Set Up an Android Studio Project

This page describes how to configure an Android Studio project to use the Maps SDK for Android without using the Google Maps template that is detailed in the Quickstart.

The Google Maps template automatically configures and adds a basic map to a new Android Studio project. However, you can also add a map to an Android project that uses a different Android Studio template. To do so, you need to manually configure your project and then add the map.

Step 1: Set up Android Studio

  1. Android Studio is required. If you haven't already done so, download and install it.

  2. Add the Google Play services SDK to Android Studio. The Maps SDK for Android is distributed as part of the Google Play services SDK, which you can add through the SDK Manager.

Step 2: Add your API key to the project

This section describes how to store your API key so that it can be more securely referenced by your app. You should not check your API key into your version control system, so we recommend storing it in the local.properties file, which is located in the root directory of your project. For more information about the local.properties file, see Gradle properties files.

To streamline this task, you can use the Secrets Gradle Plugin for Android.

To install the plugin and store your API key:

  1. In Android Studio, open your root-level build.gradle file and add the following code to the dependencies element under buildscript.
    buildscript {
        dependencies {
            // ...
            classpath "com.google.android.libraries.mapsplatform.secrets-gradle-plugin:secrets-gradle-plugin:2.0.0"
        }
    }
        
  2. Next, open your app-level build.gradle file and add the following code to the plugins element.
    id 'com.google.android.libraries.mapsplatform.secrets-gradle-plugin'
        
  3. Save the file and sync your project with Gradle.
  4. Open the local.properties in your project level directory, and then add the following code. Replace YOUR_API_KEY with your API key.
    MAPS_API_KEY=YOUR_API_KEY
        
  5. Save the file and sync your project with Gradle.
  6. In your AndroidManifest.xml file, go to com.google.android.geo.API_KEY and update the android:value attribute as follows:
    <meta-data
        android:name="com.google.android.geo.API_KEY"
        android:value="${MAPS_API_KEY}" />
        

Note: As shown above, com.google.android.geo.API_KEY is the recommended metadata name for the API key. A key with this name can be used to authenticate to multiple Google Maps-based APIs on the Android platform, including the Maps SDK for Android. For backwards compatibility, the API also supports the name com.google.android.maps.v2.API_KEY. This legacy name allows authentication to the Android Maps API v2 only. An application can specify only one of the API key metadata names. If both are specified, the API throws an exception.

Step 3: Update the app manifest

This section describes the settings to add to your AndroidManifest.xml file.


Google Play services version number

Add the following declaration within the application element. 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" />

Location permission

If your app needs to access the user's location, you need to request the location permission in your AndroidManifest.xml file. The options are ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION, which provides the precise user location, and ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION, which is less precise. For details, see the location data guide.

To request the ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION permission, add this code to the manifest element:

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

External storage permission

If you're targeting version 8.3 or later of the Google Play services SDK, you don't need the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission. If you're targeting earlier versions of the Google Play services SDK, you must request the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission, in the manifest element.

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

Apache HTTP Legacy library

If you are using com.google.android.gms:play-services-maps:16.0.0 or below and your app is targeting API level 28 (Android 9.0) or above, you must include the following declaration within the <application> element of AndroidManifest.xml. Otherwise, skip this declaration.

<uses-library
    android:name="org.apache.http.legacy"
    android:required="false" />

Step 4: Add the Maps dependency

In your app-level build.gradle file, add the Maps dependency. For details, see the versioning guide.

dependencies {
    implementation 'com.google.android.gms:play-services-maps:18.0.1'
    // ...
}

Next steps

Once your project is configured, you can add a map.