The Blockstack Android library for identity, auth and storage
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README.md

Blockstack Android SDK (Pre-release)

Blockstack is a platform for developing a new, decentralized internet, where users control and manage their own information. Interested developers can create applications for this new internet using the Blockstack platform.

This repository contains a pre-release for Android developers:

All of the material in this is a pre-release, if you encounter an issue please feel free to log it on this repository.

Get started

Use the detailed tutorial and to build your first Blockstack Android application with React. You can also work through three example apps in module (/example), (/example-multi-activity) and (/example-service).

Adding to your project

    repositories {
          maven { url 'https://jitpack.io' }
    }

    dependencies {
        implementation 'com.github.blockstack:blockstack-android:$blockstack_sdk_version'
    }

Handling Blockstack sessions

The current implementation of the Blockstack Android SDK uses the j2v8 engine and blockstack.js.

Redirect with app links

The example applications and tutorial uses a custom url scheme to handle the redirect from the sign-in process. In production, the redirect should be handled by app links such that no other apps could hijack the custom url scheme. (There is no security risk, it is just a bad user experience if an app chooser pops up and the user has to choose how to finish the sign-in.)

Replace the custom scheme intent filter with the intent filter with your domain/host name like this:

   <activity android:name="./SignInActivity"
     ...>
     <intent-filter>
       <action android:name="android.intent.action.VIEW" />
       <category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
       <category android:name="android.intent.category.BROWSABLE" />
       <data android:scheme="https" android:host="example.com" />
     </intent-filter>
     ...
   </activity>

Note, when using app links you do not need a web server anymore that redirects to the custom scheme. All you need to host is a manifest.json file for the app details and the assetlinks.json file for the app links.

Thread Handling

The j2v8 engine requires that calls to the Blockstack session are made from only one thread.

The SDK comes with a default implementation of an Executor that manages thread switching. By default, network threads are done in the background, calls to the Blockstack session are done on the main thread.

If the Blockstack session is not created on the main thread then a custom implementation of Excecutor needs to be provided in the constructor of the Blockstack session. See the service example for some code.

It is also possible to manually switch threads buy using .releaseThreadLock and .aquireThreadLock. These methods allow to make calls to the Blockstack session on a different thread. The thread lock needs to be released on the current thread of the session. Then the new thread can acquire the thread lock.

Sign-In Flow

The most basic way to sign-in a user with Blockstack is to use redirectUserToSignIn, handlePendingAuthResponse and all subsequent method calls in the same activity. This is shown in the simple example. However, applications usually have a separate screen to handle user sessions.

In the multi activity example a sign-in flow with two separate activities is implemented, one for the main activity and one for the account handling. The account handling activity updates the session data and the main activity uses the same session store to retrieve the session data. The default session store is using the default SharedPreferences, therefore, the session data is shared between all activities of the same app.

Document Provider

Files stored on a gaia hub can be included in the user's device using Android Storage Access Framework (SAF). You should consider providing a document provider that allows the user to access the files in the context of other apps as well.

The Android documentation provides a details guide how to build a document provider. There exist open source examples provided by the community, e.g. OI ConvertCSV.

API Reference Documentation

Please see generated documenatation on the project's circle CI.

Regulatory Notes

Export Compliance

The Blockstack Android SDK includes methods to encrypt data. Please consider whether you have to be compliant with US export law when you distribute your app via Google Play. See for example Export Compliance

Privacy and Data Protection

Blockstack helps you to create privacy-by-design apps as for example required by GDPR.

In the context of GDPR, you should consider features to export and delete gaia files.

Contributing

Please see the contribution guidelines.

License

Please see license file