play Console App Upload Name
Google Play Console App Upload

You should see Google’s colors changing during the upload process, then a preview of the app release candidate.

Google Play Console App Upload Preview

The new version is available and should be thoroughly examined before releasing it to the production environment.

Google Play Console App Upload Overview

Optionally, you may choose to provide your users with information regarding the change log so they know which changes have been implemented.

Google Play Console App Changelog

If available from a previous release, just copy it.

Google Play Console Copy Changelog

After saving any modifications, proceed by clicking the Check release button.

Google Play Console Check Release

You may see some warning signs. If of importance, check to see in what regards they are. Scroll down.

Google Play Console Warnings

If you opt for a complete roll-out in all of the chosen distribution countries, just click the Begin Production Release button.

Google Play Console Begin Production

Review the chosen distibution and hit the Release button.

Google Play Console Releasing

Thereafter, you will receive a release status notification.

Google Play Console Releaase Notification

Notice, that Play App Signing has been successfully implemented.

Google Play Console Signing Successful

Afterwards, you can find the status of your release/update release candidate in the tab Release-Overview or Release Dashboard.

Google Play Console Release Dashboard