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This page provides an overview of how to navigate using CommCare Android, describes different types of settings you can consider, and presents question types that are only available on CommCare (not in J2ME).

This guide assumes that you have already installed CommCare or are going to be building an application for CommCare. The screenshots on this page are from CommCare 2.50.2 You may be interested in the below information about CommCare (for Android) as well:


One major decision in how to configure CommCare is Sense Mode.  Sense Mode, when turned on, disables advanced features that may be confusing to new users, especially form management.  Below, those features which are disabled in Sense Mode are indicated.  More detail can be found on the page about CommCare for low-literate users.


  • Clear User Data: if you choose this, it will delete all of the current users’ data and bring you back to the log-in screen.
  • Force Log Submission forces CommCare to submit technical metadata to the server.  This can be useful to the software team when troubleshooting problems.  A CommCare team member could request you to do this if there is a recurring bug in the software.

Form Management

Within the "saved" forms button you can find a list of all forms that were submitted since the last time the application data was cleared. You can further filter this list by submitted forms, unsent forms, or incomplete forms. After you "save a form as complete" it is tagged as "unsent" until CommCare confirms that the form has reached the CommCare HQ server, at which time the tag is removed.

More details on all of the form management features can be found here.


Navigation Within Forms


When you open a form you will get the landing screen (left) that shows users how to navigate within a form by swiping the page.  When you try to skip a required question, or enter a value that is outside of the permitted range, a message will alert you that you must correct your answer.  If you press the three dots at top right-hand side, you will see three advanced options displayed on the screen:

  • Go To Prompt
  • Change Language
  • Change Settings

Progress Bar: Progress bar on the top of the screen shows how far you have reached in the form.

Advanced Menu Options


  • Go To Prompt calls up a list of all the questions/labels in the form.  If you have already entered values they will be displayed below the question text.
    • You can scroll up and down to review your answers, and is the preferred way to quickly review a form prior to submitting.
    • You can click on any question in order to go directly to it and update/enter a value
    • Go To Start brings you to the first page of the form, and Go To End brings you to the last page where you can submit the form
    • Go Up is only applicable in repeats.
  • Change Language allows you to toggle between the display text languages.
  • Choosing Settings presents two additional options:

Form Settings


Settings includes the following options:

  • Text Font Size for changing the size of the display text.  You only have to do this once in an app and all forms will default to the text size you have chosen
  • Display Rich Inline 

 Exiting a Form

Within a Form:
When you hit the “back” button in a form you are working on, you will get two options 
  • STAY IN FORM: brings you back to the form you were working on
  • EXIT WITHOUT SAVING: deletes any changes you made/data you entered and brings you back to the home screen

End of a Form:
On the last page of a form there will be a button  called "FINISH" if you click the form it will save the form and exit. After clicking on "FINISH” you will see a message stating whether or not your form was successfully completed.


Single select questions are fairly easy- you simply select the desired option and the circle will show as filled.  If you hold you finger continuously on an option you will get a pop-up screen that says "Edit Prompt: Remove Response."  If, for example, you accidentally answered a question that you wanted to leave blank, you can remove your choice through the "remove response" tool.  It is also common for users to "accidentally" get the remove response message by holding their finger too long when selecting an option.


Multiple Choice

In Multiple Choice questions you can select more than one option, which is usually indicated by square boxes. You can create useful constraint messages as well.


In CommCare you can call out to a different Android application to get an input. Instructions are at Integrating your custom Android applications with CommCare.


In CommCare case list view it is important not to put too much text or data in the case list as this will make it very difficult to navigate through the case list.  Below you can see examples of a case list (left) and case details (right).  Click here for more information on case lists.



Special Formatting and Tools


In CommCare you can use "hint text" which will appear in a smaller font underneath your display text. To add hint text in the app builder, open the "Advanced Properties" tab and put your text in the "hint" field.


Question List

You can group questions on one screen by putting all of the relevant questions in a "Question List" group. This group type is available in the Form Builder under the Group set of question types. Note that you cannot run a calculation within a screen (i.e. you cannot have the outcome of a question at the top of a screen affect the display condition of one on the bottom of the same screen).


A: No, this is not possible at present


Q: How do you change the font in CommCare for Android?

A: You can adjust the font by pushing the settings button while inside any form. Once you change the font size one time from within any form, CommCare will remember the new font size and display it in all other forms. You can make the menu text larger by changing your phone's font settings (Settings -> Display -> Font Size)


Q: Can I have more than one CommCare app on my phone at the same time?

A: No, you cannot have more than one app on Android devices. This is on the CommCare development plan but there is no time estimate at present.


Q: When using the signature question type I notice that a copy of the signature is saved to the phone's gallery. Is there any way to prevent this or to encrypt the image?

A: Unfortunately neither of these is possible within CommCare at the moment. You can tell Android that you don't want media in a certain folder being indexed by adding a file called .nomedia to that folder (read more here). However, you'd have to do this yourself - enter CommCare's domained folder on the SD card and add this file either via USB or an Android text editor app. Its also worth noting that this is basically a voluntary opt out that "well behaved" applications will respect, but are not forced to.