The normal solution to this posted problem is that the SHA1 key is different for the release version and needs to be changed on the google developer console. I updated it and cannot get it to work.
My Google Maps API_KEY currently allows any android application in (the Android applications section is blank), so the SHA1 key is not the issue (to the best of my knowledge). Given that, when I run the app on my phone in debug mode via android studio everything works smoothly. Then, moments later, I generate the signed release and install it via:
adb.exe install [path to apk]
And the maps screen is blank. What is going on? I should be able to use the same Google Maps API key for both debug and release mode as long as they are both listed or all applications are allowed, right?