Create installable APK, but not for Play Store

I know my HTML5, but I don’t know much about android infrastructure. Maybe you can help me:

Have successfully developed several Android apps with Ionic (v1) and submitted them to Google Play. Took me a while to figure out the command line “build release --> sign via jarsigner --> optimize via zipalign” process (and frankly, I have no idea what it is I’m actually doing in these steps, I just know that it works eventually when I follow my step-by-step list). So that’s all fine.

Now I would like to create an .apk out of one of these apps that I can send to someone and they can install it on their device. When I sent them the .apk I created for the Play Store, they cannot install it (probably due to whatever happens in the signing/etc process described above). They tell me apk probably not signed correctly. It’s the same apk I submitted to the Play Store quite a while ago.

So I guess my question is: How can I build an apk file that I can simply send to someone so they can install it on their device?

You can just run your build release command and skip the signing and zipalign steps.

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By running the command ionic cordova build android. You will find the apk file in the folder of the app where you added the platform–>android–>build–>ouput–>apk .

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Thanks! I cannot believe I didn’t think of this myself…