Monday, August 13, 2018

How to find the cause of a lint error while generating a signed Android APK

Sometimes when generating a signed APK of an Android App from Android Studio, I would encounter a cryptic lint error message:

Lint found fatal errors while assembling a release target.

To proceed, either fix the issues identified by lint, or modify your build script as follows:
android {
    lintOptions {
        checkReleaseBuilds false
        // Or, if you prefer, you can continue to check for errors in release builds,
        // but continue the build even when errors are found:
        abortOnError false

The message suggests to disable the lint checking but it would probably not be to your benefit to ignore the error.

After some digging around, I found that lint checking outputs a report which you can read to identify the source of the problem. The report can be found in the application's source build directory e.g. /your/Android/app/build/reports/ and named as lint-results-release-fatal.html

If you open up the report in a browser, the cause of the lint error can be easily seen. In this example, the reason for the compilation error is a missing language translation.

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