Get an API Key

To use the Places SDK for Android you must have an API key. The API key is a unique identifier that is used to authenticate requests associated with your project for usage and billing purposes. To learn more about API keys, see the API Key Best Practices and the FAQs.

Get the API key

You must have at least one API key associated with your project.

To get an API key:

  1. Go to the Google Cloud Platform Console.
  2. From the Project drop-down menu, select or create the project for which you want to add an API key.
  3. From the Navigation menu, select APIs & Services > Credentials.
  4. On the Credentials page, click Create credentials > API key.
    The API key created dialog displays your newly created API key (an encrypted string).
  5. Click Close.
    The new API key is listed on the Credentials page under API keys.
    (Remember to restrict the API key before using it in production.)

Add the API key to you app

Add the API key when initializing the Places API in your application.

Restrict the API key

Before moving your project to production, we strongly recommended that you restrict your API key. Restrictions help ensure only authorized requests are made with your API key. To learn more, see the FAQs.

To restrict an API key:

  1. Go to the Google Cloud Platform Console.
  2. From the Project drop-down menu, select the project that contains the API key you want to secure.
  3. From the Navigation menu, select APIs & Services > Credentials.
  4. On the Credentials page, click the name of the API key that you want to secure.
  5. On the Restrict and rename API key page, set the restrictions:
    • Application restrictions
      • Select Android apps and follow the instructions.
      • Click + Add package name and fingerprint.
      • Enter your package name and SHA-1 certificate fingerprint. For example:
        com.example.android.mapexample
        BB:0D:AC:74:D3:21:E1:43:67:71:9B:62:91:AF:A1:66:6E:44:5D:75
        (For more information, see Find your app's certificate information).
    • API restrictions
      • Select Restrict key.
      • Click Select APIs and select Places API.
        (If there are other enabled APIs you want to use with this key, select them as well.)
    • Click SAVE.

Find your app's certificate information

The API key is based on a short form of your app's digital certificate, known as its SHA-1 fingerprint. To display the SHA-1 fingerprint for your certificate, first ensure that you are using the right certificate. You may have two certificates:

  • A debug certificate: The Android SDK tools generate this certificate automatically when you do a debug build. Only use this certificate with apps that you're testing. Do not attempt to publish an app that's signed with a debug certificate. The debug certificate is described in more detail in Signing in Debug Mode in the Android Developer Documentation.
  • A release certificate: The Android SDK tools generate this certificate when you do a release build. You can also generate this certificate using the keytool program. Use this certificate when you are ready to release your app to the world.

Follow the steps below to display a certificate's SHA-1 fingerprint using the keytool program with the -v parameter. For more information about Keytool, see the Oracle documentation.

Debug certificate

Displaying the debug certificate fingerprint

  1. Locate your debug keystore file. The file name is debug.keystore, and is created the first time you build your project. By default, it is stored in the same directory as your Android Virtual Device (AVD) files:

    • macOS and Linux: ~/.android/
    • Windows Vista and Windows 7: C:\Users\your_user_name\.android\
  2. List the SHA-1 fingerprint:

    • For Linux or macOS, open a terminal window and enter the following:

      keytool -list -v -keystore ~/.android/debug.keystore -alias androiddebugkey -storepass android -keypass android
    • For Windows Vista and Windows 7, run:

      keytool -list -v -keystore "%USERPROFILE%\.android\debug.keystore" -alias androiddebugkey -storepass android -keypass android

You should see output similar to this:

Alias name: androiddebugkey
Creation date: Jan 01, 2013
Entry type: PrivateKeyEntry
Certificate chain length: 1
Certificate[1]:
Owner: CN=Android Debug, O=Android, C=US
Issuer: CN=Android Debug, O=Android, C=US
Serial number: 4aa9b300
Valid from: Mon Jan 01 08:04:04 UTC 2013 until: Mon Jan 01 18:04:04 PST 2033
Certificate fingerprints:
     MD5:  AE:9F:95:D0:A6:86:89:BC:A8:70:BA:34:FF:6A:AC:F9
     SHA1: BB:0D:AC:74:D3:21:E1:43:07:71:9B:62:90:AF:A1:66:6E:44:5D:75
     Signature algorithm name: SHA1withRSA
     Version: 3
Release certificate

Displaying the release certificate fingerprint

  1. Locate your release certificate keystore file. There is no default location or name for the release keystore. If you don't specify one when you build your app for release, the build will leave your .apk unsigned, and you'll have to sign it before you can publish it. For the release certificate, you also need the certificate's alias and the passwords for the keystore and the certificate. You can list the aliases for all the keys in a keystore by entering:

    keytool -list -keystore your_keystore_name

    Replace your_keystore_name with the fully-qualified path and name of the keystore, including the .keystore extension. You'll be prompted for the keystore's password. Then keytool displays all the aliases in the keystore.

  2. Enter the following at a terminal or command prompt:

    keytool -list -v -keystore your_keystore_name -alias your_alias_name

    Replace your_keystore_name with the fully-qualified path and name of the keystore, including the .keystore extension. Replace your_alias_name with the alias that you assigned to the certificate when you created it.

You should see output similar to this:

Alias name: <alias_name>
Creation date: Feb 02, 2013
Entry type: PrivateKeyEntry
Certificate chain length: 1
Certificate[1]:
Owner: CN=Android Debug, O=Android, C=US
Issuer: CN=Android Debug, O=Android, C=US
Serial number: 4cc9b300
Valid from: Mon Feb 02 08:01:04 UTC 2013 until: Mon Feb 02 18:05:04 PST 2033
Certificate fingerprints:
    MD5:  AE:9F:95:D0:A6:86:89:BC:A8:70:BA:34:FF:6B:AC:F9
    SHA1: BB:0D:AC:74:D3:21:E1:43:67:71:9B:62:90:AF:A1:66:6E:44:5D:75
    Signature algorithm name: SHA1withRSA
    Version: 3

The line that begins SHA1 contains the certificate's SHA-1 fingerprint. The fingerprint is the sequence of 20 two-digit hexadecimal numbers separated by colons.

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Places SDK for Android