Flipper – the best darn Android development tool you’ve never heard of

Flipper is a tool created by Facebook to support the development and debugging of Android apps (iOS and React Native, too).

It is a toolbox full of mini-tools, called plugins, that do all kinds of wonderful things. Some of which exist in some form in Android Studio, but many of which do not.

It can also be very useful for your QA team. They may not use Android Studio, so even an external logcat would still be extremely helpful for them.

Here are some of the out-of-the-box plugins available for Flipper

  • Network call logs
  • Network call mocking
  • Crash reporting
  • Image inspector
  • Database inspector
  • Shared Preferences inspector
  • Logcat

Flipper is written with the Electron framework and runs on the desktop/laptop while connected to physical devices or emulators/simulators. It is completely open source so its additional super-power is its ability to support custom plugins that can provide app specific features like:

  • Analytics logging (I’m looking at you Adobe)
  • Managing User logins for testing
  • Feature toggles
  • Adb commands
  • And a plethora (look it up – it’s a good thing!) of 3rd party plugins

Start using it now. You’ll wonder how you ever developed without it.

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