Signing Your Application

We’re almost ready to sign your application, but first you need to create an unsigned
version that you can sign with your signature certificate. To do that, in the Package
Explorer window of Eclipse, right-click on your project name. You’ll get a long popup
menu; toward the bottom, click on Android Tools. You should see another menu
that includes the item you want: “Export Unsigned Application Package...”. This item
takes you to a File Save dialog box, where you can pick the place to save the unsigned
version of your apk file. It doesn’t matter where you put it—just pick a place you can
remember.
Now that you have an unsigned version of your apk file, we can go ahead and sign it
using jarsigner. Open a terminal or command window in the directory where you
stored the unsigned apk file. Here’s the line we used to sign MJAndroid, using the key
we generated earlier in the keystore microjobs.keystore:
$ jarsigner -verbose -keystore microjobs.keystore MJAndroid.apk mjkey
Congratulations! You now have a signed version of your application that can be loaded
and run on any Android device. But before you send it in to Android Market, there’s
one more intervening step....


Retesting Your Application
If everything went smoothly, your application is now signed and will function just as
well as it did before you went through this process. But to be sure things went smoothly,
it is wise to retest your application, again testing on real Android devices where possible.
You really don’t want thousands of people downloading a broken application attributed
to you, so just to be safe, retest on as many Android devices as you can get your
hands on.


Publishing on Android Market
After you’re satisfied that your application runs as expected on real Android devices,
you’re ready to upload to Android Market, Google’s service for publishing and downloading
Android applications. The procedure is pretty straightforward:
1. Sign up as an Android Developer (if you’re not already signed up).
2. Upload your signed application.
Signing Up As an Android Developer
Go to Google’s website at http://market.android.com/publish, and fill out the forms
provided. As this is written, Android Market is still in beta, and you will be asked to:
• Use your Google account to log in (if you don’t have a Google account, you can
get one for free by following the Create Account link on the login page).
• Agree to the Android Market Terms of Service.
• Pay a one-time fee of $25 (payable by credit card via Google Checkout; again, if
you don’t have an account set up, you can do so quickly).
The forms ask for a minimal amount of information—your name, phone number,
etc.—and you are signed up.


Uploading Your Application
Now you can go to http://market.android.com/publish/Home to upload your application.
To identify and categorize your application, you will be asked for the following:
Application apk file Name and Location
The apk file of your application, signed with your private signature certificate.
Title and Description
These are very important, because they are the core of your marketing message to
potential users. Try to make the title descriptive and catchy at the same time, and
describe the application in a way that will make your target market want to download
it.
Application Type
There are currently two choices: Applications or Games.
Category
The allowable list of categories varies depending on Application Type. The
currently available categories for Applications are: Communications, Demo, Entertainment,
Finance, Lifestyle, Multimedia, News & Weather, Productivity, Reference,
Shopping, Social, Software Libraries, Tools, and Travel. For Games, the
currently available categories include: Arcade & Action, Brain & Puzzle, Cards &
Casino, and Casual.
Price
This must be “Free” under the beta version of Android Market. Google has said
they will enable charging for applications in the near future (maybe by the time
you read this).
Geography
You can limit where your application is available, or choose to make it available
everywhere.
Finally, you are asked to confirm that your application meets the Android Content
Guidelines and that it does not knowingly violate any export laws. After that, you can
upload your apk file, and within a few days your application will appear on the Android
Market online catalog, accessible from any connected Android device. There is currently
no way to access Android Market directly from your PC or Mac, so you’ll have
to use your Android phone to find out when your application is available for download.

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