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Android Development

This guide covers how to run and debug Ionic apps on Android emulators and devices using Capacitor or Cordova.

To develop for Android, make sure you have followed the Android Environment Setup.

Project Setup

Before apps can be deployed to Android simulators and devices, the native project must be configured.

  1. Generate the native project, if it does not already exist.

    For Capacitor, run the following:

     $ ionic capacitor add android

    For Cordova, run the following:

$ ionic cordova prepare android
  1. Set the Package ID.

    For Capacitor, open the capacitor.config.json file and modify the appId property.

    For Cordova, open the config.xml file and modify the id attribute of the root element, <widget>. See the Cordova documentation for more information.

Running with Capacitor

Capacitor uses Android Studio to build and run apps to simulators and devices.

  1. Develop the Ionic app and sync it to the native project.

    With each meaningful change, Ionic apps must be built into web assets before the change can appear on Android simulators and devices. The web assets then must be copied into the native project. Luckily, this process is made easy with a single Ionic CLI command.

     $ ionic capacitor copy android
  2. In Android Studio, click the Run button and then select the target simulator or device.

Android Studio Run Button Area

Live reload

To start a live-reload server run the following command.

$ ionic capacitor run android -l --address=YOUR_IP_ADDRESS

When running on a device make sure the device and your development machine are connected to the same network.

Running with Cordova

The Ionic CLI can build, copy, and deploy Ionic apps to Android simulators and devices with a single command. It can also spin up a development server, like the one used in ionic serve, to provide live-reload functionality.

Run the following to start a long-running CLI process that boots up a live-reload server:

$ ionic cordova run android -l

Now, when changes are made to the app's source files, web assets are rebuilt and the changes are reflected on the simulator or device without having to deploy again.

Debugging Android Apps

Once an app is running on an Android device or emulator, it can be debugged with Chrome DevTools.

Using Chrome DevTools

Chrome has web developer tool support for Android simulators and devices. Go to chrome://inspect in Chrome while the simulator is running or a device is connected to the computer and Inspect the app that needs to be debugged.

Make sure your application is running on the device or simulator, or it will not show up in the list.

Android Chrome DevTools

Viewing Native Logs

If running with Android Studio, native logs can be found in Logcat.

If the Logcat window is hidden, you can enable it in View » Tool Windows » Logcat.

Android Studio Logcat

You can also access Logcat with ADB.

$ adb logcat
Running on iOS