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SERIES: Publish your Production-ready React Native Application to Firebase App Distribution(Android) - Part 2

Written by: Victor Bruce

16th May 2021


2 min read

bunch of colourful arrows

Releasing your React Native app to trusted testers has been much easier and less of a pain with the help of Firebase App Distribution. In this blog tutorial series, we are going to look at how to distribute your Android apps to Firebase App Distribution for free.

Firebase App Distribution makes distributing your apps to trusted testers painless by getting your pre-release version of your app to testers quickly. This makes it possible for you as a developer or team to get early access to feedback quickly before releasing your application to the Google Playstore or Appstore.

Below are some of the benefit of using Firebase App Distribution:

  • Cross-platform: helps you to manage both your Android and iOS pre-release distributions from the same place.

  • Fast distribution: get early releases into your testers’ hands quickly, with fast onboarding, no SDK to install, and instant app delivery.

  • Fits into your workflow: distribute builds using the Firebase console, Firebase CLI, Gradle(Android), or Fastlane.

  • Tester management: manage your testing teams by organizing them into groups with email invitations.

Ways of Distributing Your pre-release App.

  • Firebase console
  • Firebase Command Line Interface(CLI)
  • Gradle(for Android only)
  • Fastlane

In this blog post, we will tackle how to use the Firebase console to distribute our pre-release app. We will dive into how to use the rest in another blog post.

Using Firebase Console to distribute your Pre-release App.


You should:

  • Have a firebase project setup
  • Have registered or connected your React Native App to Firebase (check out this post on how to do that).
  • Have built your React Native App and signed your APK with the debug or release key (check out this post on how to do that).

Step 1: Getting Started

  • Head over to your firebase console(firebase.google.com)
  • Click on App Distribution on the left side menu
getting started with firebase app distribution
  • Click on the Get started button. You should see the screen below after:
firebase app distribution dashboard

Step 2: Uploading Your Apk

  • Drag your signed APK or browse to the file where your APK is located into the App Distribution

Note: You can locate your signed APK file at the path ./android/app/build/outputs/apk/release/app-release.apk

signed apk uploaded successfully

Step 3: Adding Testers

You can add testers by sending them invites via email. Moreover, Firebase App Distribution gives you the flexibility of creating test groups. With this, you can put your testers into groups and send them invitations based on which version you want a particular group to test.

Step 4: Distribute the App

After adding some testers, Firebase will send an invitation to their email with a link to download your App directly onto their mobile phones.

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In this blog post, we looked at how to distribute a pre-release version of your app to Firebase App Distribution using the Firebase console.

In our next post(part 3), we will look at how to automate the process of publishing a React-Native app to Firebase App Distribution using Fastlane

Thank you🙏🏾.

Part 3: https://victorbruce82.medium.com/series-publish-a-production-ready-react-native-app-to-firebase-app-distribution-using-fastlane-c68f39eb3d93