How App Distribution Works

Users don't need to install any apps to invoke your actions on the Assistant. However, all apps must be approved before users can discover and invoke them. Once approved, your users can invoke and discover your actions in a variety of ways, and we provide metrics for you to track and analyze how your app is being used to better serve your users.

How users invoke and discover actions

How users discover and invoke your actions is very important in its long term success. You have control over these variables by defining your own app name and action phrases. To better understand how this works, the following examples show how users might invoke and discover an imaginary app called GeekNum.

Invocation methods

By app name
Users explicitly invoke your app by its name by saying things like "Ok Google, talk to Geek Num" or "Ok Google, speak to Geek Num".
By app name and action phrase
Users explicitly invoke your app by its name with an action phrase by saying things like "Ok Google, talk to Geek Num to learn about the number 42"

Discovery Methods

By action phrase
Users discover your apps by saying things like "Ok Google, learn about the number 42". The Assistant knows you can handle this action and says "For that, try saying 'Ok Google, let me talk to Geek Num'". Action phrases give you an easy and powerful way to increase usage of your app by supporting specific and differentiated actions that your app excels at.
Assistant Directory
Users can browse and discover apps that they might want to use on the mobile app directory. Your app listing shows a description of your app, the surfaces it's available on, sample invocations, ratings, and more.
On your website
You can provide a link to the web or mobile version of your app's listing in our directory, so you can promote your apps and drive usage. You should write good descriptions and provide great images on what your app experience is like to increase traffic and ranking for your actions.

Learn more about invocation and discovery

Supported surfaces

You set the capabilities your app requires in the Actions console, where you can control what surfaces your apps can be invoked on. In addition, you can deliver different responses or conversations based on devices by using runtime capabilities.

Learn more about surfaces

Submitting your apps for approval

The Actions on Google console is where you start your development process by creating a project that tracks and manages your app. You also use the Actions console throughout development, to access the Actions Simulator to test your apps.

And, when you're ready to deploy and submit your actions for approval, you submit your app for approval and manage that in the Actions console (make sure your fulfillment is working!). Here, you'll specify things such as your app name and pronunciation and the surfaces that your app can appear on.

When you submit your app, our reviewers use and test it to find issues, bugs, or policy violations. To ensure a quick approval, we provide a launch checklist that you should go through before submitting your app for approval.

Learn more about the console

Viewing app analytics

The Actions console shows analytics for usage, health, and discovery after your app has been in production. View stats such as the amount of conversations, length of conversations abort rate, error rates, and more, to analyze ways to increase engagement.

Learn more analytics