Release instructions for normal releases

This page contains detailed instructions for normal releases. Refer to Releasing a New NewPipe Version for other information about releases.

Preliminary steps


  • Have admin rights on Weblate
    • You should be able to access Weblate's Maintenance page
    • Tip: if the correct page does not show up when clicking that URL, make sure you are logged in ;-)
  • Have at least maintainer rights on the NewPipe and NewPipeExtractor repos


  • Have a cloned NewPipe local repository (for the rest of the page, origin is assumed to be the remote at
  • Add the weblate remote to the same local repository (the URL used below can be found on the Maintenance page on Weblate)
    • git remote add weblate
  • Make sure there are no pending changes
    • git clean -fdx to discard them all (CAUTION)
  • Switch to the dev branch and make sure it is up-to-date with the remote:
    • git checkout dev
    • git pull origin dev

Version name and conventions

  • Find the version code of the next release by looking for versionCode in app/build.gradle: You will add 1 to that value (from now on called NEW_VERSION_CODE) to get the new value (but do not edit the file yet)
  • Choose the version number of the next release according to semantic versioning (from now on called X.X.X)


  • Have gpg installed and usable on your PC
  • Have a GPG key, which can be used to verify that a file is really from you

Pull changes from Weblate

  • Go to Weblate's Maintenance tab
  • Press the Lock button to prevent translators from translating while you are creating commits; remember to Unlock later!
  • Press the Update button to update Weblate with the latest changes on NewPipe's dev branch
  • Press the Commit button, if needed, to make sure Weblate creates a commit for translations which have not been committed yet
  • Now go back to the local git repository
  • In case you followed these steps before, delete the weblate-dev branch
    • git branch -D weblate-dev
  • Fetch new changes from the weblate remote
    • git fetch weblate
  • Create a new branch starting from weblate/dev, named weblate-dev, and switch to it
    • git checkout -b weblate-dev weblate/dev
  • If you run git log --oneline --graph you should see a Weblate commit on top, and then all of the commits currently on the dev branch:
* cmt12hash (HEAD -> weblate-dev, weblate/dev) Translated using Weblate (...)
* cmt89hash (origin/dev, dev) Commit message ...
  • Switch back to the dev branch
    • git checkout dev
  • Merge weblate-dev into dev:
    • git merge weblate-dev

Create a changelog

  • Finalize the draft changelog kept on GitHub, in case there are still some things to fill in
    • Remove the temporary instructions, and the numbers before - which keep track of the order in which the PRs were merged, as that info is useful only for the blog post writers
    • Before removing that information, you may want to send the original changelog to the blogpost writers
  • Create a new English changelog in the fastlane/metadata/android/en-US/changelogs/ folder
  • The file should be named NEW_VERSION_CODE.txt, using the new version code found in the Preliminary steps
  • The file should have this structure (sections with no points can be removed):
• ...

• ...

• ...
  • Make sure you use the for points (it looks nicer than -)
  • Capitalize the first letter in each point
  • Use English verbs as if you were asking someone to do something, so for example use "Fix abc" and not "Fixed abc"; this allows saving a few characters and using a consistent style
  • Prepend [SERVICE] to service-only changes (e.g. "• [YouTube] Add mixes")
  • Summarize only the most important changes from the draft release kept on GitHub (it contains all merged pull requests)
  • Make sure the file size is at most 500 bytes, in order to fit F-Droid's changelog size limit (!)
    • Tip: removing the newline at the end of the file saves 1 byte ;-)
  • Commit the file on the dev branch (try to stick to the provided commit message template)
    • git add fastlane/metadata/android/en-US/changelogs/NEW_VERSION_CODE.txt
    • git commit -m "Add changelog for vX.X.X (NEW_VERSION_CODE)"

Push the changelog to Weblate

Now there should be two new commits (the Weblate and changelog ones) on your local dev branch, which are not on NewPipe's remote dev branch.

  • If you are an admin of the NewPipe repo, just push the changes to the remote dev
    • git push origin dev
    • If you are not an admin, create a pull request normally and ask someone with maintainer access to merge it
  • Go to Weblate's Maintenance tab
  • Press the Update button to update Weblate with the commit you just pushed on NewPipe's dev branch
  • Press the Unlock button to allow translators to translate the changelog and possibly other components (do not forget this step!)
  • Note that we had to do this process on NewPipe's dev branch because:
    • Weblate's components are connected to NewPipe's dev branch, and will update changes from there
    • Weblate's git repo is not writable, so there is no way to push commits there manually

Creating the release branch

  • Create a new branch starting from dev, named release-X.X.X, and switch to it
    • git checkout dev
    • git checkout -b release-X.X.X
  • Edit the app/build.gradle file to update the extractor
  • Commit the extractor update (if you used a specific version, append to VERSION to the commit message)
    • git add app/build.gradle
    • git commit -m "Update NewPipeExtractor"
  • Edit the app/build.gradle file to bump the release
    • Set versionCode to NEW_VERSION_CODE, i.e. increment the value by 1 as described in the Preliminary steps
    • Set versionName to "X.X.X"
  • Commit the version bump (try to stick to the provided commit message template)
    • git add app/build.gradle
    • git commit -m "Release vX.X.X (NEW_VERSION_CODE)"
  • Push the newly created branch to the NewPipe repo
    • git push origin release-X.X.X

Creating the Pull Request

  • Create a Pull Request (PR) from the new branch you just pushed
    • If you used the correct branch name you should be able to use this URL, after changing the X.X.X:
  • Make sure the PR has master as the base branch and release-X.X.X as the compare branch
  • The PR title should be "Release vX.X.X (NEW_VERSION_CODE)"
  • Remove the entire PR template, and instead put these two lines in the description (the ISSUE_NUMBER will be replaced later):
Do **not** report regressions here, but rather in the corresponding issue: #ISSUE_NUMBER
The changelog is also there.
  • Once you have created the PR, note down its number (from now on called PR_NUMBER)
  • In case some issue would be fixed when the release PR is merged, link them using the "Development" tab on the right, or add a "Fixes #...." in the PR description
  • Check out #8231 for reference

Creating the issue

  • Create an issue
    • Click here to open one without a template
  • The issue title should be "Release vX.X.X (please TEST!)"
  • The issue should have some sections, in the same order as provided below, with ## before titles
  • The ## Testing for regressions section should contain the following lines; more information about how to obtain the APK are given at Testing APKs
Debug APK (built by our CI in #PR_NUMBER): ...
Please report **only regressions** (i.e. new issues) here, not issues that were already present in previous releases!
  • An optional ## TODO section should contain a list of things that still need to be done before releasing, for example regressions that need to be fixed, or a reminder to merge the Weblate changelogs before releasing (use - [ ] to create checkbox lists)
  • The ## NewPipeExtractor version section should contain a link to the NewPipeExtractor release this new NewPipe version will ship with (i.e. the one set in Creating the release branch); choose one of these lines as a template
This version of NewPipe will ship with [NewPipeExtractor version NPE_VERSION](
This version of NewPipe will ship with [NewPipeExtractor commit FIRST_7_DIGITS_OF_NPE_COMMIT](
  • Create the App changelog section using the template below. Copy the draft Markdown changelog kept on GitHub (you finalized it earlier in Create a changelog) to the clipboard and paste it where specified below (make sure to leave a newline above, otherwise Markdown breaks):
<details><summary><h2>App changelog </h2></summary><p>

  • Once you have created the issue, pin it using the "Pin issue" button on the right
  • Update the ISSUE_NUMBER in the pull request description
  • Check out #8230 for reference

Testing APKs

The first time you open the release issue, and then each time some changes are made to the release PR, you should provide a debug APK in the ## Testing for regressions section.

  • Wait for the Continuous Integration (CI) to finish testing the PR, then download the resulting debug APK artifact from the "Checks" tab
  • Rename it to NewPipe_vX.X.X_RC1_debug.apk where RC1 should be incremented to RC2 and so on each time a new APK is provided
  • Zip it and make sure the .zip file has the same name as the .apk it contains
  • Upload it in the issue description, replacing the ... placeholder used above

Sometimes it might be needed to also provide a release APK. In this case follow the same steps as above, with these differences:

  • Make sure you are on the release-X.X.X branch
  • Build the release APK yourself in Android Studio and sign it with your keys
    • Temporarily edit the app/build.gradle file and add"packageSuffix", "vX_X_X") at the top of the android -> buildTypes -> release block, which ensures that the application has a different package name than the official one
    • Build and sign an APK via "Build -> Generate Signed Bundle / APK..."
  • Make sure it installs correctly on your device
  • Use this naming scheme: NewPipe_vX.X.X_RC1_release.apk
  • Add a line to the ## Testing for regressions section, of this form: Release APK (built and signed by @YOUR_GITHUB_USERNAME): ...

Taking care of regressions (quickfixes)

The release issue and pull request should stay open for roughly one week, so that people can test the provided APKs and give feedback. If a regression is reported by some user, it should possibly be solved before releasing, otherwise the app would become more broken after each release. A regression is a bug now present in some code that used to run well in the last release, but was then modified in this release (supposedly to fix something else) and is now broken. So the following do not classify as regressions: some videos stop working because YouTube made some changes; the newly introduced big feature XYZ is still not perfect and has some bugs; a random crash reproducible also on previous versions... You get the point. Before releasing, try to fix any regressions that are reported, but avoid fixing non-regressions, since those should be treated with the same care and attention as all other issues. As a Release Manager, you might be required to fix regressions, so plan your release at a time when you are available.

Pull requests fixing regressions should target the release-X.X.X branch, not the dev branch! When merging those PRs, also provide a new Release Candidate APK.

Finally merging the pull request

Once enough time has passed and all regressions and TODOs have been solved, you can proceed with the actual release. The following points include merging weblate changes again.

  • In the local repository, check out the release branch and make sure it is up-to-date with the remote
    • git checkout release-X.X.X
    • git pull origin release-X.X.X
  • Go to Weblate's Maintenance tab
  • Press Lock; remember to Unlock later!
  • Press Update
  • Press Commit, if needed
  • Now go back to the local git repository
  • Delete the weblate-dev branch, just in case
    • git branch -D weblate-dev
  • Fetch changes from Weblate (in particular you should see the weblate/dev remote branch being updated)
    • git fetch weblate
  • Obtain the hash of the last commit on the weblate/dev remote branch
    • git log -n 1 --pretty="format:%H" weblate/dev
  • Cherry pick the hash you obtained above into the release branch (the one you are currently on)
    • git cherry-pick HASH
  • Push the changes to the remote branch
    • git push origin release-X.X.X
  • Merge the PR you created before
  • Delete the GitHub remote branch associated with the PR, i.e. release-X.X.X (there should be a button in the PR)
  • Close the issue you created before
  • Merge dev back into master (since the PR merged changes onto master)
    • git checkout master
    • git pull origin master
    • git checkout dev
    • git pull origin dev
    • git merge master
    • git push origin dev or create another temporary PR and merge it immediately
  • Go to Weblate's Maintenance tab
  • Press Unlock

Creating the APK

Now on the remote master branch there is the release code which you need to turn into an APK.

  • In the local repository, check out the master branch and make sure it is up-to-date with the remote
    • git checkout master
    • git pull origin master
  • Open the local project in Android Studio
  • Run the Gradle clean task using Android Studio's interface, in order to clean up temporary/cache files that may interfere with reproducible builds
    • Double press Ctrl, type gradle clean, press Enter
  • Make sure leftover files from building RC releases are actually removed, in order to avoid confusion
    • rm -rf ./app/release
  • Run the Gradle assembleRelease task using Android Studio's interface: it will start the process of building an unsigned APK
    • Double press Ctrl, type gradle assembleRelease, press Enter
  • After a while you should find the APK under ./app/build/outputs/apk/release/app-release-unsigned.apk

Having the APK signed by @TheAssassin

Currently @TheAssassin is the only holder of NewPipe's APK signing keys. Therefore you should send the unsigned APK to him, after which he will sign it and send it back to you. He will also then publish the signed APK in NewPipe's F-Droid repo.

  • Rename app-release-unsigned.apk to NewPipe_vX.X.X.apk
  • Generate a signature for the APK file
    • gpg -b NewPipe_vX.X.X.apk will generate NewPipe_vX.X.X.apk.sig
    • It will also output 'using "FINGERPRINT" as default secret key for signing'; keep track of the FINGERPRINT part
  • Send an email to @TheAssassin and attach both NewPipe_vX.X.X.apk and NewPipe_vX.X.X.apk.sig
  • If @TheAssassin does not already know it, send him your PGP key FINGERPRINT you obtained before
    • You should not send it using email this time, but using another service through which @TheAssassin can be almost sure it is really you (this is a sort of 2FA)
    • For example, you can send it on the IRC group, or create a GitHub gist with the fingerprint and then give that link to @TheAssassin
  • Notify him on IRC that you have sent him an email
  • He will send you back the signed APK
  • Make sure its name is still NewPipe_vX.X.X.apk (rename if it's not the case)
  • Install it on your device to see if everything went well (note that installation will work only if your currently installed version of newpipe comes from NewPipe's F-Droid repo or GitHub)
  • Tell @TheAssassin to "push the buttons", i.e. publish the signed APK in NewPipe's F-Droid repo.

Publishing the release

  • Go to the draft changelog kept on GitHub
  • Set vX.X.X as the tag name
  • Set vX.X.X as the release title
  • Set master as the "Target:" branch
  • Attach the signed APK @TheAssassin sent you
  • Publish the release
  • Profit :-D

Blog post

The blog post writers need an up-to-date list of merged PRs numbered in chronological order. This is so that they can keep track of what changes have already been detailed in the draft blog post, and which ones still need to be added. So make sure that there is always at least one up-to-date "master copy" of the draft release notes available for them to review.

The blog post should ideally be published before the GitHub release is made (so that the link to it works!), but in case of some delay, it is fine to let the blog post come later. It is far more important to get the release into users' hands sooner.

  • In order for the blog post to be published, ask @TheAssassin to "press the buttons" again
  • Once the blog post is ready, add this block of text on top of the release notes on GitHub: [:arrow_right: :arrow_right: :arrow_right: Read the blog post :arrow_left: :arrow_left: :arrow_left:](LINK_TO_BLOG_POST)