This article describes in overview the steps you need to take to test your app on your Android device without using the Google Play Store. 

When you build your app, you can download an APK  file and open that on your Android phone. 

A. When you are ready to test your app: 

Note: Before you start, make sure that you have uninstalled any earlier versions of this app

  1. Do a last check if the content of your app is correct.
  2. Click the Publish button in the top right corner of the Publish dashboard.
  3. This wizard will take you through the creation of your AAB and APK file. This takes between 1 and 3 hours. You can close the wizard during that time and come back later.
    In the publish dashboard you can click View Publish progress in the Google Play tile to open the wizard again.
  4.  After the publishing process is finished, you can Download the files from the Publish Dashboard.
  5. If you want to test your app on your own Android device, we advice you to click on the QR code icon
  6. So the QR code appears. Scan that code with the camera of your Android device.
  7. The steps on your phone might differ a little from the steps shown below because not all Android phones  work exactly the same.

    Your phone might show you a message like this. Choose Download anyway
  8. Your phone will ask you if you want to open the link in a webbrowser. Say Yes or Open 

    The first time your Android device might ask you if you want to trust this developer. Say yes to allow that.
  9. Install the app.
  10. Open the app.
  11. Check if your app works like expected.
    if yes, go to paragraph B
    if you want to change your app some more, check Paragraph C.
    if you see a bug where the app is not showing in the right way, check paragraph D.

How to turn Google Play Protect on or off on your android devive

Google Play Protect is on by default, but you can turn it off, so you don;t get the "Install anyway" question every time you download a new APK. 

* Open the Google Play Store app Google Play.
* At the top right, tap the profile icon.
* Tap Play Protect and then Settings.
* Turn Scan apps with Play Protect on or off.

You do need to realise that this is also disabled now for all apps that you download.

B. App looks good

  1. If the app works like expected and you want to upload it to the Google play Store
    You can Download the AAB file from the Publish Dashboard > Google Play > Download
  2. Download the AAB file 
  3. Upload the AAB file at Google for the first time   Read more..
    OR upload an update to Google

C. App needs some more work

  1. If you want to make some additional changes to the content or design of your app, make the changes in the Content tab
  2. Make sure you remove the previous version from your Android device
  3. Do a new Publish for the Google Play Store and download the APK file again with the camera from your android device

D. You experienced an issue

  1. If your app shows wrong information or a bug, contact and mention the app owners email adres, the appnumber ( shown in the header of the Publish screen), mention what looks off and include screenshots of the issue.