Authorize Requests

When your application requests private data, the request must be authorized by an authenticated user who has access to that data.

Every request your application sends to the Android Over The Air API must include an authorization token. The token also identifies your application to Google.

About authorization protocols

Your application must use OAuth 2.0 to authorize requests. No other authorization protocols are supported. If your application uses Google Sign-In, some aspects of authorization are handled for you.

Authorizing requests with OAuth 2.0

All requests to the Android Over The Air API must be authorized by an authenticated user.

The details of the authorization process, or "flow," for OAuth 2.0 vary somewhat depending on what kind of application you're writing. The following general process applies to all application types:

  1. When you create your application, you register it using the Google API Console. Google then provides information you'll need later, such as a client ID and a client secret.
  2. Activate the Android Over The Air API in the Google API Console. (If the API isn't listed in the API Console, then skip this step.)
  3. When your application needs access to user data, it asks Google for a particular scope of access.
  4. Google displays a consent screen to the user, asking them to authorize your application to request some of their data.
  5. If the user approves, then Google gives your application a short-lived access token.
  6. Your application requests user data, attaching the access token to the request.
  7. If Google determines that your request and the token are valid, it returns the requested data.

Some flows include additional steps, such as using refresh tokens to acquire new access tokens. For detailed information about flows for various types of applications, see Google's OAuth 2.0 documentation.

Here's the OAuth 2.0 scope information for the Android Over The Air API:

Scope Meaning Read/write access. Read-only access.

To request access using OAuth 2.0, your application needs the scope information, as well as information that Google supplies when you register your application (such as the client ID and the client secret).

Tip: The Google APIs client libraries can handle some of the authorization process for you. They are available for a variety of programming languages; check the page with libraries and samples for more details.

Using a service account

The Android Over The Air API requires an actual user in order to determine what data can be shown. To allow this to be done when acting programmatically, you can use a service account. To create a service account, do the following:

  1. Go to the Credentials page.
  2. Click Create credentials and choose Service account key.
  3. Choose New service account and enter an email address (gota-api is suggested). Choose Service Account Actor as the role.
  4. Click Create.

Use the JSON file along with the instructions on using service accounts for your desired programming language to authorize your application.