HOW TO: Ionic Android Ad Hoc Release

This post will explain how to build an Ionic app and release it Ad Hoc for Android devices. This mode of release is primarily used for Android Beta testing.


  • Computer
  • Android Studio & SDK Tools
  • Google Play Developer Console Account


  • APP_NAME, found in package.json, e.g. “name”: “MyApp”

Ionic Build

$ cordova platform add android --save
$ ionic cordova build android --prod --release
  • Open the Android Studio project, found in platforms > android

Android Studio Build With Signing

  • Build > Generate Signed APK
    • Module: android
  • Next
  • Create New
    • Key store path: path-to-user/directory-to-store-key/key-name.jks
    • Password / Confirm: password for key
    • Alias: a name to identify the key
    • Password / Confirm: password for key
    • Certificate: fill in your name, organisation, location
  • Ok > Next
    • APK Destination Folder: path-to-project/project-name/platforms/android
    • Build Type: Release
  • Finish
  • Wait for Android Studio to build the project
  • The APK will be located at path-to-project/project-name/platforms/android/android-release.apk
  • You can rename the file

Google Play Console

Optional: create list of testers

  • Settings > Manage Testers
  • Create List
    • List name: used to identify the list
    • Add email addresses: email addresses for user Google Play accounts
  • Create List > Save

Create the application on Google Play Console

  • Settings > All applications
  • Create a an application (or click on existing one)
    • Create Application
    • Title: name of your application
    • Create
    • Complete the store listing
  • App Releases > Internal test track > Manage
  • Manage testers
    • Choose a testing method: Internal
    • Users: select the list of users
    • Save
  • Create Release
  • App signing by Google Play
    • Continue
    • Read and accept the Terms of Service
  • Android App Bundles and APKs to add
    • Browse Files
    • Find the APK file from earlier
    • Upload
  • Release name
    • Enter a name to identify the app in the Play Console
  • What’s new in this release?
    • Enter some information about the app functionality
  • Save > Review
  • Review summary
    • Errors: you must resolve these before continuing
    • Warning: it is suggested that you resolve these
  • Complete outstanding sections
    • Content rating > *
    • Pricing & distribution > *
  • Internal test track > Edit Release > Review > Start Rollout to Internal Test
  • Wait wile Google approve the app, this may take a few days…
  • Release Management > App release > Internal test track > Manage
  • Manage testers > Opt-in URL
  • Send the Opt-in URL to your testers
  • Tester must log in with their tester account and visit the url


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