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To start developing, please head over to our developer documentation.

Activate the Google Maps Android API

To get you started we'll guide you through the Google Developers Console to do a few things first:

  1. Create or choose a project
  2. Activate the Google Maps Android API
  3. Create appropriate keys
Continue

Project Configuration

As a follow-up to the quick-start guide, this page describes all the configuration you need in your development project when using the Google Maps Android API in your Android app.

Overview

The overall process of adding a map to an Android application is as follows:

  1. Install Android Studio.
  2. Install and configure the Google Play services SDK, which includes the Google Maps Android API. Note: If you use the Google Maps Android API with a Google Maps APIs Premium Plan license, you must download and configure the Premium Plan SDK instead.
  3. Get an API key. To do this, you will need to register a project in the Google API Console, create an API key, and restrict the API key using your app's signing certificate.
  4. Add the required settings to your application's manifest.

Below are more details about each step in the process.

Step 1. Download Android Studio

Follow the guides to download and install Android Studio.

Step 2. Install the Google Play services SDK

You need an Android project for your app, to complete the steps in this section. If you haven't yet created an Android application, you can follow the guide to creating a 'hello world' app. See Creating an Android Project.

The Google Maps Android API is distributed as part of the Google Play services SDK. You can download the Google Play services SDK via the Android SDK Manager.

For detailed instructions, see the Google Play services documentation.

Get a Google Maps API key

To use the Google Maps Android API, you must register your app project on the Google API Console and get a Google API key which you can add to your app.

For details, see the guide to getting an API key.

Add the required settings to your app's manifest

Edit your application's AndroidManifest.xml file and add the following settings.

Specify the Google Play services version number

Add the following declaration within the <application> element of AndroidManifest.xml. This embeds the version of Google Play services that the app was compiled with.

<meta-data
    android:name="com.google.android.gms.version"
    android:value="@integer/google_play_services_version" />

Specify your API key

Ensure you include your API key in the AndroidManifest.xml file, as described in the guide to getting an API key.

Specify Android permissions

Specify the permissions your application needs, by adding <uses-permission> elements as children of the <manifest> element in AndroidManifest.xml.

Location permissions

If your application accesses the user's current location by enabling the My Location layer, you must request location permissions as described in the guide to location data.

External storage permission

If you're targeting version 8.3 or later of the Google Play services SDK, you no longer need the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission to use the Google Maps Android API.

If you're targeting earlier versions of the Google Play services SDK, you must request the android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission.

<uses-permission
        android:name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" />

Note: If your app is targeting API level 23 (Android 6.0), which requires the use of runtime permissions, you should target version 8.3 or later of the Google Play services SDK.

Permissions automatically merged into your manifest

The following permissions are defined in the Google Play services manifest, and are automatically merged into your app's manifest at build time. You don't need to add them explicitly to your manifest:

Specify requirement for OpenGL ES version 2

The Google Maps Android API uses OpenGL ES version 2 to render the map. The following setting is defined in the Google Play services manifest, and is automatically merged into your app's manifest at build time. You don't need to add it explicitly to your manifest:

<uses-feature
        android:glEsVersion="0x00020000"
        android:required="true"/>

This notifies external services of the requirement. In particular, it prevents Google Play Store from displaying your app on devices that don't support OpenGL ES version 2.

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