Common Android issues

How to overcome common issues building Android mobile apps on Codemagic

Builds work locally but fail on Codemagic


Builds succeeds locally but fails on Codemagic, throwing vague errors (e.g. Gradle task bundleRelease failed with exit code 1), or the build is successful, but some functions aren’t working.


These issues are likely caused by plugin and/or gradle versions used locally being different from the versions used on Codemagic. If you are using a gradle version that is different from Codemagic, you have to define it in gradle wrapper. Otherwise, Codemagic ignores your build.gradle file, and your build won’t work properly. See which software versions Codemagic uses on macOS, on Linux and on Windows instances.


First, you need to make sure that the gradlew file isn’t in .gitignore. Look for **/android/gradlew, and if it’s in .gitignore, delete it from there. Then add !gradle-wrapper.jar to a new line in .gitignore to create an exception so that gradle-wrapper.jar would also be excluded from .gitignore.

Run ./gradlew wrapper --gradle-version [your gradle version] locally to create gradlew and files in your repository. Commit the changes and rerun your Codemagic build.

Additional steps

Additional steps are required if you see the following error during the build process:

Error! Failed to check gradle version. Malformed executable tmpABCDEF/gradlew

Codemagic runs ./gradlew --version on the builder side to check if it is suitable for execution. If you see the error message shown above, there is something wrong with checking the gradle version.

To investigate and fix the issues:

  1. Make a clean clone of the repository and execute the following commands:
  cd <project_root>
  chmod +x gradlew
  ./gradlew --version
  1. Make a fix for the issue found.
  2. Commit changes to the repo.
  3. Run the build again in Codemagic.

Cannot resolve Gradle plugin


Android users experiencing issues resolving plugins because of the sunset of JCenter.


On February 3. 2021, JFrog, the company that maintains JCenter, announced that they will be shutting down Bintray and JCenter.


To avoid disruptions to your build pipelines, start migrating to a new hosting solution like mavenCentral(), rather than using JCenter or Bintray.

To fully migrate away from JCenter, replace all jcenter() occurrences with mavenCentral() in all build.gradle files.

  repositories {

      //other repos
  • Disable or delete cache.
  • Run your build pipeline to see if everything works still.
    • If your build is successful, you’re done.
    • If your build still fails, you’ll need to troubleshoot which dependencies still require JCenter. The errors in the failed build step will point out the dependencies using JCenter.
Note: You’ll have to completely upgrade all dependencies that require JCenter to avoid failed builds.

Java heap space out of memory error for M1 builds


Builds succeed on Mac Pro machines but fail on M1 machines with the below error:

ERROR:: R8: java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: Java heap space
FAILURE: Build failed with an exception.
* What went wrong:
Execution failed for task ':app:minifyReleaseWithR8'.
> Compilation failed to complete

Upgrading to the latest version of Gradle in the file and the Android Gradle plugin in the android/build.gradle file to the latest version fixes the issue.

You can refer to the Official Documentation from Android Developer guides to learn more about the latest compatible version here.

Note: Xcode version 14.2 or lower is required to use Mac Pro machines.

Could not find method firebaseAppDistribution() for arguments…


When publishing to Firebase app Distribution using Gradle, build fails with this error “Could not find method firebaseAppDistribution() for arguments…”


This issue is likely caused by missing Distribution Gradle plugin or missing dependency for the App Distribution Gradle plugin.

  1. In your root-level (project-level) Gradle file (usually android/build.gradle), add the App Distribution Gradle plugin as a buildscript dependency:
buildscript {
  repositories {
    // Make sure that you have the following two repositories
    google()  // Google's Maven repository
    mavenCentral()  // Maven Central repository

  dependencies {

      // Make sure that you have the Google services Gradle plugin dependency

      // Add the dependency for the App Distribution Gradle plugin
  1. In your module (app-level) Gradle file (usually android/app/build.gradle), add the App Distribution Gradle plugin, and make sure that it is located below plugin because the sequence of applying plugin matters:
apply plugin: ''
apply plugin: ''

Check the official Firebase documentation for more information.