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  1. Android Apk Files Download
  2. Download Apk Signer For Android Chrome
  3. Download Apk Signer For Android Windows 10
  4. Download Apk Signer For Android Download
  5. Download Apk Signer For Android Emulator
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Application signing allows developers to identify the author of the applicationand to update their application without creating complicated interfaces andpermissions. Every application that is run on the Android platform must besigned by the developer.Applications that attempt to install without being signedwill be rejected by either Google Play or the package installer on the Androiddevice.

On Google Play, application signing bridges the trust Google has with thedeveloper and the trust the developer has with their application. Developersknow their application is provided, unmodified, to the Android device; anddevelopers can be held accountable for behavior of their application.

On Android, application signing is the first step to placing an application inits Application Sandbox. The signed application certificate defines which userID is associated with which application; different applications run underdifferent user IDs. Application signing ensures that one application cannotaccess any other application except through well-defined IPC.

When an application (APK file) is installed onto an Android device, the PackageManager verifies that the APK has been properly signed with the certificateincluded in that APK. If the certificate (or, more accurately, the public key inthe certificate) matches the key used to sign any other APK on the device, thenew APK has the option to specify in the manifest that it will share a UID withthe other similarly-signed APKs.

Applications can be signed by a third-party (OEM, operator, alternative market)or self-signed. Android provides code signing using self-signed certificatesthat developers can generate without external assistance or permission.Applications do not have to be signed by a central authority. Android currentlydoes not perform CA verification for application certificates.

Applications are also able to declare security permissions at the Signatureprotection level, restricting access only to applications signed with the samekey while maintaining distinct UIDs and Application Sandboxes. A closerrelationship with a shared Application Sandbox is allowed via theshared UID feature where two or more applications signed with samedeveloper key can declare a shared UID in their manifest.

APK signing schemes

Android supports three application signing schemes:

  • v1 scheme: based on JAR signing
  • v2 scheme: APK Signature Scheme v2, which was introduced in Android 7.0.
  • v3 scheme: APK Signature Scheme v3, which was introduced in Android 9.

For maximum compatibility, sign applications with allschemes, first with v1, then v2, and then v3. Android 7.0+ and newer devicesinstall apps signed with v2+ schemes more quickly than those signed only withv1 scheme. Older Android platforms ignore v2+ signatures and thus need apps tocontain v1 signatures.

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JAR signing (v1 scheme)

APK signing has been a part of Android from the beginning. It is based on signed JAR. For details on using this scheme, see the Android Studiodocumentation onSigning your app.

v1 signatures do not protect some parts of the APK, such as ZIP metadata. TheAPK verifier needs to process lots of untrusted (not yet verified) datastructures and then discard data not covered by the signatures. This offers asizeable attack surface. Moreover, the APK verifier must uncompress allcompressed entries, consuming more time and memory. To address these issues,Android 7.0 introduced APK Signature Scheme v2.

APK Signature Scheme v2 & v3 (v2+ scheme)

Devices running Android 7.0 and later support APK signature scheme v2 (v2scheme) and later. (v2 scheme was updated to v3 inAndroid 9 to includeadditional information in the signing block, but otherwise works the same.) Thecontents of the APK are hashed and signed, then the resulting APK Signing Blockis inserted into the APK. For details on applying the v2+ scheme to an app, seeAPK Signature Scheme v2.

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During validation, v2+ scheme treats the APK file as a blob and performs signaturechecking across the entire file. Any modification to the APK, including ZIP metadatamodifications, invalidates the APK signature. This form of APK verification issubstantially faster and enables detection of more classes of unauthorizedmodifications.

The new format is backwards compatible, so APKs signed with the new signatureformat can be installed on older Android devices (which simply ignore the extradata added to the APK), as long as these APKs are also v1-signed.

Figure 1. APK signature verificationprocess

Whole-file hash of the APK is verified against the v2+ signature stored in theAPK Signing Block. The hash covers everything except the APK Signing Block,which contains the v2+ signature. Any modification to the APK outside of the APKSigning Block invalidates the APK's v2+ signature. APKs with stripped v2+signature are rejected as well, because their v1 signature specifies that theAPK was v2-signed, which makes Android 7.0 and newer refuse to verify APKsusing their v1 signatures.

For details on the APK signature verification process, see the Verification section of APK Signature Scheme v2.

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After the application has been built for release, the APK must be signed prior to distribution so that it can be run on an Android device. This process is typically handled with the IDE, however there are some situations where it is necessary to sign the APK manually, at the command line. The following steps are involved with signing an APK:

  1. Create a Private Key – This step needs to be performedonly once. A private key is necessary to digitally sign the APK.After the private key has been prepared, this step can be skippedfor future release builds.

  2. Zipalign the APKZipalign is an optimization processthat is performed on an application. It enables Android to interactmore efficiently with the APK at runtime. Xamarin.Android conductsa check at runtime, and will not allow the application to run ifthe APK has not been zipaligned.

  3. Sign the APK – This step involves using the apksigner utility from the Android SDK and signing the APK with the private key that was created in the previous step. Applications that are developed with older versions of the Android SDK build tools prior to v24.0.3 will use the jarsigner app from the JDK. Both of these tools will be discussed in more detail below.

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The order of the steps is important and is dependent on which tool used to sign the APK. When using apksigner, it is important to first zipalign the application, and then to sign it with apksigner. If it is necessary to use jarsigner to sign the APK, then it is important to first sign the APK and then run zipalign.

Prerequisites

This guide will focus on using apksigner from the Android SDK buildtools, v24.0.3 or higher. It assumes that an APK has already beenbuilt.

Applications that are built using an older version of the Android SDKBuild Tools must use jarsigner as described inSign the APK with jarsigner below.

Create a Private Keystore

A keystore is a database of security certificates that is createdby using the programkeytoolfrom the Java SDK. A keystore is critical to publishing aXamarin.Android application, as Android will not run applications thathave not been digitally signed.

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During development, Xamarin.Android uses a debug keystore to sign theapplication, which allows the application to be deployed directly tothe emulator or to devices configured to use debuggable applications.However, this keystore is not recognized as a valid keystore for thepurposes of distributing applications.

For this reason, a private keystore must be created and used forsigning applications. This is a step that should only be performedonce, as the same key will be used for publishing updates and can thenbe used to sign other applications.

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It is important to protect this keystore. If it is lost, then it willnot be possible to publish updates to the application with Google Play.The only solution to the problem caused by a lost keystore would be tocreate a new keystore, re-sign the APK with the new key, and thensubmit a new application. Then the old application would have to beremoved from Google Play. Likewise, if this new keystore is compromisedor publicly distributed, then it is possible for unofficial ormalicious versions of an application to be distributed.

Create a New Keystore

Creating a new keystore requires the command line toolkeytoolfrom the Java SDK. The following snippet is an example of how to usekeytool (replace <my-filename> with the file name for the keystoreand <key-name> with the name of the key within the keystore):

The first thing that keytool will ask for is the password for thekeystore. Then it will ask for some information to help with creatingthe key. The following snippet is an example of creating a new keycalled publishingdoc that will be stored in the filexample.keystore:

To list the keys that are stored in a keystore, use the keytool withthe – list option:

Zipalign the APK

Before signing an APK with apksigner, it is important to first optimize the file using the zipalign tool from the Android SDK. zipalign will restructure the resources in an APK along 4-byte boundaries. This alignment allows Android to quickly load the resources from the APK, increasing the performance of the application and potentially reducing memory use. Xamarin.Android will conduct a run-time check to determine if the APK has been zipaligned. If the APK is not zipaligned, then the application will not run.

The follow command will use the signed APK and produce a signed, zipaligned APK called helloworld.apk that is ready for distribution.

Sign the APK

After zipaligning the APK, it is necessary to sign it using a keystore. This is done with the apksigner tool, found in the build-tools directory of the version of the SDK build tools. For example, if the Android SDK build tools v25.0.3 is installed, then apksigner can be found in the directory:

The following snippet assumes that apksigner is accessible by thePATH environment variable. It will sign an APK using the key aliaspublishingdoc that is contained in the file xample.keystore:

When this command is run, apksigner will ask for the password to the keystore if necessary.

See Google's documentation for more details on the use of apksigner.

Note

According to Google issue 62696222, apksigner is 'missing' from the Android SDK. The workaround for this is to install the Android SDK build tools v25.0.3 and use that version of apksigner.

Sign the APK with jarsigner

Warning

This section only applies if it is nececssary to sign the APK with the jarsigner utility. Developers are encouraged to use apksigner to sign the APK.

This technique involves signing the APK file using the jarsigner command from the Java SDK. The jarsigner tool is provided by the Java SDK.

The following shows how to sign an APK by using jarsigner and the key publishingdoc that is contained in a keystore file named xample.keystore :

Note

When using jarsigner, it is important to sign the APK first, and then to use zipalign.

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