Can I release an Android app to Google Play if an app of the same name (not mine) already exists? Must names be unique (first come first served) or does Google Play let ‘the free market’ decide which one deserves the name?
You can release an app named the exact same title string as another app, the package name (in reverse web URL format) is what keeps it unique, for example com.yourwebsite.yourappname or com.yourwebsite.yoursuitename.yourappname, but I would suggest a creative name for something going on the market!
Google Play allows many apps to have the same title. However, the application package for each app needs to be unique within Google Play. This is the
package attribute value that you provide for the
<manifest> tag in the AndroidManifest.xml file of your project. From the docs:
The package name serves as a unique identifier for the application.
which then continues:
Caution: Once you publish your application, you cannot change the package name. The package name defines your application’s identity, so if you change it, then it is considered to be a different application and users of the previous version cannot update to the new version.