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Ello + Android = Love


Ello's open source Android app

The app is a very simple wrapper around our React based web application. We handle a few of the rough edge cases but leave nearly all the functionality of the web app intact. Over time we will likely move portions of the experience over to native Android UI.


When creating the apk to upload to the Google Play Store it must be aligned. zipalign -f -v 4 app-release-unaligned.apk app-release-aligned.apk

Google Cloud Messages

There are two GCM applications, production and staging. API token registration on production links the device token to production, API token registrations on staging servers links the device token to staging.

To test GCM in development use AWS' Publish a message tool.

  • Find the target ARN by searching for your device token in the corresponding SNS application's endpoint list
  • Use JSON as the message format
  • Bender expects a body, title and web_url paramaters in the payload.
"GCM":"{\"data\":{\"title\":\"Fake Title\",\"body\":\"fake body\",\"web_url\":\"http://fake.url\"}}"

This project was bootstrapped with Create React Native App.

Below you'll find information about performing common tasks. The most recent version of this guide is available here.

Project Setup

  • Ensure you have an up-to-date version of node. Tests fail to run on older versions (v5.2.0 for example). Tests work correctly on node v7.5 & above.
  • Make sure you have yarn installed brew install yarn
  • Run yarn
  • Get a correct .env setup and update for the server you want to test against
  • Find your Android SDK path ( file in Android Studio) and set your Android path in your .bashrc:
echo 'export ANDROID_HOME=/Users/Foo/Library/Android/sdk
export PATH=${PATH}:${ANDROID_HOME}/tools
export PATH=${PATH}:${ANDROID_HOME}/platform-tools' >> .bashrc
  • Connect an android device in debug mode to your machine or launch an emulator
  • Make sure watchman is running properly
  • Run yarn android
  • You might get asked to allow overlays when initially launching the react native view.. you should allow this and then hit back to get to the actual view underneath.
  • While in a React Native view, shake the device or press cmd+m on the emulator to launch the react-native debug tools. We recommend using Live Reload and the remote JS debugger.


In the event that you're trying to build to your device and come across this error:

Installing APK 'app-debug.apk' on 'Nexus 5X - 7.1.2' for app:debug
01:31:20 E/SplitApkInstaller: Failed to finalize session : INSTALL_FAILED_VERSION_DOWNGRADE

check to make sure that you do not have a copy of the app already installed on the device. If you do, uninstalling will fix the issue.

Generating a signed APK for the play store

  • Follow the instructions in the android.keystore entry in the 1Password Engineering vault
  • Copy the android.keystore file from related items in the 1Password note above to your bender/android/app directory
  • Add keys to ~/.gradle/
  • From the root of this project yarn release
  • APK is created in android/app/build/outputs/apk