Mobileinsight Mobile

Mobile Network Intelligence Made Easy -- Android version of MobileInsight app
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Mobile Network Intelligence Made Easy -- Android version of MobileInsight app
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MobileInsight Mobile Version

This repository includes the codes to build MobileInsight mobile version. It wraps the MobileInsight monitor and analyzer modules (mobileinsight-core) into an Android application, and provides key utilities (UI, log collection/viewer, protocol analyzer, plugin service etc.) to faciliate in-device use.

The structure of this repo is organized as follows:

├── this file
├── Makefile: supports multiple compilation options, see usage
├── configures compilation environments
├── config: codes for application specific configurations
├── app: main directory for the MobileInsight app
├── diag_revealer: in-device raw cellular message extracter
└── resources: application icon and welcome screen

The lastest version of MobileInsight mobile app is v5.0.0.


It is strongly recommended to use the standalone Vagrant configuration file to automatically download mobileinsight-mobile repo and configure the development environment. The Vagrantfile will automatically fire up a virtual machine and configure everything. It is tested on Ubuntu 20.04/18.04/16.04, macOS 10.15/10.12/10.11, and Windows 7/10.

First, install virtualbox and vagrant. You can follow the instructions at and Vagrant.

Second, obtain the newest Vagrantfile for MobileInsight development from the release page. You should put it under your development path, say /path/to/dev. Run the Vagrantfile and install the virtual image using vagrant up.

cd /path/to/dev
curl -s | grep tarball_url | cut -d '"' -f 4 | xargs wget
mv v* mi.tgz
tar xf mi.tgz -C . --strip-components=1
rm mi.tgz
vagrant up

Depending on the network and CPU speed, the installation may take half hour or longer.

Then, when the process finish install and returns the shell, a MobileInsight app is already compiled and copied to your path (/path/to/dev). You can install it on supported Android phone and try it out immediately using adb (for example, the compiled APK version is 5.0.0).

adb install MobileInsight-5.0.0-debug.apk

For more details on using the provided Vagrantfile to configure the MobileInsight, please refer to the mobileinsight-dev repo.


Once the development virtual machine is installed, you can login and recompile the app with your customized changes.

First, run vagrant ssh to login to the virtual machine.

(host shell) $ cd /path/to/dev
(vm shell)   $ vagrant ssh
(vm shell)   $ cd mi-dev

By default, MobileInsight repos are installed under the /home/vagrant/mi-dev folder. The version and icon of the MobileInsight app are configured by the config/config.yml file. Edit this file to specify the version, API level and NDK used for your own need. Next, you can compile the new APK (debug version) using make:

make apk_debug

If you want to sign your application, you need to specify the correct keystore, private key and their passwords in config/config.yml file, and use

make apk_release

We have provided an example keystore at config/example.jks. The passwords are:

Passphrase for keystore: mobileinsight
Key password for mi3: mobileinsight

The compiled APK can be copied out of the virtual machine by copying to the /vagrant folder. You may install the APK to phone after that.

(vm shell)   $ cp MobileInsight-5.0.0-debug.apk /vagrant
(vm shell)   $ exit
(host shell) $ adb install -r MobileInsight-5.0.0-debug.apk

NOTE: If upstream core functionalities of MobileInsight (mobileinsight-core) changes, you need to clean the existing MobileInsight distribution and re-compile it:

make clean_dist
make dist

The newly compiled distribution will be called <dist_name> (in config/config.yml) and stored under <p4a_path>/dists/<dist_name>. These steps are only required to be performed once if the core functionalities changes. More details on distribution can be found in python-for-android's documentation.

Manual Installation

The recommended way to install the mobileinsight-mobile repo and set up the environment is through our provided Vagrantfile. However, if you need to install and configure it on your host machine for performance or whatever reason, please follow the exact instructions below. We have tested these steps on macOS 10.12 and Ubuntu 14.04/16.04.

  1. Install the special version of python-for-android.

mobileinsight-mobile uses python-for-android as the backend building tool. We added a mobileinsight recipe into the python-for-android repo and fixed some bugs to support the core functionality of mobileinsight-core.

git clone
cd python-for-android
python2 install
  1. Install Android SDK.

Please follow Google's official instructions. Please install following packages using the SDK manager:

platform-19 (API-19)
platform-tools (ver. 26.0.0)
build-tools (ver. 25.0.3)

If the installed SDK tool version is higher than v25.2.5, replace the latest SDK tools $ANDROID_SDK_HOME/tools with SDK tools version 25.2.5 to use ant. You may download it from:


Currently MobileInsight relies on exactly Android SDK API level 19 and ant to compile the app. We are testing the latest API level 25 and new gradle compilation toolchain.

  1. Install Android NDK r10e.

Please download the exact version of Android NDK r10e from Google's archive page. Currently MobileInsight relies on exactly Android NDK r10e to compile the app. We are testing the latest NDK r15 and also the clang instead of gcc.

  1. Install other dependencies.

MobileInsight mobile version compilation dependends python-for-android, which requires:

  • git
  • build-essential
  • ant
  • python2
  • cython (version 0.25.2)
  • a Java JDK
  • zlib (including 32 bit)
  • libncurses (including 32 bit)
  • libtool
  • unzip
  • virtualenv
  • ccache
  • PyYaml
  • xmltodict

On Ubuntu, you can install them with

apt-get -y install build-essential git unzip ant ccache
apt-get -y install autoconf automake
apt-get -y install zlib1g-dev libtool ccache
apt-get -y install openjdk-8-jdk openjdk-8-jre
apt-get -y install python2.7-dev python-setuptools
apt-get -y install libc6:i386 libncurses5:i386 libstdc++6:i386 libbz2-1.0:i386 lib32z1 zlib1g:i386
pip install cython==0.25.2
pip install pyyaml xmltodict

On macOS, you can install them with Homebrew, such as:

brew cask install java
brew install git python zlib libtool ant ccache autoconf automake
pip2 install cython==0.25.2
pip2 install pyyaml xmltodict
  1. Clone this repository and create config file.
git clone
cd mobileinsight-mobile
make config
nano config/config.yml

You need to cutomize the configurations, especially specifying the path of your Android SDK/NDK and python-for-android storage path. Then, you can follow the usage guide and compile the application. Basically, you can invoke

make dist
make apk_debug

Version History

  • [2020-07-01] Version 5.0 released
  • [2019-08-03] Version 4.0 released
  • [2018-10-16] Version 3.4 released
  • [2017-12-05] Version 3.3 released
  • [2017-10-05] Version 3.2 released
  • [2017-09-26] Version 3.1 released
  • [2017-06-29] Version 3.0 released
  • [2017-02-07] Version 2.2 released
  • [2016-07-05] Version 2.1 released
  • [2016-04-01] Version 2.0 released
  • [2015-07-04] Version 1.0 released

How to Contribute

We love pull requests and novel ideas. You can open issues here to report bugs. Feel free to improve MobileInsight and become a collaborator if you are interested.

The following Slack group is used exclusively for discussions about developing the MobileInsight and its sister projects:

For other advanced topics, please refer to the wiki and the MobileInsight website.

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