How to change package and app name for Android apps?

Have you ever caught in a situation where you have given some funny or irrelevant package name for client’s Android app and the app is already published on Google Play store? The package name is your App’s unique identity on Google Play Store. All future versions of the App need to have same package name in order to manage updates. App with a different package name can only be published as a different app with different name on the Play Store.

The package name is normally not exposed to end users but when you want to share direct link of your app on play store with end users via your website or social media, the package name gets exposed since the  direct link on Play Store contains the package name. A typical Android play store URL looks like https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cakerstreet.cst.app.  Last part of the URL after equal to sign (com.cakerstreet.cst.app) is the package name. If you have already submitted the app and you figure out that package name is not relevant or client insists on changing the package name, you have following options-

  • Upload new apk with correct package name and new app name (This is not recommended since users would continue to download the App with incorrect package name while you would be providing no future updates for that package name).
  • Unpublish already published app and upload new apk with correct package name (recommended). In this case you would need to rename old unpublished app to something else so that new apk can have same name (the name you want for your published app). Play store doesn’t  allow two apps to have same name even when they have different package name.

We faced this issue recently when a mobile app client requested to change the package name at a time when Hybrid Mobile App we’ve developed  was already live on the Play Store. Thankfully there weren’t any installs and we were quick to make the changes to package name and publish new app with right package name.

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