How to enable Google Play developer options and the new internal app sharing
Many Android users — even those who have never developed an app in their lives — already know about Android developer options. You need to know about this section of the OS when you are developing apps or when you want to do things like unlock bootloaders, flash custom ROMs, or enable certain hidden features.
However, now there are Google Play developer options, a new set of features that applies to the Google Play Store only. Google Play developer options operate independently of the primary Android options and need to be enabled in a different way.
Follow along here and we’ll tell you how to enable Google Play developer options as well as what benefits it could bring.
How to enable Google Play developer options
The first thing you need to do before completing any of these steps is to make sure you are running the latest version of the Google Play store. Open the Play Store app, tap the menu button in the upper left-hand corner, and tap on Settings. Scroll down to find “Play Store Version” and tap it once. Google will either tell you that you’re on the latest version or it will update the app for you.
Once you’ve got that squared away, you can enable Google Play developer options by following these (fairly similar) steps:
- Open up the latest version of the Google Play Store app.
- Tap the three-bar menu icon in the upper left-hand corner.
- Tap on “Settings.”
- Scroll down to the section that says “Play Store Version.”
- Tap on “Play Store Version” seven times.
Once you’ve tapped on “Play Store Version” seven times, the screen will quickly refresh and a new option will appear on the settings page. It’s called “Internal App Sharing.”
What is internal app sharing?
Developers who are creating Android apps will often send test versions of the app to members of their team. This new internal app sharing feature within Google Play developer options makes that process easier, as team members can share app versions from within the Play Store, rather than sideload APKs.
When you enable internal app sharing, Google explains this a bit and also warns you about how this could be dangerous:
All in all, this new feature shouldn’t affect non-developers too much. However, it’s good to know that this feature exists because Google might add future Google Play developer options which could be helpful to even non-developers (just like Android developer options).