Cordova: All flavors must now belong to a named flavor dimension.

Messing around with Cordova I stumbled upon the following exception when building the app for Android:

A problem occurred configuring root project 'android'.
> All flavors must now belong to a named flavor dimension. Learn more at

The almighty folks over at Stackoverflow suggest to update the build.gradle and add a flavorDimensions parameter into the android section. As this smells like a dirty workaround for an issue that should (as always) not be happening in the first place, I found some deeper digging into this topic from Dave Alden. To sum it up: cordova-android@6.4.0 requires Gradle v4, but cordova-plugin-crosswalk-webview is incompatible with Gradle 4.

This leaves you with 3,5 options:

  • Upgrade cordova-android to 7+: This might mess up all your other plugins as they did some breaking changes (that’s why I still had to stick to 6.4.0). Quite a lot of Cordova plugins are not yet compatible with Cordova v7+ as of today.
  • Downgrade cordova-android even further: This has the risk of some other side-effects, missing stability and security updates, etc.
  • Downgrade Gradle to v3: This might lead to incompatibilities with e.g. cordova-plugin-crosswalk-webview
  • Abandon Cordova altogether and switch to React Native, Xamarin or Weex… but yeah.

Further references

How to build you own Open GApps package

The Open GApps project provides a convenient way to get up-to-date Google App packages (most often used in combination with custom ROMs). Unfortunately they do not always offer the most recent versions and it takes some time until new Android releases are reflected on the official Open GApps project website. As of this writing, Android 8.1 is the most recent Android version and is not yet in the portfolio of the Open GApps project.

Fortunately they publish their automation and all necessary assets on GitHub. Therefore building your package from their sources is pretty feasible. The following guide is done for macOS, but should be quite similar to most Linux distributions (hint: you can use the beevelop/android Docker image to save some time):

# Install lzip via brew (Open GApps depends on it)
brew install lzip
# Clone the main repository
git clone
# Download the sources for your targeted architecture (arm64 in my case)
# Downloading and „uncompacting“ the repositories takes quite some time
# Get a coffee or two in the meantime
./ --shallow arm64

# The final step is building the package itself
# This also does take quite some time
# especially depending on your CPU power (due to compression stuff, etc.)
make arm64-27-stock

The following script might help you getting started by using the Docker image mentioned above. Just run the following commands inside the Docker container (e.g. docker run -it --rm beevelop/android):

apt install build-essential lzip git zip
# SSH-Key on the machine is required and has to be added to your GitHub account
git clone
./ --shallow arm64
make arm64-27-stock
# The command should great you with:
# SUCCESS: Built Open GApps variation stock with API 27 level for arm64 as [...path...]

Afterwards you can transfer the resulting zip file from Docker container to your host machine using docker cp:

docker cp practical_wilson:/root/opengapps/out/ .
# from there on scp it to your local computer and put it on your gorgeous mobile phone

ADB over network with Android 2.3

For testing purposes I use an old Android 2.3 device that runs an old version of Cyanogenmod. Unfortunately I could not find an option to enable ADB over network in the device’s settings. I am not a fan of plugging in the device every time I would like to debug an application. But, fortunately, there is a way to enable ADB over network via Terminal if your device is rooted:

setprop service.adb.tcp.port 5555
stop adbd
start adbd

Afterwards you can connect as usual by running adb connect device-ip on your development machine.

To disable ADB over network you can set the TCP port option to -1:

setprop service.adb.tcp.port -1
stop adbd
start adbd

Cordova 5: Building signed Android applications

Even though signing Android applications is quite simpler than signing iOS applications, it’s sometimes annoying to set it up and reliably automate it (without using Phonegap or comparable services). Recently I tried automating singing a Cordova application for Android and struggled finding a reliable documentation.

The official Cordova documentation states, that you can easily append a bunch of arguments to the build command to automatically sign your Android application:

Keystore (--keystore): Path to a binary file which can hold a set of keys.
Keystore password (--storePassword): Password to the keystore
Alias (--alias): The id specifying the private key used for singing.
Password (--password): Password for the private key specified.
Type of the keystore (--keystoreType): pkcs12, jks (Default: auto-detect based on file extension)

The catch is, you need to append these arguments as platformopts (POPTS):

cordova build [PROD] [TARGET] [EXP] [PLATS] [BUILDCONFIG] [-- POPTS]

  PROD:   --debug|--release
  TARGET: --device|--emulator|--target=FOO
  EXP:    --experimental [EXPERIMENTALFLAGS]
  POPTS:  platformopts

Therefore the command to build a signed Cordova android application becomes:

cordova build --release android -- --keystore=my.keystore --storePassword=K3ySt0reP4ssw0rd --alias=foobar --password=K3yP4ssw0rd

Alternatively, you could specify them in a build configuration file (build.json) using (–buildConfig) argument.

     "android": {
         "release": {
             "keystore": "my.keystore",
             "storePassword": "K3ySt0reP4ssw0rd",
             "alias": "foobar",
             "password" : "K3yP4ssw0rd",
             "keystoreType": ""

and respectively

cordova build --release android --buildConfig=buildConfig.json

I tested all those commands with Cordova 5.4.0

Android: Resize screen for dead touch zone

Unfortunately I recently stumbled upon hardware issues with my OnePlus One. About 1 inch (2,5 cm) of the display and the soft buttons stopped working suddenly. The display itself is fully intact, but it does not respond to any touch events or gestures anymore. As this leaves the device unusable for most interactions, I desperately searched for a solution on how to disable the defect part of the display. Especially as interaction with the on-screen nav bar is not possible due to the unresponsive 1 inch (2,5cm) high display part. So I basically had to find a way how to “push” the on-screen nav bar up a bit.

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