I was trying to keep it broad because the main question was:
What process are people using to get from A to B, Construct 2 to Google Play.
I got a top scrolling race game which is in beta on google play (but it's not working) and a plethora of other projects I haven't taken further because my flagship app hasn't successfully been completed.
All the compiling services have been getting updates faster then people can make guides for them. In turn the guides are becoming less relevant.
There are now so many ways of compiling, signing and zip aligning and thus there are tones of possible combinations of apk finalizing methods.
Is there a sweet spot? Is there a combination that yeilds predictable results that's user friendly?
I'm not a pro developer, I just figured out how to use construct over the course of about a year or so. The compiling services however, seem to be tailored to a more dev savvy user base, which I don't think is your average licenced construct user.
I'll try and answer some of my own questions for the benefit of the public.
I really like this program. I feel like it has more potential then the other services provided you put some solid time into learning it. When I first used Intel XDK it was very daunting and hand to pick up and understand. The tutorials were mostly for different versions then the one I downloaded on that day. The UI has changed a fair bit, important buttons and functionality aren't where they used to be, as seen in the tutorials.
Once you do manage to become simi-familiar though, things start to get better. The preview on your phone feature is awesome and the game looks like it's meant to when viewed on a android device.
HOWEVER, I havn't been able to compile anything with XDK for the last few versions. It just sits at "uploading project" with no indication of progress. I've left it for a whole day with no result, however the CPU usage shows that it is doing something?!
Even if you don't have this issue or can get around it, you still get no real progress indicator, whether your downloading an update or uploading your project.
The old Cocoon system worked. You had to push the right buttons and select the right options for it to spit out a working app, but when you did, it really did "just work". RIP
The new system for cocoon that is currently replacing .JS.
Recently tried to get it to compile my app. 9 out of 10 attempts I got the "Black Screen" known bug. There's a few fixes that require you to change physics engine and a couple lines of code manually, but despite doing that, I still got a black screen 9 out of 10 attempts.
The one attempt that did work was ugly. Fonts looked odd and had scaled weird and were out of position.
Looked extremely unprofessional. I don't know if a fix exists, I imagine I'd get told it's inherit to the process.
Either way, conclusion is that you cannot expect your app to look the same on android as it does in C2 preview...
Signs and ZipAligns your APK for you!!! you have to provide your own keystore.
I put about an hour into this and either didn't get a working result after compiling or got a weird result. Can't comment to much here because of limited experience.
KeyStore - Signing - ZipAligning
This was a painful experience for a noob to be undertaking... -_-
I hate this part so much. Download an old version of java (which u need an oracle business account to get!) because the new ones don't work. I can't remeber what else I had to download at this point, think I ended up with 3 versions of Java XDK, Android XDK, Intel XDK and something else... ALL JUST TO SIGN THE BLOODY THING!
When doing it manually, save a notepad doc of EVERYTHING you do.
I used notepad ++, (shift, ctrl,right click to get cmd in the location required)
There's a tiny program floating around somewhere that can do all this rubbish for you. It's less then a few MB!
First dozen times I tried to do this I went through the entire process (with a miserably slow net speed) just to keep getting told by google that my apk wasn't zip aligned correctly or something. Days... not just hours..
So yeh I'm not having fun