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Code Push for Android Hybrid Apps

This guide explains how to use Shorebird in an Android hybrid app scenario (that is, your app embeds Flutter UI in non-Flutter UI).


This guide assumes you have already have an Android app and a Flutter module. Our Android app will be named android_app and our Flutter module will be named flutter_module.

This guide also assumes that you have created a Shorebird account. If you have not, please see our code push guide for instructions.

The reference code for this guide is available at

Add Shorebird to your Flutter module

First, run shorebird init in your Flutter module:

Terminal window
shorebird init

Create a Shorebird release

Create a Shorebird release for your Flutter module:

Terminal window
shorebird release aar --release-version 1.2.3+1

The release-version parameter needs to match the version of the Android app that uses this module (i.e., versionName+versionCode from the app’s app/build.gradle file).

Update your Android app to use the Maven repository

In settings.gradle:

dependencyResolutionManagement {
repositories {
maven {
// This is a relative path from this settings.gradle file to the
// my_flutter_module/build/host/outputs/repo directory.
url '../my_flutter_module/release'
maven {
url ''
url ''

Update your Android app to use this version of the Flutter module

In app/build.gradle, add the following:

dependencies {
// ...
releaseImplementation 'com.example.my_flutter_module:flutter_release:1.0'
// ...

Verify that your app runs

In Android Studio, update the active build variant to release and run your app. Your app should work as before with no differences.

To set the active build variant to release, click on the “Build Variants” tab in the lower left corner of Android Studio. Then select “release” from the “Active Build Variant” dropdown. Screenshot 2023-10-06 at 1 15 14 PM

Attempting to build with a non-release build variant will not be able to resolve Flutter symbols in your app.

Submit your app to the Play Store

We won’t cover this step in detail here, but this is where you would submit your app to the Play Store. For code push to work, it is important that you submit with the same aar generated by the release command above.

Verify that Shorebird is working with a patch

Make an edit to the code in your Flutter module. Then run:

Terminal window
shorebird patch aar --release-version 1.2.3+1

As with the release command, the release version should be the version of the Android app that uses this module.

Now relaunch the app, navigate to the Flutter screen, and verify that the patch is recognized and applied. In logcat, you should see output like the following:

[] Shorebird updater: no active patch.
[] Starting Shorebird update
updater::network: Sending patch check request: PatchCheckRequest { app_id: "baad0583-6810-44a7-9034-6aadb8127f29", channel: "stable", release_version: "1.0.0+8", patch_number: None, platform: "android", arch: "aarch64" }
updater::updater: Patch 1 successfully installed.
updater::updater: Update thread finished with status: Update installed