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Getting Ready

cd ~/phonegap/my_app
ls -la

You should see the default files and directories from the cordova create and cordova platform add commands used during the PhoneGap installation:

  • config.xml
  • hooks/*
  • platforms/*
  • plugins/*
  • www/*

Preparing the App's Icons

cd ~/phonegap/my_app/platforms/android/res
ls -la

Here you'll see many directories:

  • drawable
  • drawable-hdpi
  • drawable-ldpi
  • ...

Using your favorite image editor, overwrite the icon.png file in each of the directories with the icon that you'd like to use for the app. Pay close attention to the original dimensions, because your icon.png files must use those same dimensions for each folder.

  • my-android-project/res/drawable/icon.png (96x96)
  • my-android-project/res/drawable-hdpi/icon.png (72x72)
  • my-android-project/res/drawable-ldpi/icon.png (36x36)
  • my-android-project/res/drawable-mdpi/icon.png (48x48)
  • my-android-project/res/drawable-xhdpi/icon.png (96x96)
  • my-android-project/res/drawable-xxhdpi/icon.png (144x144)
  • my-android-project/res/drawable-xxxhdpi/icon.png (192x192)

Using the Terminal to Compile the App

Once you're ready to compile your app for Android, it's pretty easy using terminal commands. When we're done you'll have a .apk file that can be installed on Android devices.


cd ~/phonegap/my_app

The www directory will contain the DrupalGap SDK, your app directory, the index.html file, etc:

  • www/bin/drupalgap.min.js
  • www/index.html
  • www/app/*
  • ...

Don't forget to place a copy of cordova.js in the www directory:

cp platforms/android/assets/www/cordova.js www/

Then update index.html to include the cordova.js file before the drupalgap_onload() call:

<!-- Load PhoneGap (Cordova) -->
<script type="text/javascript" src="cordova.js"></script>

Change the DrupalGap mode in your settings.js file:

drupalgap.settings.mode = 'phonegap';

Connecting your Android device

Plugin your Android device via USB to your computer, and then turn on debug mode on the Android device. You should then be able to the Android device connected to your computer's USB list:


It will look something like this (and will most likely contain your phone manufacturer's name):

Bus 003 Device 019: ID 1004:61f1 LG Electronics, Inc.

Compiling the .apk file

Now we're ready to compile and run the app:

cordova run android

This will automatically compile and install the app on your Android device. If you do not have an Android device, you can run this command instead:

cordova build

Once compiled, the Android app can be shared by sending an .apk file to colleagues or friends:


This .apk file is only used for debugging/testing, and cannot be published to the Google Play store.

Sharing the .apk file with testers

At this point, the .apk file can be simply sent to an e-mail address, and the recipient can install the app directly from the GMail app on their Android device. Of course only share this with trusted contacts as a means to test out your app.

Preparing the .apk for Google Play

The .apk file compiled above cannot be used in Google Play, so we need to prepare it for submission. The following terminal commands will prepare an .apk file so you can upload it to the Google Play Developer Console. While following along, you may use your own app's name in place of things like "my_app", etc.

First, specify a unique version number in the config.xml file:


The version number will look something like this:

<widget id="com.example" version="1.0.0" other="stuff" />

Next, create a keystore (only once):

cd ~/phonegap/my_app
keytool -genkey -v -keystore my_app.keystore -alias my_app -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 10000

Follow the prompts and enter all the information it asks for and be sure to take note of the password you specify because you will need it later. Then run these two terminal commands:

cd platforms/android
ant -f build.xml clean release -Dsdk.dir=/path-to-my-android-sdk/

Be sure to replace /path-to-my-android-sdk in the command above with the path to your Android SDK, which should contain the following folders:

  • build-tools
  • extras
  • platforms
  • platform-tools
  • temp
  • tools

Then sign it:

cd bin
jarsigner -verbose -sigalg SHA1withRSA -digestalg SHA1 -keystore ~/phonegap/my_app/my_app.keystore CordovaApp-release-unsigned.apk my_app

Then zip align it to verify it:

/path-to-my-android-sdk/build-tools/android-4.4W/zipalign -v 4 CordovaApp-release-unsigned.apk my_app.apk

That's it! The my_app.apk file can now be uploaded to the Google Play Developer Console: