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Implementing Timber in an Android app for logging

Timber, Logging, Android1 min read

Logging is a crucial aspect of software development. It helps developers track down errors, understand system behavior, and improve overall app quality. In Android, developers can use a wide range of logging tools and libraries to achieve these goals. One such library is Timber - a powerful and lightweight logging library that simplifies the process of creating and managing logs in an Android app.

Why Use Timber?

Timber provides several benefits when it comes to logging in Android applications. Here are some of the key features:

  • Easy setup: Timber can be set up with just a few lines of code, making it easy to integrate into your app.
  • Customizable log output: Timber allows developers to customize the log output format based on their preferences or requirements.
  • Tagging: Timber supports tag-based logging, which makes it easier to filter and search through logs later.
  • Thread-safe: Timber is designed to be thread-safe, so you don't have to worry about race conditions or synchronization issues when logging from multiple threads.
  • Integration with other logging tools: Timber can work alongside other Android logging tools like Crashlytics or Firebase to provide a comprehensive logging solution.

Getting Started with Timber

To start using Timber in your Android app, you need to first add the Timber dependency to your project's build.gradle file:

1dependencies {
2 implementation 'com.jakewharton.timber:timber:5.0.1'

Once you've added the dependency, you need to initialize Timber in your app's Application class:

1class MyApplication : Application() {
2 override fun onCreate() {
3 super.onCreate()
4 if (BuildConfig.DEBUG) {
5 Timber.plant(DebugTree())
6 } else {
7 // Release mode logging
8 Timber.plant(ReleaseTree())
9 }
10 }

In this example, we're using the DebugTree and ReleaseTree classes to plant different Timber trees depending on whether the app is running in debug or release mode. The DebugTree logs everything to Logcat, whereas the ReleaseTree logs only warnings and errors.

With Timber set up, you can now start logging information in your app:

1Timber.d("Debugging message")
2Timber.e("Error message", throwable)
3Timber.i("Informational message")
4Timber.w("Warning message")

In this example, we're using some of the different log levels provided by Timber - d for debugging, e for errors, i for informational messages, and w for warnings. You can customize the log output format by creating a custom Tree implementation and overriding its log method.


Timber is a powerful and lightweight logging library that can help streamline the process of logging in an Android app. It provides several features like customizable log output, thread safety, and integration with other logging tools. By integrating Timber into your app, you can easily log information and debug your code more effectively.