The newly released sticker pack support for WhatsApp opens up a whole new world for Android developers and enthusiasts. They can now develop their own sticker packs for everyone's beloved messaging app with pretty much no extra work involved. For our first look at this feature and some great news, please visit "WhatsApp stickers come to life in the latest betas, the official rollout is on its way".
To start with, there are a handful of things you have to download first. WhatsApp has provided source code for a sticker pack sample app on GitHub, which at a later time you will have to import into Android Studio and build your own one on top of it. But, if you are not familiar with Android development at all, visit Google's guide for setting up a build environment and building apps.
Okay, so after you have all of the things set up, now you can start preparing your sticker images. Make sure to follow every size, resolution and format restriction in place written on this README.md file from the official Stickers repository. It contains a helpful amount of tips for optimizing all of the graphical resources that need to be included as well.
Building the app
If everything above has been done, then it is time to build your first sticker pack app:
- Import the downloaded source code into Android Studio.
- Navigate to SampleStickerApp/app/src/main/assets/1 and replace the sample stickers with your own ones.
- Replace the sample tray icon PNG with your own tray icon.
- To add more sticker packs, simply create new folders named 2, 3 and so on inside the assets folder.
- Modify the attributes below accordingly in SampleStickerApp/app/src/main/assets/contents.json:
- emoji (optional)
- android_app_store_link (optional)
- publisher_website (optional)
- privacy_policy_website (optional)
- license_agreement_website (optional)
- Change the app's launcher icon, name, and id.
- Build the app.
Note: If your app has more than 1 sticker pack, you will need to reference it in contents.json. For more details: README.md file on GitHub
Submit your app to the Google Play Store
To do this, you need to test your app and then build a release version by clicking on Build - Generate Signed Bundle/APK. For further details, take a look at https://developer.android.com/studio/publish/app-signing#sign-apk and https://developer.android.com/studio/run.
Be sure to include the keyword "WAStickerApps" in your app's description when setting it up on the Google Play Store console, so it appears in the list with search results, initiated from WhatsApp. To submit your app to the Play Store, follow the instructions here: https://developer.android.com/distribute/best-practices/launch
The opportunity given to developers as a concept to release a new app leads to endless possibilities in regards to ideas and variations. Users will also benefit from this because now they have even more stickers to choose from.
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