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Apktool M: A Versatile Tool for Editing and Signing Android APKs




Apktool m: A Powerful Tool for Android Reverse Engineering




If you are interested in modifying Android applications or exploring their inner workings, you may have heard of , and it's based on the same code base as Apktool.




apktool m


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Apktool m is a free and open source app that allows you to decompile and recompile APK files on your phone or tablet. You can use it to change the resources, code, or metadata of any Android app, including system apps. You can also use it to create your own signature and sign your modified apps.


In this article, we will show you how to install and use Apktool m on your Android device. We will also discuss the benefits and drawbacks of using this app, as well as some alternatives that you can try.


How to Install and Use Apktool m




Installing Apktool m




There are two ways to install Apktool m on your Android device. You can either download it from or other sources.


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If you choose to download it from Google Play, you just need to search for "Apktool M" and tap on the install button. You may need to grant some permissions to the app before it can run.


If you choose to download the APK file, you need to enable unknown sources in your device settings and allow the installation of apps from unknown sources. You can then open the APK file and follow the instructions to install Apktool m.


Once you have installed Apktool m, you can launch it from your app drawer or home screen. You will see a simple interface with three buttons: Decompile, Recompile, and Sign.


Decompiling an APK file




To decompile an APK file using Apktool m, you need to have the APK file on your device. You can either download it from the internet, or you can extract it from an installed app using a file manager or a backup app.


Once you have the APK file, you can tap on the Decompile button in Apktool m. You will see a file browser where you can select the APK file that you want to decompile. You can also choose a destination folder where the decompiled files will be saved.


After you select the APK file and the destination folder, you can tap on the OK button to start the decompilation process. You will see a progress bar and some messages on the screen. Depending on the size and complexity of the APK file, the decompilation process may take a few seconds or minutes.


When the decompilation is done, you will see a message saying "Decompiled Successfully". You can then tap on the Open Folder button to view the decompiled files in your destination folder.


Editing the Decompiled Files




The decompiled files are organized in a folder structure that resembles the original APK file. You will see folders such as res, smali, assets, META-INF, etc. Each folder contains different types of files that make up the app.


To edit the decompiled files, you need to use a text editor or an IDE that can handle XML, Java, or Smali code. You can either use an app on your device, such as .


You can make changes to the app's resources, such as images, colors, strings, layouts, etc., by editing the files in the res folder. You can also modify the app's code by editing the files in the smali folder. Smali is an intermediate language that represents Android bytecode. You can learn more about Smali syntax and instructions .


Be careful when editing the decompiled files, as any mistake or inconsistency may cause errors or crashes in the app. Make sure to backup your original APK file and your decompiled files before making any changes.



Recompiling and Signing the APK file




After you have edited the decompiled files, you can recompile them into a new APK file using Apktool m. To do this, you need to tap on the Recompile button in Apktool m. You will see a file browser where you can select the folder that contains the decompiled files. You can also choose a destination folder where the new APK file will be saved.


After you select the source folder and the destination folder, you can tap on the OK button to start the recompilation process. You will see a progress bar and some messages on the screen. Depending on the size and complexity of the decompiled files, the recompilation process may take a few seconds or minutes.


When the recompilation is done, you will see a message saying "Recompiled Successfully". You can then tap on the Open Folder button to view the new APK file in your destination folder.


Before you can install or distribute the new APK file, you need to sign it with a digital signature. This is a security measure that ensures the authenticity and integrity of the app. You can use Apktool m to create your own signature and sign your APK file.


To do this, you need to tap on the Sign button in Apktool m. You will see a file browser where you can select the APK file that you want to sign. You can also choose a destination folder where the signed APK file will be saved.


After you select the APK file and the destination folder, you can tap on the OK button to start the signing process. You will see a progress bar and some messages on the screen. The signing process may take a few seconds.


When the signing is done, you will see a message saying "Signed Successfully". You can then tap on the Open Folder button to view the signed APK file in your destination folder.


Benefits and Drawbacks of Apktool m




Benefits of Apktool m




Apktool m is a powerful and convenient tool for Android reverse engineering. Here are some of the benefits of using this app:


  • You can decompile and recompile APK files on your mobile device without needing a computer or an internet connection.



  • You can modify any Android app, including system apps, without rooting your device or unlocking your bootloader.



  • You can customize your apps according to your preferences, such as changing the appearance, functionality, or language of the app.



  • You can learn more about how Android apps work by exploring their resources and code.



  • You can create your own signature and sign your modified apps without relying on third-party services or tools.




Drawbacks of Apktool m




Apktool m is not a perfect tool for Android reverse engineering. Here are some of the drawbacks of using this app:


  • You may encounter some limitations or errors when decompiling or recompiling some APK files, especially those that are obfuscated, encrypted, or protected by anti-tampering mechanisms.



  • You may violate the terms and conditions or the intellectual property rights of the original app developers by modifying their apps without their permission.



  • You may expose your device or your data to security risks by installing modified apps that may contain malware, spyware, or other harmful code.



  • You may damage your device or your apps by making incorrect or incompatible changes to the system apps or the framework files.



  • You may need some technical knowledge and skills to understand and edit the decompiled files, especially the Smali code.



Alternatives to Apktool m




APK Editor Studio




If you prefer to use a desktop tool for editing APK files, you can try . It is a cross-platform GUI tool that supports Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. It allows you to decompile and recompile APK files, as well as edit the resources, code, and metadata of the app. It also has a built-in signer and installer for your modified apps.


JADX




If you want to decompile APK files into Java source code, you can use . It is a Java decompiler that can also handle APK files. It can convert Android bytecode into readable Java code that you can edit using any Java IDE. It also has a GUI version that lets you browse the decompiled code and resources of the app.


Other Tools




There are many other tools that can be used for Android reverse engineering, such as .



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