Updated as of 4/13/2015

Ionic and Crosswalk

With our latest CLI update, we’re excited to introduce the ability to package modern rendering engines within your app for Cordova, starting with Crosswalk for Android. Crosswalk provides Android developers a bundled Chrome webview for their projects, resulting in better performance and predictability!

Our team is passionate about making hybrid mobile development awesome, and we’re so grateful to our committed, enthusiastic community for helping us succeed in our mission.

Getting Started With Crosswalk

First, make sure you get the latest Ionic CLI, and then you can easily create an app, add the Android platform, and add Crosswalk to the project.

New Project

npm install ionic -g
ionic start my_app
cd my_app
ionic browser add crosswalk
ionic run android

Previous Ionic Project

npm install ionic -g
cd existing_app
ionic browser add crosswalk
ionic run android

Specifying a version of Crosswalk

ionic browser list #Find the version of Crosswalk you want.
ionic browser add crosswalk@ #Install stable version

Building for separate architectures

Update: Previously, you needed an environment variable to build multiple architectures. Due to some changes to the underlying Cordova Android library, you no longer need to specify the environment variable to build multiple APKs. This should happen by default by running ionic build android.

If you have a device connected and run ionic run android, it will auto detect that architecture type and only build and run for that device.


Please note that running these steps will alter your Android project, so you’ll want to use version control to handle changes from Crosswalk.

These commands should set you up with a custom Android build with Crosswalk. You can run the project as you normally would.

To confirm that it was, in fact installed, open Chrome DevTools and confirm that it says “Chrome 37” or greater.

We’d love to ask you to help out the cause by testing and giving feedback. This is your chance to help several open source projects at once: Cordova, Crosswalk, and Ionic!

10 Questions You Might Have:

We’ve put together this Q & A to answer questions you might have about Crosswalk. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions that aren’t answered here!

  1. What is Crosswalk?
    • Crosswalk is an open source project that allows you to specify a version of Chrome to use as your web browser in Android. The compiled app will have your code hosted inside of this Chrome webview.
  2. Why should I use Crosswalk?
    • Older versions of Android devices (4.0-4.3) use Android’s default browser, which has significantly less performance and standards compliance than modern Chrome. Using Crosswalk gives you a specific and more performant version of Chrome to use on all Android devices, in order to reduce fluctuations and fragmentation among devices.
  3. How does Crosswalk improve Cordova Android apps?
    • By designating a specific version of Chrome, you can skip the unexpected behavior from browsers that vary from device to device. Crosswalk also provides improved performance and ease of debugging.
  4. What can I expect, performance and size-wise?
    • In older Android Devices (4.0-4.3), you’ll see about a 10x improvement of both HTML/CSS rendering and JavaScript performance and CSS correctness. To bundle Chrome, you will see a small (~10-15MB) size increase in your Android Apps.
  5. How do I try it out?
    • npm install -g ionic
  6. How do I report errors?
  7. What should I look for when testing?
    • Improved performance on older Android devices, with the ability to debug using Chrome DevTools.
    • Testing any of the core Cordova plugins, such as Camera, GPS, etc.
    • Report weird behavior while building or running the app.
    • Report differences between using Crosswalk and not; for example, your splash screen no longer shows.
  8. How do I debug with Crosswalk / Chrome?
  9. What are the architectures for Android devices, and why do they exist?
    • There are two main Architectures for Android – x86 and ARM. The reason for the two is that the device providers choose to use a separate processor. With different processors, we’ll need to compile them separately. Using Crosswalk, you may specify that you want two separate builds for x86 / Arm to keep your build size down. If you make a single build, you will have to bundle both versions of Crosswalk (x86/Arm) and have a larger build size (~50-60 MB).
  10. Why the switch to Gradle for Android?
    • The Cordova Android team has decided to move away from Ant towards more of a Gradle-based build scenario. In this upgrade, you may see alternative build messages from Gradle, instead of your normal Ant messages.

CLI Roadmap (tentative)

It’s really important to us that we keep our users informed about what we’re working on. Here’s a roadmap that covers where we’ve been and where we’re going. Thanks for joining us on the journey!

1.3 Milestones (1/7/2014 – 1/12/2015)

  • Crosswalk Browser introduction & installation.
  • Info command for environment-specific info.
  • Error reporting from CLI – helps us respond to errors faster and be proactive about errors.
  • Individual help commands – now the CLI gives more info about the individual commands ionic help serve.

1.3.1 Milestones (1/12/2015 -1/14/2015)

  • Specify a version of Crosswalk to use – ionic browser add crosswalk@
  • See all the browsers available to install – ionic browser list. NOTE: Only stable releases are allowed for now.
  • Fixed a bug related to ionic upload.
  • Caching the Crosswalk downloads – once you’ve installed a version in a project, running ionic browser add crosswalk will not re-download the webviews.

1.3.2 Milestones (1/14/2015 – 1/23/2015)

  • Quick fix for the ionic upload command – fixed an issue with the cookies from the request.

1.3.3 Milestones (1/23/2015 – onward)

  • Add a release option that removes unused files and minifies/uglifies to give you smaller builds.
  • Add the ability to specify Beta/Canary builds of Crosswalk.
  • Provide a way to release Android builds post 4.4 without Crosswalk.
  • Make using the CLI easier with tab complete.

Crosswalk Docs

Crosswalk Updates as of 4/13/2015

In the last month, the Ionic CLI has updated the version of Cordova Android that it uses to the latest commits. Some of these changes have caused some issues for users.

Issues running ionic platform add

Users that run ionic platform add android after running ionic browser add crosswalk may run into the following issue:

Plugin doesn't support this project's cordova-android version. cordova-android: 3.7.1, failed version requirement: >=4.0.0-dev

When you run ionic browser add crosswalk, the CLI downloads Cordova Android 4.0.0-dev, along with a Cordova Crosswalk Engine plugin. The Crosswalk plugin requires Cordova Android 4.0.0 and will not work properly without it.

When you run ionic platform add android, you are then removing Cordova Android 4.0.0 and trying to install Cordova Android 3.7.1 (if you are using the latest Cordova CLI).

Right away, this will fail, due to the Crosswalk engine plugin. If you wish to stop using the Crosswalk plugin, please run ionic browser remove crosswalk.

If this was unintentional, simply run ionic browser add crosswalk again to allow the CLI to install that Cordova Android 4.0.0 version. Otherwise, you can run ionic platform add ./engine/cordova-android-c0.6.1 to freshly install the downloaded 4.0.0 version of Cordova Android.

You may also remove the Crosswalk Engine plugin. Find the name ionic plugin ls and then ionic plugin rm cordova-plugin-crosswalk-webview.

Issues with Crosswalk not loading external resources

Using the latest changes from Cordova Android 4.0.0, the Cordova team has removed the Whitelisting capabilities of Cordova to now reside in a whitelist plugin.

This plugin has not been released yet but is required to allow whitelisting to work properly with Cordova android 4.0.

To get around this issue, please install the plugin using this command: ionic plugin add https://github.com/apache/cordova-plugin-whitelist.

That should temporarily get you around that issue until the Cordova team releases that plugin to the Cordova Plugin registry.

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  • Kerpanic says:

    I came to know this by accident .. can’t remember I received this in the newsletter :/
    nevertheless, my heart skipped a beat knowing that I don’t have to go over manually adding crosswalk to my ionic projects which was on my to-do list.
    Great work guys!

  • Yado Dong says:

    I added it to my app yesterday, and it’s awesome!

  • Its work without any bug in ionic-cli v1.5 finally 😉

  • gauravsaini03 says:

    Is Crosswalk with Android 5+ right to use ?
    Actually, I saw features like WebGL and WebRTC in crosswalk ! Is that available in Android 5.0 also ?

  • dethonthestairs says:

    Solved some issues with unacceptable choppy animations in my Ionic app.

  • Allan Empalmado says:

    hi guys, does any of you have any success importing your ionic project with crosswalk in eclipse? I can build the apk using ionic CLI but can make it to work after importing in eclipse. I received xwalk could not resolve error after import. Thanks in advance.

  • Diegol says:

    Hello Guys, I’m implementing the crosswalk, and is working great. I can see the improvement in 2 old phones. But when I click an input (type=text and email) it get absolutely slow. Only at that moment. These phones (S2, and Razr) have 4.1, any ideas? thanks in advance!

    • Matt Ezell says:

      I too am experiencing some issues on older devices – specifically the Razr (XT912)… I have tried every version of Crosswalk currently exposed via the Ionic CLI, but some things still do not properly function… Things definitely work better using Crosswalk on the XT912 than without, but things are still not identical between devices… When testing the same build on an S4 and an S5, they look identical – but on the XT912, some CSS styles render incorrectly and are glitchy (displaying keyboard on input focus causes the styles to appear correctly rendered or to misrender if previously correctly displayed)… I also notice performance issues when using varying input types (date is quite laggy to open)… It’s odd – I will post back if I find anything that I feel would be applicable to your issues.

  • Fxker says:

    I’ve add crosswalk to my project and add android platform. When I open a project, I got this error
    >Error:(189, 0) Error: NDK integration is deprecated in the current plugin. Consider trying the new experimental plugin. For details, see http://tools.android.com/tech-docs/new-build-system/gradle-experimental. Set “android.useDeprecatedNdk=true” in gradle.properties to continue using the current NDK integration.<

    and in my project panel. I can't find any gradle.properties.
    Then I find a way to add gradle.properties.
    Unluckly still no find a way.

    ps. srry about my english lol,

  • Andres Felipe says:

    Anyone knows why a can’t get an apk after crosswalk is added?
    I’ve tried on xp, win7 and Ubuntu 🙁

    • Philippe Huot says:

      Did you check in your output folder if the apk is actually there? I had the same message and the apk was actually there.

      • Mohan Gopi says:

        if I am updating anything to my existing project i am not able to see my updated project to build i am seeing my old project only the newly updated project is not showing [ for example: after adding crosswalk to my project and then i am adding a new page to my project and then i build it but i am not able to see my new page ??????]

  • Camilo Lopes says:

    I had this problem. Why?

  • Jeremy Colton says:

    Hi, am I correct in thinking that Android OS 4.4+ comes with Chrome so won’t suffer from the 10x speed reduction, so no need to use CrossWalk in these newer OS versions?

  • Gal Ziv says:

    Hi, trying to execute the application on Samsung Galaxy 3 – 4.3 – api 18 (genymotion) but it crashes before it starts. Any suggestions?

  • Sid J says:

    Is it possible to build CrossWalk application only for Android 4.x and not for Android 5.x and higher?

  • Hoang Quoc Viet says:

    i use latest Crosswalk version , but when ran crosswalk i face with error, localStorage clean after app reset!. Please somebody help me solve this!

  • Jacques De Villiers says:

    If anyone has upgraded to ionic cli2, please note the command to install crosswalk has now changed, and is as follows:

    ionic plugin add cordova-plugin-crosswalk-webview

  • Vinícius says:

    Hello Guys, we are working with ionic framework in the company and recently we installed the crosswak, after some days some clients received a message on several androids versions. Saying:
    Mismatch of CPU Architecture for the Crosswalk

    If we accept is ok, but some clients don’t know about that and they’re clicking in cancel.
    Do someone knows how to prevent that message? Have some way to fix it before the message appear?

  • yas says:

    After I installed Crosswalk into my ionic (android) project, I receive the following error message when I run as dubug mode.

    Cannot connect to the target: read ECONNRESET
    error: listener not found

    error: listener not found

    If I run as release mode, I do not receive the error.
    Do you have any idea?

  • Just a quick update – it now seems to be as follows:
    ionic cordova plugin add cordova-plugin-crosswalk-webview

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