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Linking your Google Play Console to Appbot

To get the most from Appbot, it’s a good idea to link your Google Play Console account and authorize view access. Linking your Google Play Console to Appbot allows you to:

  • get app version data for each app review
  • get device data for each app review
  • fetch the complete review history for your Google Play apps.
  • fetch the complete rating history and get ratings breakdowns.
  • reply from within Appbot.

In this guide, we’ll cover the procedure to link your Google Play Console account to Appbot and how to authorize access to your reviews.

Important – You need to be the Google Play  Console account owner to complete this guide.

Setting Up A New Google Play  Console Connection

1. Log in

Open the Google Play Console and log in as the account owner.

If you have more than one Google profile logged in to a single browser you will need to use a private browser or use a separate browser profile. This process requires moving between the Google Play Console and Google Cloud Console and if you have more than one Google account it may open the wrong account when moving between the two services. 

2. Select Setup and then API access from the side menu.

3. Creating the project

If you see the ‘Linked Google Cloud project’ section as below, click on Create new Google Cloud project and then Save.

If you have previously linked the project you will jump straight to step 4 below.

4. View project

Click on View in Google Cloud Platform. 

It will open a new page:

5. Enable the APIs

First, select the hamburger menu and then APIs & Services.

Then click on Enable APIs and Services:

6. Search for APIs

Search for the following API’s and make sure they are all ENABLED:

  • Google Cloud APIs (lets us authenticate you)
  • Google Cloud Storage (allows us to access historical review data)
  • Google Cloud Storage JSON API (also allows us to access historical review data)
  • Google Play Android Developer (allows us to access current review data)

Once all the above services are enabled close this tab.

7. Service Account

Back in your developer console, press Learn how to create service accounts.

8. Google API Console

Click on Google Cloud Platform from the popup that appears.create new service account popup screenshot

9. Create Service Account

When your API console loads, click Create Service Account at the top.

10. Account Name

Give the service account a name (this can be anything you want, but it’s a good idea to name it something to do with Appbot so you know what it is in future), and then click Create.service account description screenshot

11. Roles

Under the Select a role dropdown, choose Basic and select Browser, then click Continue.

Then select Done:

Please note, if you see the following error it means you are not logged in as the Google Play Developer Console owner.error message screenshot

12. Create Key

Click the three dots and then Manage keys.how to select 'manage keys' screenshotFrom Add Key select Create new key.create a new key screenshot

Select JSON and then Create.JSON selected screenshot

13. Save Key

You should then get a message telling you Private key saved to your computer and the private key should begin downloading. Click Close on the dialog.

Close the tab and then press Done on the previous tab. This will return you to the Developer Console and API Access.

14. Granting access

Back in your Developer Console under API access you should now see the Appbot service account you created under the list of service accounts.  If it doesn’t appear, please refresh the page. Click the Manage Pay Console Permissions button next to the Appbot service account you just created.

15.  Account Permissions

Uncheck all except:

  1. View app information and download bulk reports (read-only) – so you’re only giving the Visibility permission to Appbot. This allows us to access the data in the Reports section of your Console account, which is where we obtain the historical review data.
  2. Reply to reviews – so you can reply from within Appbot.

Then press Invite User.account permissions screenshot
reply to reviews selected screenshot

NOTE: Google requires 24 hours for the permissions to take effect. Please wait 24 hours before proceeding to the next step.
16. Open Appbot

Login to your Appbot account, in the header, click the Cog icon, then click Link App Stores from the menu. On the page that loads, press Link Google Account.
linked accounts screenshot

17. Choose File

Click Choose File.choose a file screenshot

Select the private key that was downloaded earlier.
select private key example screenshot

Click on the Upload Service Account Key button.
linking google account screenshot

18. Cloud Storage URI

Head back to your Play Developer Console and navigate to Download reports from the left menu. Click into Reviews and select your app from the right.

Google Play Console 'reviews' location screenshot

Click on Copy Cloud Storage URI.download reviews reports screenshot

19. Paste URI

Back in Appbot, paste the URIs you just copied in and press Start Fetching.
paste URLS screenshot

NOTE: Google requires 24 hours for the permissions to take effect. If you get an error and are confident all steps above have been completed correctly, then please try again from step 15 in 24 hours.

Once it’s loaded you’ll see a message saying “Our bots are completing the account link” and you should see the Authenticated badge on each authenticated app on the Manage Sources page soon.
Our bots are completing the account link example message

20. Enable replies

Back on the Linked Accounts list press on ‘Enable Replies’ next to the Google Service you just added.
enable replies screenshot
warning message screenshot

21. Testing replies

Check your connection to the Google Play Store by heading to the Reviews page. If you have configured the connection to the store correctly you will see the option to “Reply to Review” as shown below: 'reply to review' in appbot screenshotIf you do not see the “Reply to Review” option go back and carefully review each step in this document from Step 1, to ensure you have connected to the store correctly.

When you click on “Reply to Review” the review thread will open with the input field shown below at the bottom of the page. Input the reply that you want to leave to the review in question, and then click the Reply button, bottom right corner. appbot 'reply to review' message box screenshot

22. Done!

Once the new data is fetched you can navigate to the Reviews Page. You will now see extra metadata on reviews for App Version, Device and OS Version.

example of metadata on reviews screenshot
If you enabled replies then you will see a new option to reply from within Appbot:
'reply to reviews' in appbot example screenshot
reply message box screenshot

Adding Replies To An Existing Linked Account

1. Log in to your Google Developer Console account, choose API access and then Manage Play Console Permissions on your service account.

2. Select Account permissions.
account permissions screenshot
3. Enable Reply to reviews and click Save changes.
enable reply to reviews screenshot
4. Go to step 19 above to enable replies in Appbot

If you need any further assistance on linking the Google Play developer console, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or check out our FAQ section here.­­­­

Who Can Access This Data?

The data collected under the authenticated Google Play app (the version with the green padlock) can only be accessed by users associated with teams that have a linked Google Play Developer Console account associated with that app connected to their team.

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