A release can have a name, visible only to the team. It can be used for tracking what’s new, internal code names, etc.
You have different tracks: Internal, Closed (only users whom we’ve added), Open (users can add themselves) and Production. When you launch an update, you can launch it to only some tracks. Even Production can be rolled out to some countries first if you want.
You can do a staged rollout (similar to an iOS phased release), and you can pause a rollout if there’s a problem. But you can’t roll back (again like iOS). You have to manually set the percentage to roll out every day, like 20%, then 50%, then 100% (unlike iOS, which uses hardcoded percentages). This means that we can finish off quicker than the 7 days iOS takes. Maybe 2 days, one day to roll out to 30% of users, check that everything’s okay, and the second day 100%. You can’t set a schedule ahead of time, you have to come back each day and update the percentage. But this gives you an opportunity to verify that everything is good before rolling out futher.
On Play, updating the store page is considered to be separate from rolling out a new version. Google recommends the page is updated after the staged roll out finishes. Otherwise, new features mentioned on the page won’t be available to some users.
Play has a translation service that costs 7 cents per word or more. They will find someone who’ll translate our app into a chosen language, and we’re charged by Play.