How to publish private Android app without publishing to the Play Store?

Hi, I want to export my app to be used on devices for our business, without publishing the app to the Play Store. Do I still need an Android Keystore file to do that?

Hi Daniel, many thanks for your reply. Is there no way to send the users a direct APK or IPA they can install on their devices? We are using AppGyver on SAP BTP to build an internal app for business users, and so wish to circumvent the app store in this process. Is that at all possible?

APK yes, IPA no. Apple is tyrannical. You can send an android apk directly to a user in email, or uploaded to google drive, or place it on a server and make a web page where they can go download.

You can even implement version control as well as app links with custom server functions. You can do anything the play store can do. However, you cannot circumvent the warning built into the Android OS which warns someone “This App Might Be Harmful.”

However, Epic Games, myself, the web3 community, and many others have joined the Wikacy Project and are planning a class-action lawsuit to force Google to get there hands out of the open source linux kernel and allow private distribution authorities that will prevent such a scary warning.

This is a demo of a web page where users can install the app downloaded directly from Google Drive:

Once installed, the app will check the most current version simply by checking a field in database against the system vars version code, and prompt them to update the app.