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Get Started

Integration Guide

Android Get Started Guide

To get started with Embrace for Android, the basic integration is four simple steps and should take less than 15 minutes. If you are in front of your Mac or PC and ready to code, please use the self-service flow. To ask us questions directly, join the Embrace Slack community.

Once you complete the initial integration steps, you can verify its success by reviewing events as they happen real-time. While you are still attached to the debugger, go to the Recent Sessions page on the left-hand menu of the Embrace dashboard. Select the Debugger tab in the upper menu. Locate and click into your session under Live Sessions. You should see your events flow in real-time.

To fully realize Embrace's value in (i) development and (ii) post app release, a few more features are recommended. This includes integrating logs and moments, and defining your customer segments. Please see the Recommended Configuration guide below.

Step 1: Add the Embrace SDK

FAQ: Common Questions and Solutions

The Embrace Android SDK is publicly available on JCenter. Make the following changes in your project’s build.gradle file to add the SDK to you app:

buildscript {
  repositories {
  dependencies {
    classpath 'embrace-io:embrace-swazzler:4.2.2'

Configure Embrace in your app build.gradle file:

apply plugin: ''
apply plugin: 'embrace-swazzler'
repositories {

android {

    compileOptions {
        sourceCompatibility JavaVersion.VERSION_1_8
        targetCompatibility JavaVersion.VERSION_1_8

embrace {
  appId = '<EMBRACE_APP_ID>'
  apiToken = '<API_TOKEN>'

The app ID and API token are available during the self-serve flow and in the dashboard under settings. Click the gear icon on the top right hand corner. If you can't find them or still have not received them, please contact us at [email protected].

Your AndroidManifest.xml should have the following permissions set so Embrace can send events and monitor connectivity.

  • android.permission.INTERNET
  • android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE


Embrace requires

  • Android 4.1 (API 16) or later
  • Gradle 4.4 or later
  • Android Build Tools Plugin 3.+
  • Java 8

If you use a version older than any of those listed, please contact us via email at [email protected] or reach out to us on Slack.

Step 2: Initialize Embrace


From your app’s custom Application class, which must extend, call Embrace.getInstance().start(this) at the start of the onCreate method.


public final class MyApplication extends Application {

public void onCreate() {

Please make sure any networking libraries such as OkHttp or Retrofit are initialized before Embrace.

Step 3: Set Your User Identifiers

FAQ: Identifying Users | API

User lookup is a useful tool to understand and resolve problems quickly. It can help developers and QA teams debug issues during development. You can also utilize user lookup to triage customer complaints post-release.

Set the identifiers for your users by adding one or more of the lines below. The best practice is to set the user identifiers early in the startup and whenever a user logs in or registers.

Embrace.getInstance().setUserEmail("[email protected]");

Step 4: Test the Integration

To verify your integration is working, add an error log to your application:

Embrace.getInstance().logError("error log with screenshot sent to Embrace (Woo-hoo!)");

If you are integrating your app with Embrace for the first time in the onboarding page, you will be able to proceed to the next step once a complete session is captured. Complete the session by backgrounding your app and relaunching it. Once you gain access to the rest of the dash and are still attached to the debugger, go to the Recent Sessions page on the left-hand menu. Select Debugger on the upper menu and locate and click into your session under Live Sessions. You should see your events flow in real-time.

In general, data for the entire session is sent to Embrace when the application is sent to the background and reopened.

Recommended Configuration

Crash & Log Symbolication

By default, a stack trace will only show memory addresses, so it must be symbolicated to display useful information. Symbolication will replace the memory addresses with function names, file paths, and line numbers.

Proguard files will be uploaded automatically. (Please note that we do not officially support Dexguard.) If you don't see symbolicated crashes while using Proguard, contact us at [email protected] and we will work with you directly.

Startup Performance

The Embrace SDK automatically records the Startup event once it's initialized, and automatically determines the end of the startup when the Activity.onResume() method returns. However not all apps fit the onResume() paradigm (i.e. having a splash screen). You can manage the end of your app's startup by adding the @StartupActivity annotation to any Activity class that you wish to skip. This will tell the Embrace SDK that it should not automatically end the Startup for that Activity.

public class MainActivity extends Activity {
  // Your code goes here...

For any skipped activity, to end the Startup manually, add the following method call before wherever a user can first interact with your app. Keep in mind that your startup can have multiple ending locations (i.e. cold start vs start via push notifcation to a deeplink). Feel free to call this method as many times as you like.


By default, a screenshot will be captured if the startup moment does not complete within 5 seconds and the app is still in the foreground. To disable this behavior, set the following configuration in the SDK config file. See this section for more information on how to use the SDK config.

  "startup_moment": {
    "take_screenshot": false



Log messages are a great tool to gain proactive visibility into a user's session and to debug issues. Add Error, Warning and Info log messages to provide additional context to your user timelines and to aggregate on counts of expected issues. Embrace does not limit the number of logs and does not require that you turn them off on app release.† Each log message may include a stack trace and screenshot (defaulted takeScreenshot: false for info logs).

// Properties are not required but are shown here as examples.
// A screenshot is captured for Error and Warning logs by default.
// A stack trace is only captured for Error logs by default.

// Set log properties (optional step) 
Map<String, Object> props = new HashMap<>();

props.put("item", item_name /*user defined*/); 
props.put("quantity", item_qty /*user defined*/);

// Log an error message (Screenshot default:on, Stacktrace default: on)
// Second parameter sets the log properties. To not use log properties, set the 2nd parameter to null
// Third parameter controls the screenshots. Not providing this parameter will use default configs for screenshots
Embrace.getInstance().logError("User purchase request failed", props, false);

// Log a warning message (Screenshot default:on, Stacktrace default:off)
Embrace.getInstance().logWarning("User attempted expired credit card", props);

// Log an info message (Screenshot default:off, Stacktrace default:off)
Embrace.getInstance().logInfo("User has entered checkout flow", props);  

Additionally, Embrace supports adding custom properties to add even more context around log messages. These are simple key-value attribute pairs that are sent with the log message to provide additional visibility. Both property keys and values function as filters on the App Performance and Logging pages, and are displayed in session timelines. You are limited to 10 properties for any given log message.

In the example above, an item property key is set and item_name is assigned as the value of the property. Log properties can be utilized in multiple ways. For example, you can set props.put("share", platform] where platform could be "instagram", "facebook", or "twitter" to track which media platform a user might have shared content to.

† Important: note that all log messages are sent with a network request immediately as they occur, and not at the end of the session. We highly recommend that you do not define your console logs (i.e. debug and verbose messages) as info logs. Instead, use Breadcrumbs.



Other tools limit breadcrumbs via their pricing models, however, we fundamentally believe this is a mistake. Set your low-level debug and verbose messages as Breadcrumbs to provide rich context within each session on the user timeline. Unlike Error, Warning or Info logs, breadcrumbs are neither aggregated nor are they sent with properties or a stack trace.

Additionally, breadcrumbs are sent with the session payload and not as they occur. This allows developers to pipe their console logs to provide additional session context without inflating the overall cost of the SDK.

// Add a breadcrumb to the Session Timeline (stacktraces and screenshots not applicable)
Embrace.getInstance().logBreadcrumb("Your 64-char-or-less message here...")

Performance Monitoring ("Moments")


App Moments identify and measure the time to completion of key locations in your app. Conceptually, this is like a stopwatch. SLAs, KPIs, and key experiences are often best measured with Moments. Examples include the time it takes for startups to complete or the time it takes to complete a purchase after a "confirm purchase" button is pressed.

Embrace measures time distributions (durations) and incomplete rates. Incomplete rates fall into three categories:

  1. Abandonment Rates - when a user leaves before the predefined 5s threshold
  2. Stall Rates - when a user leaves after 5s
  3. Crash Rates - when a user crashes or OOMs during the moment.

When defining the start and end(s) of the moment, keep in mind that a moment can have multiple endings (feel free to end it as many times as you like). Similar to log data, moment data is sent immediately when it occurs. We also support adding custom properties to moments with the same 10 property limit as log properties. Pass custom properties to the start and/or end of a moment.

// Moments often end in multiple different places in the app and code.  
// An end event can be called multiple times to ensure a moment is ended.

// Set screenshot boolean (optional step)
boolean shouldTakeScreenshot = true;

// Set moment properties (optional step)
Map<String, Object> props = new HashMap<>();

props.put("item", item_name /*user defined*/);
props.put("quantity", item_qty /*user defined*/);

// Identify and start app moment 
	null /*this is a moment identifier*/, 
// End Moment
	null /*this is a moment identifier*/,

Moment identifiers are useful when an app has separate parallel instances of the same Moment. A common use case for parallel moments is image or photo uploading.

User Segments ("Personas")


Many mobile teams track users in pre-defined segments or cohorts. Often these segments, like payers or heavy bidders, have specific usage patterns with errors that are not detectable or otherwise hidden when aggregated with all other users. Set and clear Personas as soon as you know when a user belongs to or leaves a specific segment.

// Setting the "Payer" Persona on a User

// Clearing the "Payer" Persona from User

// Clearing all user personas 

// Default personas are also available to all apps 
// new_user, power_user, logged_in, vip, content_creator, tester

SDK Config File

Certain SDK configs are only settable in a custom embrace-config.json file that is added to your application's assets. Typically you would create this file in app/main/assets. The SDK will emit the following log message if the config file is found: Read configuration from embrace-config.json.

The supported settings are shown below.





Set to false to prevent the SDK from connecting to the uncaught exception handler.




The name of the header that trace IDs are captured from




Control whether the startup moment is automatically ended.




Control whether screenshots are taken during the startup moment.




Control whether coordinates are captured for taps.

This sample config file shows how you would disable capturing of screenshots for the startup moment.

  "startup_moment": {
    "take_screenshot": false

Updated 7 days ago

Integration Guide

Android Get Started Guide

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