Sunday, April 3, 2011

How To Publish App Inventor Applications In The Android Market

Publish the app created with App Inventor in the Android Market

What you need:

  • 1.6 Java Development Kit and Runtime Environment 1.6 already installed on your PC
  • Android SDK already installed and running
  • Appinventor Extras
  • APKTool
  • Auto-Sign 6.5

1) Creating the key

This procedure is a one-off and we don't need to do those steps every time.

So, thanks to the JAVA SDK we will create a private key, which will be used for publishing our applications

From the Bin folder of the Java SDK we'll execute in a terminal:
1:  keytool.exe -genkey -v -keystore my-release-key.keystore -alias aliasname -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 10000  

The Market requires that applications need to publish the private key has a duration subsequent to October 22, 2033, so we'll use a validity of 10000 days (over 27 years!).

2) Customize the Icon of the application

Download the APK file on a local folder on your computer.

We'll use AutoSigner for those steps: (thanks to Marcor Online for this part).

Open the apk file with 7zip.

Delete META-INF folder (which is the folder where the application contains the certificates, no longer valid after the change).

The images are generally stored in the folder res\drawable, and in particular the icon of the program is called ya.png. Extract all the images you want with your favorite software (we use 7zip).

Be careful not to change the size in pixels and not to change the name and extension.

Once you have completed the changes you go to put the files again into the apk (using 7zip) by simply dragging and overwriting the original.

Close 7zip and rename your program Launcher.apk.

Extract the contents of the Auto-Sign v0.65.exe and copy the Launcher.apk file inside the folder Auto-Sign\update\app.

Run the tool by the Auto-Sign v0.65.exe executable and iselect from the drop down menĂ¹ Launcher.apk. (The name should been green. If not, you've made something wrong.)

Now click on Autosign and in a few seconds you'll get a confirmation message.

Inside the folder Auto-Sign\update\app will be a Launcher_signed.apk. You can delete the old file and keep only the signed one.

3) Edit the APK to be compatible with the Market

Decompile our apk

1:  apktool -s pre-nomeapk.apk  

in the just created folder called pre-nomeapk, go editing the AndroidManifest.xml file.

First we add the version of the application by adding the keyword "android: versionCode" and "android: versionName" in the keyword "package", just like this example:

 <? xml version = "1.0" encoding = "UTF-8"?>  
 <manifest xmlns: android = "" package = "" android:versionCode = "1" android:versionName = "1.0">  

Specify the minimum version of Android is needed to run the application. Beware that the Market has a bug at the moment, and does not support applications compiled for Froyo android 2.2. Consider the following table:

 API Level -> Android Platform Version  
 1 -> 1.0  
 2 -> 1.1  
 3 -> 1.5  
 4 -> 1.6  
 5 -> 2.0  
 6 -> 2.0.1  
 7 -> 2.1  
 8 -> 2.2  

If your application needs Eclair we enter the following keyword:

 <uses-sdk android:minSdkVersion="7" />  

Finally fix the last things needed to make compatible the apk to the Market
Remove the android:icon keyworld on this line:

 <activity android:label="123" android:icon="@drawable/ya" android:name=".Screen1">  

and add it in this line:
<application android:label="XXXXX" android:debuggable="true">
Also on the line relative to the "application", remove the key "android_: debuggable"

In the end the AndroidManifest.xml will result like this:

 <? xml version = "1.0" encoding = "UTF-8"?>  
 <manifest xmlns: android =  
 package = ""  
 android:versionCode = "1"  
 android:versionName = "1.0">  
 <uses-sdk android:minSdkVersion="3" />  
 <application android:label="XXXX" android:icon="@drawable/ya">  
 <activity android:label="123" android:name=".Screen1">  

Now compile the apk again:

 apktool b pre-nomeapk  

With 7zip open the apk and remove the file in the META-INF folder like:


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