Google Maps for Android Signing process

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http://stackoverflow.com – First things first. I've been having a lot of trouble getting a map to be displayed. By this I mean that I've followed multiple tutorials, including the Google Maps V2 intro here. I read somewhere that I cannot test maps on emulators (elsewhere that I need another kind of custom emulator) so my process has been continually to use dropbox to install the app on my own phone. This may be relevant because i've just read here that the only way a map will work is if it's signed and installed through Google Play Store. More to the problem, what I see when I view the app is and empty map with zoom co (HowTos)