Get Started

This guide is a quick start to adding a map to an Android app. Android Studio is the recommended development environment for building an app with the Maps SDK for Android.

Step 1. Download Android Studio

Follow the guides to download and install Android Studio.

Step 2. Install the Google Play services SDK

Add Google Play services to Android Studio.

Step 3. Create a Google Maps project

Follow these steps to create a new app project including a map activity:

  1. Start Android Studio.
  2. Create a new project as follows:

    • If you see the Welcome to Android Studio dialog, choose Start a new Android Studio project, available under 'Quick Start' on the right of the dialog.
    • Otherwise, click File in the Android Studio menu bar, then New, New Project.
  3. In the Choose your project dialog, select the tab that corresponds to the platform you intended to develop for. Most users will want to keep the default Phone and Tablet.

  4. Select Google Maps Activity, then click Next.

  5. Enter your app name, package name, and project location, programming language (Java or Kotlin), and the minimum Android API level supported by your app, then click Finish.

Android Studio starts Gradle and builds your project. This may take a few seconds. For more information about creating a project in Android Studio, see the Android Studio documentation.

When the build is finished, Android Studio opens the google_maps_api.xml and the files in the editor. (Note that your activity may have a different name, but it will be the one you configured during setup.) Notice that the google_maps_api.xml file contains instructions on getting a Google Maps API key before you try to run the application. The next section describes getting the API key in more detail.

Step 4. Get a Google Maps API key

Your application needs an API key to access the Google Maps servers. The type of key you need is an API key with restriction for Android apps. The key is free. You can use it with any of your applications that call the Maps SDK for Android, and it supports an unlimited number of users.

Choose one of the following ways to get your API key from Android Studio:

  • The fast, easy way: Use the link provided in the google_maps_api.xml file that Android Studio created for you:
    1. Copy the link provided in the google_maps_api.xml file and paste it into your browser. The link takes you to the Google Cloud Platform Console and supplies the required information to the Google Cloud Platform Console via URL parameters, thus reducing the manual input required from you.
    2. Follow the instructions to create a new project on the Google Cloud Platform Console or select an existing project.
    3. Create an Android-restricted API key for your project.
    4. Copy the resulting API key, go back to Android Studio, and paste the API key into the <string> element in the google_maps_api.xml file.
  • A slightly less fast way: Use the credentials provided in the google_maps_api.xml file that Android Studio created for you:
    1. Copy the credentials provided in the google_maps_api.xml file.
    2. Go to the Google Cloud Platform Console.
    3. Use the copied credentials to add your app to an existing API key or to create a new API key.
  • The full process for getting an API key: If neither of the above options works for your situation, see Get an API Key.

Step 5. Hello Map! Take a look at the code

Examine the code supplied by the template. In particular, look at the following files in your Android Studio project.

The XML layout file

By default, the XML file that defines the app's layout is at res/layout/activity_maps.xml. It contains the following code:

<fragment xmlns:android=""
    android:name="" />

The maps activity Java file

By default, the Java file that defines the maps activity is named It should contain the following code after your package name:

import android.os.Bundle;

public class MapsActivity extends FragmentActivity implements OnMapReadyCallback {

    private GoogleMap mMap;

    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        SupportMapFragment mapFragment = (SupportMapFragment) getSupportFragmentManager()

    public void onMapReady(GoogleMap googleMap) {
        mMap = googleMap;

        // Add a marker in Sydney, Australia, and move the camera.
        LatLng sydney = new LatLng(-34, 151);
        mMap.addMarker(new MarkerOptions().position(sydney).title("Marker in Sydney"));

If your maps activity file doesn't contain the above code, replace the contents of the file with the above code, after your package name.

Step 6. Connect an Android device

The simplest way to see your app in action is to connect an Android device to your computer. Follow the instructions to enable developer options on your Android device and configure your application and system to detect the device.

Alternatively, you can use the Android Emulator to run your app. Use the Android Virtual Device (AVD) Manager to configure one or more virtual devices which you'll be able to use with the Android Emulator when you build and run your app. When choosing your emulator, ensure that you use Android 4.2.2 or higher, and be careful to pick an image that includes the Google APIs, or the application will not have the requisite runtime APIs in order to execute. Also, take note of the instructions for configuring virtual machine acceleration, which you should use with an x86 target AVD as described in the instructions. This will improve your experience with the emulator.

Step 7. Build and run your app

In Android Studio, click the Run menu option (or the play button icon) to run your app.

When prompted to choose a device, choose one of the following options:

  • Select the Android device that's connected to your computer.
  • Alternatively, select the Launch emulator radio button and choose the virtual device that you've previously configured.

Click OK. Android Studio will invoke Gradle to build your app, and then display the results on the device or on the emulator. It could take a couple of minutes before the app opens.

You should see a map with a marker positioned over Sydney, Australia. If you don't see a map, confirm that you've completed all the steps described on this page. In particular, check that you've added an API key as described above.

Next steps

You may wish to look at some sample code.

You can read more about map objects in the developer's guide.