Google gives an overview of what expansion APK files are along with some sample code.  However, getting started can be tricky.  Here is an easier to understand set of instructions for importing the necessary libraries as modules in Android Studio.

The following instructions were tested with Android Studio version 2.2.3 on a mac.  Note that on a mac the android sdk folder is at /Library/Android/sdk/.

Download libraries

  • Android Studio…Preferences…Launch Standalone SDK Manager
  • Under Extras, select “Google Play APK Expansion library” and “Google Play Licensing Library”.  Install packages… Accept License and Install.

Import market_licensing library

  • File…New…Import Module…
  • Browse to <ANDROID_SDK>/extras/google/market_licensing/library/, Press OK
  • Rename Module name from library to market_licensing, Press Finish

Import downloader_library

  • Open the <ANDROID_SDK>/extras/google/market_apk_expansion/downloader_library/ file and delete the last line that reads “android.library.reference.1=../market_licensing.”
  • File…New…Import Module…
  • Browse to <ANDROID_SDK>/extras/google/market_apk_expansion/downloader_library/, Press OK and Finish


Import zip library

This step is optional.  If your expansion apk files are in a zip package then this library can be helpful.

  • File…New…Import Module…
  • Browse to <ANDROID_SDK>/extras/google/market_apk_expansion/zip_file/, Press OK and Finish

Add user permissions

Add the following permissions to the AndroidManifest.xml. Note that the documentation only has the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission, but I couldn’t get it to work on my Galaxy S5 test device without the READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission as well.

    <!-- Required to access Google Play Licensing -->
    <uses-permission android:name="" />
    <!-- Required to download files from Google Play -->
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />
    <!-- Required to keep CPU alive while downloading files (NOT to keep screen awake) -->
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.WAKE_LOCK" />
    <!-- Required to poll the state of the network connection and respond to changes -->
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE" />
    <!-- Required to check whether Wi-Fi is enabled -->
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_WIFI_STATE"/>
    <!-- Required to read and write the expansion files on shared storage. -->
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" />
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" />

Also for API 23+ you need to request read/write permissions from the user during application runtime.  You will need to request Manifest.permission.READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE and Manifest.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE before downloading or reading the expansion files.

If you don’t have the proper storage permissions you may get a and an error trying to read your .obb file that states “open failed: EACCES (Permission denied)“.


Set up dependencies 

If you build now you may get the following error: “package does not exist”.  Resolve it with the following steps.

  • Right click the downloader_library module from your project view
  • Select “Open Module Settings”
  • Select “Dependencies” tab
  • Press plus sign + then select “3 Module Dependency”
  • Select “market_licensing” and press OK.

Incorporate downloader_sample code into your project

“Most of the time, Google Play downloads and saves your expansion files at the same time it downloads the APK to the device. However, in some cases Google Play cannot download the expansion files or the user might have deleted previously downloaded expansion files. To handle these situations, your app must be able to download the files itself when the main activity starts, using a URL provided by Google Play.”

The sample code to download the expansion APK files manually is at <ANDROID_SDK>/extras/google/market_apk_expansion/download_sample

Copy the source code files, rename them and modify them to meet your needs.  This includes,, and  Also copy layout file main.xml and merge the values file strings.xml with your own.

Modify to make Service Intent explicit

If you build now you may get the following error: “java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Service Intent must be explicit: Intent { }“.

The root cause of the error is at line 150 of in the market_licensing module.  You can press on the line number in the stack trace “at” or navigate to the file.

add .setPackage("") to the end of the string parameter passed to the intent like so:

new String(
-    Base64.decode("Y29tLmFuZHJvaWQudmVuZGluZy5saWNlbnNpbmcuSUxpY2Vuc2luZ1NlcnZpY2U="))),
+    Base64.decode("Y29tLmFuZHJvaWQudmVuZGluZy5saWNlbnNpbmcuSUxpY2Vuc2luZ1NlcnZpY2U=")))
+    .setPackage(""), // this fixes 'IllegalArgumentException: Service Intent must be explicit'
     this, // ServiceConnection.

Change the minSdkVersion from 3 to 4 in the market_licensing/manifests/AndroidManifests.xml file


Modify DownloaderService to fix WifiManagerLeak error

When you go to generate a signed APK you will get the error “Error:(575) Error: The WIFI_SERVICE must be looked up on the Application context or memory will leak on devices < Android N. Try changing  to .getApplicationContext()  [WifiManagerLeak]“.

The problem is in line 575 of the file within the downloader library.  Modify it as follows:

- mWifiManager = (WifiManager) getSystemService(Context.WIFI_SERVICE);
+ mWifiManager = (WifiManager) getApplicationContext().getSystemService(Context.WIFI_SERVICE);


Implementing the downloader service, alarm receiver and starting the download

Follow along with Google’s documentation at to implement the downloader service and alarm receiver.  Scroll down to the section titled “Implementing the downloader service“.


How to get expansion APK files with downloader library and market licensing modules to work in Android Studio
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