For the More Curious: The Android Build Process

By now, you probably have some burning questions about how the Android build process works. You have already seen that Android Studio builds your project automatically as you modify it, rather than on command. During the build process, the Android tools take your resources, code, and AndroidManifest.xml file (which contains metadata about the application) and turn them into an .apk file. This file is then signed with a debug key, which allows it to run on the emulator. (To distribute your .apk to the masses, you have to sign it with a release key. There is more information about this process in the Android developer documentation at​tools/​publishing/​preparing.html ...

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