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Generating Signed and Unsigned Android Application Packages

IntelliJ IDEA allows extracting Android application packages (.apk files). IntelliJ IDEA supports integration with the Android Asset Packaging Tool (aapt) which compiles the application resources (for detials, see Building and Running).

With IntelliJ IDEA, you can generate both signed and unsigned .apk files. The following options are available:

  • Extract signed packages to deploy and run your applications on physical devices. Based on this signature, the Android system identifies the author of every deployed application. You do not need to apply for a personal signature to any authority, a signature generated by IntelliJ IDEA is quite sufficient. With IntelliJ IDEA, you can generate a signed package in one of the following two ways:
    • Use the Generate Signed APK Wizard. The package will be signed during extraction.
    • Configure the .apk file as an artifact by creating an artifact definition of the type Android application in the Release signed package mode. When IntelliJ IDEA builds the package in accordance with this definition, the package is signed automatically.
  • Extract unsigned packages to test them on emulators. Unsigned packages can be extracted only through artifact definitions in the Release unsigned package mode.
  • Extract and sign debug packages. This signature is sufficient for testing and debugging applications but does not allow publishing them. Signing packages in the debug mode is available only through configuring an artifact definition in the Debug package mode.

You can also have your application obfuscated during packaging through integration with the ProGuard built-in tool.

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See Also

Last modified: 18 July 2017