Preparing and packaging an application for publication is called the release process (Figure 23.1). The release process is an exciting time: The application is humming, all those troublesome bugs have been resolved (within reason, at least), and you're ready to put your app in front of users.
The final build you perform—the build you expect to deliver to users—is called the release candidate build. The release candidate build should be rigorously tested and verified before it reaches users' hands. If the release candidate build passes every test, it becomes the release build—the official build for publication.
An overview of the release process.
Different people use different terminology for the release process. Different software methodologies impose different terms. Some companies have code names for such events, such as "going gold." Over the years, we've settled on release and release candidate because, regardless of the methodology of choice, the terms are pretty self-explanatory to most developers.
To publish an Android application, take the following steps:
1. Prepare and perform a release candidate build of the application.
2. Test the application release candidate thoroughly.
3. Package and digitally sign the application.
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