Using C++ within an Android Java app

Just putting this here so I have it when I need it. I haven’t cleaned this up so it’s easy to understand, but there’s not a lot to it. Just need to have the pieces below and you’ve got everything you need to quickly and easily bold cpp into an Android Java app.

Handy links I used to figure it out: –


and here

and maybe here too

Prereqs: Android Studio 3.4.1, NDK version 16.1 (but I doubt it matters which NDK)

Files you’ll need: –

DeltaJNI.cpp: Simple cpp file with a method that returns a String to Java. Must be in a cpp directory

#include <jni.h>        // JNI header provided by JDK
#include <stdio.h>      // C Standard IO Header
#include <iostream>
#include "DeltaJNI.h"      // Generated
#include <string>

// Implementation of the native method sayHello()
JNIEXPORT jstring JNICALL Java_com_ancientcoder_recog_MainActivity_sayHello(JNIEnv *env, jobject thisObj) {

    std::string hello = "-------------------------------- Hello from C++";
    return env->NewStringUTF(hello.c_str());


DeltaJNI.h: Header file to go with the above cpp. Must be with the cpp file above in a cpp directory (see CMakeLists.txt for where I put it)

#include <jni.h>


#ifdef __cplusplus
extern "C" {

JNIEXPORT jstring JNICALL Java_com_ancientcoder_recog_MainActivity_sayHello(JNIEnv *, jobject);

#ifdef __cplusplus

#endif //RECOG_DELTA_H


CMakeLists.txt: Added to the app directory to facilitate building of the ‘native-lib’ lib

# For more information about using CMake with Android Studio, read the
# documentation:

# Sets the minimum version of CMake required to build the native library.

cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 3.4.1)

# Creates and names a library, sets it as either STATIC
# or SHARED, and provides the relative paths to its source code.
# You can define multiple libraries, and CMake builds them for you.
# Gradle automatically packages shared libraries with your APK.

add_library( # Sets the name of the library.

             # Sets the library as a shared library.

             # Provides a relative path to your source file(s).

# Searches for a specified prebuilt library and stores the path as a
# variable. Because CMake includes system libraries in the search path by
# default, you only need to specify the name of the public NDK library
# you want to add. CMake verifies that the library exists before
# completing its build.

find_library( # Sets the name of the path variable.

              # Specifies the name of the NDK library that
              # you want CMake to locate.
              log )

# Specifies libraries CMake should link to your target library. You
# can link multiple libraries, such as libraries you define in this
# build script, prebuilt third-party libraries, or system libraries.

target_link_libraries( # Specifies the target library.

                       # Links the target library to the log library
                       # included in the NDK.
                       ${log-lib} )


build.gradle (in the ‘app’ directory): Add this at the bottom of (and inside of ) the “android {}” section:

externalNativeBuild {
    cmake {
        path "CMakeLists.txt"

…and this at the bottom of (and inside of) of the “defaultConfig {}” section: –

externalNativeBuild {
    cmake {
        cppFlags ""


Java: Add this to the java class that’s calling the C++. This loads the lib that’s built by the above CMakeLists.txt (includes the cpp file(s)) and declares a prototype for the sayHello method.

static {
    System.loadLibrary("native-lib"); // Load native library at runtime
    // This library contains a native method called sayHello()
private native String sayHello();


More Java: …and finally, add this to actually call the cpp from the java code. This will log out the returned string from the cpp code: –

Log.e(TAG, sayHello());




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: