When you want to release your Android application to Google Play, you need to first sign your app. To do that there are some prerequisites. My examples are for Eclipse users.
Before you can sign your application, you must first ensure that you have a suitable private key with which to sign. A suitable private key is one that:
- Is in your possession
- Represents the personal, corporate, or organizational entity to be identified with the application
- Has a validity period that exceeds the expected lifespan of the application or application suite. A validity period of more than 25 years is recommended.If you plan to publish your application(s) on Google Play, note that a validity period ending after 22 October 2033 is a requirement. You can not upload an application if it is signed with a key whose validity expires before that date.
- Is not the debug key generated by the Android SDK tools.
Generate your Key
To generate a self-signed key with Keytool, use the
keytool command and pass any of the options listed below (and any others, as needed). Keytool is a tool that comes with your Java installation, you often tool here. C:Program FilesJava<Java Release>bin
|Generate a key pair (public and private keys)|
|Enable verbose output.|
|An alias for the key. Only the first 8 characters of the alias are used.|
|The encryption algorithm to use when generating the key. Both DSA and RSA are supported.|
|The size of each generated key (bits). If not supplied, Keytool uses a default key size of 1024 bits. In general, we recommend using a key size of 2048 bits or higher.|
|A name for the keystore containing the private key.|
Here’s an example of a Keytool command that generates a private key:
$ keytool -genkey -v -keystore myApp.keystore
-alias MyApp -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048-validity 10000
I store MyApp key in the directory C://Users/<PCName>/.Android – it is just easier to remember.
Compile the application in release mode
In order to release your application to users, you must compile it in release mode. In release mode, the compiled application is not signed by default and you will need to sign it with your private key.
Caution:You can not release your application unsigned, or signed with the debug key.
Using Eclipse with the ADT plugin, you can use the Export Wizard to export a signed APK (and even create a new keystore, if necessary). The Export Wizard performs all the interaction with the Keytool and Jarsigner for you, which allows you to sign the package using a GUI instead of performing the manual procedures to compile, sign, and align. Once the wizard has compiled and signed your package, it will also perfom package alignment with
zipalign. Because the Export Wizard uses both Keytool and Jarsigner, you should ensure that they are accessible on your computer.
To create a signed and aligned APK in Eclipse:
- Select the project in the Package Explorer and select – File > Export.
- Open the Android folder, select Export Android Application, and click Next. The Export Android Application wizard now starts, which will guide you through the process of signing your application, including steps for selecting the private key with which to sign the APK (or creating a new keystore and private key).
- Complete the Export Wizard and your application will be compiled, signed, aligned, and ready for distribution.
That’s it – you should know have a signed .apk that you can move to the Google Play.