Introduction

PubCoder can export your publication as a native Android app that can be distributed for free or as a paid download on the Google Play Store or Amazon App Store.

The app actually bundles our own native Android reader technology with an XPUB export of your project, creating a unique app-player for your publication. Since the same player and the same format is used, every feature for the XPUB format is fully supported, including interactivity, read aloud, soundtrack, multiple renditions and localizations.

The resulting app will run on any Android device running Android 4.4 KitKat or later.

Requirements

Exporting an Android App requires the Java JDK and the Android SDK. PubCoder will automatically prompt for both installations, guiding you through the installation.

Java Development Kit (JDK) installer can be downloaded for free from Oracle website. Please accept their license agreement and download the correct version of the JDK for your OS. Once you have downloaded the JDK, please run the installer and follow the instructions to install JDK.

Android SDK will be automatically downloaded and installed when required. If needed, it can also be reinstalled from the Preferences window.

Android-specific Settings

Exporting an Android app requires additional setup in your project settings. Click Settings in your project window toolbar, then click on the Android App tab.

Android Settings

App Name The application name as it will appear under the app icon in the device’s applications screen
App ID Every Android app has a unique application ID that looks like a Java package name, such as com.example.myapp. This ID uniquely identifies your app on the device and in Google Play Store. If you want to upload a new version of your app, the application ID (and the certificate you sign it with) must be the same as the original APK—if you change the application ID, Google Play Store treats the APK as a completely different app. So once you publish your app, you should never change the application ID.
App Version Specifies the public version number of the app, you must increase it at each release and it will appear in the store.
The release version number is a string comprised of three period-separated integers.
The first integer represents major revisions to the app, such as revisions that implement new features or major changes. The second integer denotes revisions that implement less prominent features. The third integer represents maintenance releases.
Build Version An integer used as an internal version number. This number is used only to determine whether one version is more recent than another, with higher numbers indicating more recent versions. This is not the version number shown to users.
Google Play License Key Google Play Licensing Key for this app is required if you want to distribute your application with Google Play Store and allows your application to download contents (expansion file) from Google Play.
Keystore Android requires that all APKs be digitally signed with a certificate before they can be installed. A keystore is a binary file that contains one or more private keys.
App upgrade: When the system is installing an update to an app, it compares the certificate(s) in the new version with those in the existing version. The system allows the update if the certificates match. If you sign the new version with a different certificate, you must assign a different package name to the app—in this case, the user installs the new version as a completely new app.

You can also setup App Icons and Launch Images manually or use the default ones.

Android-specific Features

Since PubCoder’s Android native app uses the XPUB format and player, you can use all XPUB-specific features, including multiple renditions and localizations.

Export Destinations

The export control offers various possible destinations for the export.

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi export will build a single .apk file and share it over the local network. Scan the QR code or open the address on your Android device to download and install the app on your device.

Google Play Distribution

This will export an .apk file and a .zip expansion file containing your publication. You will need to upload both to Google Play Developers Console to publish your application on Google Play.

To upload your APK and expansion file to Google Play, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Play Console
  2. Create or select your app (please refer to Google Play help for more informations)
  3. On the left menu, click App Releases.
  4. Create a release, or, next to the release type you want to update, select Manage.
  5. Upload your app’s APK file.
  6. You’ll see a list of APKs that are associated with your release. Next to the relevant version code, click the add icon to upload the expansion file

submission step 5

submission step 6

Finally, save both your changes to the expansion file and to your release.

Ad Hoc Distribution

Use Ad Hoc distribution to build an .apk file that you can distribute manually or submit to other app stores (use Google Play Distribution to publish to Google Play instead).

USB

You can also install your app directly on your USB-connected device. To do this, you need to enable USB debugging mode on the device. USB debugging is a developer option that allows a computer to install software on an Android device.

Enable Developer Options

First of all, you need to enable developer options on your device, which is disabled by default on Android. If you already see Developer options section in the Settings app, please skip this section, otherwise, follow these steps to enable it:

  1. Open Settings app
  2. Tap on About tablet or About phone depending on your device
  3. Tap 7 times on Build number
Enable USB Debugging

To enable USB debugging for your device, please follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings app
  2. Tap on Developer options
  3. Tap on USB debugging to enable it
Allow USB debugging from your computer

When you connect your device to your computer for the first time after enabling USB debugging, your device will ask if you want to allow your computer to use USB debugging:

Check Always allow from this computer to prevent the device from asking this every time, then tap OK.

Your device will now appear in PubCoder devices list; if it does not, please disconnect the device and connect it again to your computer using a USB cable.