APIs debugger for native android apps

If you are an android developer, you must already be knowing about Chucker - An In-app HTTP Inspector and Charles Proxy - A Desktop app based HTTP(s) proxy. I have extensively used both the tools for debugging API traffic on Android devices but there are many pain points which the duo fail to solve hence at Requestly we decided to build an Open-Source and powerful android debugger which provides the capability of In-App API Inspector as well modifying the API request/response without dealing with SSL certificate and proxy issues. In this article, we will go in-depth to understand the pain points of debugging API traffic and how Requestly debugger addresses them.

Chucker (In-app HTTP Inspector)

Chucker is an open-source HTTP Inspector that shows API traffic directly on the device but Chucker alone isn't sufficient for debugging purposes. It lacks the following things which breaks the debugging experience

  • No Support to modify API request & response
  • Copying & Sharing cURL process is painful
  • Sharing individual request/response snapshot isn't possible

Chucker Demo

Charles Proxy (HTTP Debugging Proxy)

Charles Proxy is very common tool used by mobile developers for Intercepting & Debugging API traffic but all developers have similar complaints

  • Setup is very hard & Onboarding any new member takes a lot of time
  • Works on local machine So collaboration is not possible with Charles
  • Difficult to use along with Production apps due to SSL pinning
  • Interception is good but modification isn't really easy
  • Not actively maintained product and the list is long..

Requestly Android Debugger

Requestly Android Debugger not only combines the power of Chucker and Charles Proxy but also boosts the debugging experience with much more powerful featureset. Requestly Android Debugger is just a simple wrapper on top of Chucker project So the integration steps are also quite similar. It provides the following feature set as of now

  • In-app API Interceptor with ability to connect to Requestly web service
  • APIs Modification Redirect, Throttle, Modify API Traffic without any Proxy or SSL certificate hassles
  • Onboarding is very simple & Collaboration is also possible

Upcoming features

  • Debug Analytics events
  • Sharing cURL securely
  • Collaboration between developers
  • Showing logs, exception stacktraces etc directly on the app
  • Compatibility with iOS, React-Native & Flutter apps

Detailed Comparison

tldr; Here's a detailed table showing feature by feature comparison of how Requestly debugger compares with Charles Proxy.

FeatureCharles ProxyRequestly Debugger
SetupPainful (Requires Installing Certificates on Phone & Setting/Unsetting Proxy settings in Wifi configuration everytime debugging is requiredSimple 1-Time Setup (3-lines of code setup one-time). No SSL certificates or Proxy configurations hassles
On Device APIs Inspector
APIs ModificationAvailable but complex. High learning curveVery easy. Provides modification rules like Modifying headers, Modifying API responses, Switching Traffic to local/dev environment, Throttling traffic, etc
Debugging production appsSSL pinned apps not supportedEasily configurable to debug production (release) as well as debug builds
Debugging on Cloud Services like BrowserStack, LambdaTest
Inbuilt Mock Server
CollaborationEasily share rules with your team using Sharedlist feature
SupportActive Support
Open SourceGithub Repo

If you have a native android app, Requestly can significantly improve your debugging experience. With Requestly, anyone in your organization can debug the app traffic without any learning curve, proxy or SSL certificate hassles.

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