# Android Shell Tool Guide

This guide shows how to use Cordova's set of platform-centered shell tools to develop Android apps. This development path, discussed in the Overview, may offer you a greater range of development options than the cross-platform CLI tool described in The Command-Line Interface. For example, you need to use shell tools when deploying a custom Cordova WebView alongside native components. Before using either development path, you must first configure the Android SDK environment as described in the Android Platform Guide.

To enable shell tools for Android, download Cordova from cordova.apache.org. The download contains separate archives for each platform. Expand each you wish to target, android in this case. The relevant tools are typically available in the top-level bin directory, otherwise consult the README file for more detailed directions.

These tools allow you to create, build, and run Android apps. For information on the additional command-line interface that enables plugin features across all platforms, see Using Plugman to Manage Plugins. See Application Plugins for details on how to develop plugins.

## Create a Project

Run the create command, specifying the existing path to the project, the reverse-domain-style package identifier, and the app's display name. Here is the syntax for both Mac/Linux and Windows:

    $/path/to/cordova-android/bin/create /path/to/project com.example.project_name ProjectName C:\>\path\to\cordova-android\bin\create.bat \path\to\project com.example.project_name ProjectName  ## Build This cleans then builds a project. Debug, on Mac/Linux or Windows: $ /path/to/project/cordova/build --debug

C:\>\path\to\project\cordova\build.bat --debug


Release, on Mac/Linux or Windows:

    $/path/to/project/cordova/build --release C:\>\path\to\project\cordova\build.bat --release  ## Run the App The run command accepts the following optional parameters: • Target specification. This includes --emulator, --device, or --target=<targetID>. • Build specification. This includes --debug, --release, or --nobuild. $ /path/to/project/cordova/run [Target] [Build]

C:\>\path\to\project\cordova\run.bat [Target] [Build]


Make sure you create at least one Android Virtual Device, otherwise you're prompted to do so with the android command. If more than one AVD is available as a target, you're prompted to select one. By default the run command detects a connected device, or a currently running emulator if no device is found.

    $/path/to/project/cordova/log C:\>\path\to\project\cordova\log.bat  ## Cleaning $ /path/to/project/cordova/clean

C:\>\path\to\project\cordova\clean.bat


## Manual Use of Ant

If you wish to call Ant directly from the command line such as ant debug install, you need to specify additional parameters to the ant command:

    ant debug install -Dout.dir=ant-build -Dgen.absolute.dir=ant-gen


This is because the directories used by Cordova's Ant scripts are different than the default. This is done to avoid conflicts when Ant is run from the command line versus inside Eclipse/ADT.

These additional parameters are automatically added for you when using the cordova/build and cordova/run scripts described above. For this reason it is recommended to use the cordova/build and cordova/run scripts instead of calling Ant directly from the command line.

Cordova for Android now supports building with Gradle. This is optional in Cordova 3.x, but will be enabled by default in the future, probably with Cordova 4.0. The build system is controlled with environment variables, which can be set for the shell, or specified on the command line alongside the cordova build command.

Please note that the Gradle build rules are still in development, and will likely be subject to large changes before Gradle becomes the default build system. Developers are encouraged to try it, and experiment with it, but if you base your own production build system on top of it, you will probably experience several breaking changes over the next few releases, before it stabilizes.

### Relevant Environment Variables

• ANDROID_BUILD

This variable controls which build system is used to build the project. In can take either of the values ant or gradle.

If not set, it currently defaults to ant, but this is expected to change.

• BUILD_MULTIPLE_APKS

If this is set, then multiple APK files will be generated: One per native platform supported by library projects (x86, ARM, etc). This can be important if your project uses large native libraries, which can drastically increase the size of the generated APK.

If not set, then a single APK will be generated which can be used on all devices.

• BUILD_MULTIPLE_APKS

If this is set, then multiple APK files will be generated: One per native platform supported by library projects (x86, ARM, etc). This can be important if your project uses large native libraries, which can drastically increase the size of the generated APK.

If not set, then a single APK will be generated which can be used on all devices.

• ANDROID_VERSION_CODE

Overrides the versionCode set in AndroidManifest.xml

• RELEASE_SIGNING_PROPERTIES_FILE

Path to a .properties file that contains signing information for release builds. The file should look like:

  storeFile=relative/path/to/keystore.p12
storeType=pkcs12
keyAlias=DebugSigningKey


storePassword and keyPassword are optional, and will be prompted for if omitted.

### Other Environment Variables (you don't normally need to set these)

• ANDROID_HOME

This should be set to the directory containing the Android SDK.

• JAVA_HOME

On some machines, this will need to be set so that Gradle can find the Java compiler. On OSX, the value for this variable can be found by running /usr/libexec/java_home

If you need to customize build.gradle, rather than edit directly, you should create a sibling file named build-extras.gradle. This file will be included by the main build.gradle when present.
    ANDROID_BUILD=gradle cordova build android