APIs debugger for native android apps

Requestly
3 min readMay 17, 2022

--

If you are an android developer, you must already know 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 that the duo fails to solve hence at Requestly we decided to build an Open-Source and powerful android debugger that 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 break the debugging experience

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

Charles Proxy (HTTP Debugging Proxy)

Charles Proxy is a 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…
Demo — Inspecting API Traffic of Android Apps on Charles

Requestly Android Debugger

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

  • In-app API Interceptor with the 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
Requestly Android Debugger Demo

Upcoming features

  • Debug Analytics events
  • Sharing cURL securely
  • Collaboration between developers
  • Showing logs, exception stack traces, etc
  • Compatibility with iOS, React-Native & Flutter apps

Detailed Comparison — Requestly vs Charles Proxy

TLDR; Here’s a detailed table showing a feature-by-feature comparison of how the Requestly debugger compares with Charles Proxy.

Requestly vs Charles — Comparison

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.

Thanks for reading this through, feel free to get in touch on Twitter where we regularly share developer tips and tricks.

Originally published at https://requestly.com.

--

--

Requestly

Setup redirects, modify headers, switch hosts, insert user scripts and much more. Install it on Chrome & Firefox and join our family of more than 100,000 devs!