ArchiveExpo SnackDiscord and ForumsNewsletter

Manage different app versions

Learn about developer-facing and user-facing app versions and how to manage them automatically.

In this chapter, we'll configure our example app to auto-increment the developer-facing app version. Learning about it will be useful before we dive into production build in the next two chapters.

Understanding developer-facing and user-facing app versions

An app version is composed of two values:

Both Google Play Store and Apple App Store rely on developer-facing values to identify each unique build. For example, if we upload an app with the app version 1.0.0 (1) (which is a combination of developer and user facing values), we cannot submit another build to the app stores with the same app version. Submitting builds with duplicate app version numbers results in a failed submission.

We can manually manage developer-facing values by adding android.versionCode and ios.buildNumber in app.config.js.

  "ios": {
    "buildNumber": "1"
    %%placeholder-start%%... %%placeholder-end%%
  "android": {
    "versionCode": "1"
  %%placeholder-start%%... %%placeholder-end%%

After manually adding these values, we need to update them every time before creating a new production build otherwise we will run into a failed submission error. However, to eliminate the chances of running into the error, we can automate this process using EAS Build in the next section

Note: The user-facing version number is not handled by EAS. Instead, we define that in the app store developer portals before submitting our production app for review.

Automate app version management with EAS Build

EAS Build can assist us in automating these values by utilizing the remote version resource. This feature automatically increments developer-facing values and keeps track of them whenever a new production release is made.

In eas.json:

  • Add cli.appVersionSource and set it to remote
  • Set build.production.autoIncrement to true:
  "cli": {
    %%placeholder-start%%... %%placeholder-end%%
    "appVersionSource": "remote"
  "build": {
    "production": {
      "autoIncrement": true
  %%placeholder-start%%... %%placeholder-end%%

When we create a new production build in the next two chapters, the versionCode for Android and buildNumber for iOS will increment automatically.


Chapter 7: Manage different app versions

We successfully explored app versioning differences, addressed the importance of unique app versions to prevent store rejections, and enabled automated version updates in eas.json for production builds.

In the next chapter, learn about the process of creating a production build for Android.

Next: Create a production build for Android