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    Tool for reengineering apk files


    Posts : 63
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    Join date : 2011-06-04

    Tool for reengineering apk files

    Post by ZeroBeat on Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:13 pm

    It is a tool for reengineering 3rd party, closed, binary Android apps. It can decode resources to nearly original form and rebuild them after making some modifications; it makes possible to debug smali code step by step. Also it makes working with app easier because of project-like files structure and automation of some repetitive tasks like building apk, etc.

    It is NOT intended for piracy and other non-legal uses. It could be used for localizing, adding some features or support for custom platforms and other GOOD purposes. Just try to be fair with authors of an app, that you use and probably like.

    Click on framework-if It will then create an new directory C:\Users\(your username)\apktool\framework
    it would say
    I: Framework installed to: C:\Users\Josh\apktool\framework\1.apk

    Make sure you place the apk file in the apktool directory(notice the example on the faceniff apk file)

    This step does the actual decompiling of the APK (I will assume that the chosen APK is Settings.apk):

    apktool d Settings.apk

    The output should be:

    I: Loading resource table…
    I: Decoding resources…
    I: Copying assets and libs…(it basically will popout in the same folder)

    After doing that, a new directory with the name of the APK you decompiled should have been created. You need to:

    Change into the newly created directory.
    Change into the /res folder
    Check to see if a values-xx folder exists, where xx is the two letter code of the target language to be translated into. For example, if you are aiming to translate into German, check for a values-de folder. If it does not exist (and chances are that if you are translating into a new language, that it will not exist), you need to create it. Then, copy the arrays.xml and strings.xml files from the /values folder into the folder you just created.
    Open these two files (in Notepad ++) and alter the strings (the text in BLACK ONLY). Look out for things that look like %d and %s /’ - Don’t edit these, as they are variables. Also, if you see &, it represents the ‘&’ sign, so feel free to change it. Finally, you MUST be sure to place a backslash ‘\’ before an apostrophe, for example Proxy\’s would be the equivalent of Proxy’s.
    Once you have translated and edited your arrays.xml and strings.xml files, save them, and return to the root directory of APKTool.
    Open a command prompt to that directory
    Enter the following command to recompile your edited and translated APK (assuming that Settings.apk is the chosen APK):

    apktool b Settings

    The output should be:

    I: Checking whether sources has changed…
    I: Smaling…
    I: Checking whether resources has changed…
    I: Building resources…
    I: Building apk file…

    You may get a couple of these messages:

    aapt: warning: string ‘app_killed_message’ has no default translation in C:\Users\Josh\Desktop\NF\framework-res\res; found: fr it ja
    aapt: warning: string ‘global_action_reboot’ has no default translation in C:\Users\Josh\Desktop\NF\framework-res\res; found: fr it ja
    aapt: warning: string ‘reboot_system’ has no default translation in C:\Users\Josh\Desktop\NF\framework-res\res; found: fr it ja
    aapt: warning: string ‘toast_reboot_recommend’ has no default translation in C:\Users\Josh\Desktop\NF\framework-res

    However, it will build the apk anyway. These messages mean that some strings don’t have values. It is only an issues if the text im blue includes your translation language.

    Once that is done, two directories will have been created within the decompilation directory. One will be called “dist”, and this is where it will place a built, but not signed, apk file. The other one is called “build”, and here it will place everything “loose” (the contents of the APK).

    I have trouble using the APK files it spits out in the /dist folder ( they force closes if they are an application, or bootloop it a framework-res.apk; I think the reason is because Android will not accept APK files that are not signed). Instead, copy the resources.arsc from the /build directory into the original framework-res from the rom (just overwrite the old resources.arsc one with the new one).

    This tutorial is for the Windows version of APKtool.

      Current date/time is Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:25 pm