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codiqa android build

Hey friends!

Have you ever wanted to know how to build a native app from Codiqa so that you can test directly on your device or even put it in the Google Play Store? It’s easy just follow me!

Codiqa currently supports exporting and building to two platforms: Android and iOS, which can be accessed from either your project dashboard or the project build editor itself.  This post will focus only on how to build to Android. We will cover iOS in the next one!

ways to export

From here you see the export menu with several export format options and an email to send the export to.

standard export window

Currently supported are an HTML zip export of your project code and assets with several options, a Phonegap/Cordova Project zip export for both Android and iOS, and, finally what this blog will cover, a Build Mode for Android. Let’s get started…

Debug Mode

This build mode is the easiest! No files are required just submit your build and done! You should get an email shortly after you submit the export, which you can open from your Android phone and download the app .apk file.

export debug mode

As is named this is for debugging purposes only and although a build created this way can be installed on any Android device, it will be unable to submit to the Google Play Store.  To submit an app to the Play Store, you’ll need to export and build using Release Mode for Android which is explained below.

Note: Allow app installs from “Unknown Sources” must be enabled on your Android phone.  This can be found in Settings > Security or Applications > Unknown sources.

Release Mode

So you want to release your Codiqa app the Google Play Store or the Amazon Appstore?  Simple! You just need one file!

What you need

  • Signing Keystore file (.keystore)
    • Alias
    • Keystore Password
    • Key Password (Can be same as Keystore Password)

Let’s generate our signing private keystore using the keytool command that comes with the JDK. If this tool isn’t found, refer to the installation guide as it should be located in %JAVA_HOME%\bin

$ keytool -genkey -v -keystore <keystore file name>.keystore -alias <alias name> -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 10000

You’ll first be prompted to create a password for the keystore. Then, answer the rest of the nice tools’s questions and when it’s all done, you should have a file called <keystore file name>.keystore created in the current directory.

Now in the Codiqa export menu, upload your keystore file, enter the alias you specified as well as the keystore password.

export release mode

There are additional options in case you created the keystore using unique passwords for both the keystore and the key.  Also available is the ability to specify a package name instead of the generic com.codiqa.<random id> which will show up as part of the url in the Google Play Store.

Note: Your signing keystore file should be kept private!  That means either store it locally on your development machine or in a private repository.  The same keystore must be used to release an app update on the Google Play Store, so keep it safe! Additionally, all interactions with our export server are over SSL, and we do not store any information.

Refer to the official Android App Signing documentation for more information.

Google Play Store

Now that we have our release APK ready for the Google Play Store, we can create a Play Store listing and upload our APK.

To start, you’ll need to visit the Google Play Store Developer Console and create a new developer account. Unfortunately, this is not free. However, the cost is only $25 compared to Apple’s $99.

Once you have a developer account, you can go ahead and click “+ Add new application” as in the screenshot below:

google play console

Then, you can go ahead and click the button to edit the store listing (We will upload an APK later). You’ll want to fill out the description for the app. Here is a little preview from when we filled out the application with the Codiqa Test app:

google play store listing

When you are ready, upload the APK for the release build and publish the listing. Be patient and soon your hard work should be live in the wild!

That summarizes the Android half of this series. Let us know what your experiences are, we are always interested to hear your opinions. And remember to stay tuned for our iOS edition…

 

Peter Collins

Happy Developer. I like taking names and coding backend systems in Go for Codiqa. Say hello to me on Twitter!

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