Sign your Android app

Deploy APKs

HowTo do the Build Run Settings I already described in ‘Build and Run on Android‘ – here I want to shed some light about different ways to deal with your signed Android Applications (APK or aab).

If you must deploy your Apps as APK to Customers (in-house) or Customers (using Mobile Device Management – MDM) then you simply roll out the signed APK. Also if you deliver the APK to alternate Android App Stores (per ex Amazon Appstore) you can take the signed APK.

Deploy App Bundles

Since some time Google Play only accepts App Bundles (.aab), where the Bundle contains the code for all platforms you support (ARM, X86, 32-Bit, 64-Bit) and Google builds the App for the concrete architecture from Android Device downloading App from Play Store.

Here’s a short reminder HowTo build Release with signed aab:

Signed APKs and App Bundles in File System

Here you can see, from where you can get the APK or aab after running the Release Build.

Hint: if the apk filename doesn’t contain the words ‘release-signed’ then probably you forget to set the ‘Sign Package’ checkbox from build settings.

Play Store – default way

The default way means that you upload your signing key to Google Play and Play Store sends you a special Upload Signature you have to use to upload the aab.

To activate the Google Play Signature follow the workflow:

Own Signature

Instead of using the Upload Key, you can opt out and use your signature key for both: upload to store and signature done from Google Play. I’m doing this. Why ? I’m developing business apps and in many cases I need APKs and also bundles and I always want to use the same signature key.

Under App Integrity you must check ‘Change App-Signature Key’:

Then don’t use the first – default – way to let Google do it all. Please check ‘export and upload from Java KeyStore’ without generating an extra Upload Key: