Programming Pitfalls: Android Keystore Files

Programming Pitfalls is a series that aims to help new and seasoned developers avoid common and at times terribly painful programming errors and other missteps.

Ever submit an Android app to the Market… er I mean Play Store? If you haven’t I hope you do (mobile development is a lot of fun), but if you have do you remember that .keystore file Eclipse had you make? You don’t? Well, you’re in trouble. If you don’t find that file you will never be able to update your app. Poor design on Google’s part? That argument could be made, but the point of the system is to ensure that no one, other than you,  can submit an update to your app; imagine what would happen to mobile security if a malicious entity were able to submit a virus laden update to Angry Birds?

My recommendation is that you back up you key to a remote service, such as Dropbox or even GMAIL works. Just make sure that it is something that is in the cloud and have mutiple copies of your keystore in multiple places.

Hope this saves you some pain in the future.

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