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Thread: So you want to edit xml's or more... an ADB. APK Manager How-To (Basics)

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    #1

    So you want to edit xml's or more... an ADB. APK Manager How-To (Basics)

    Since I see a lot of people trying to figure out how to get into theming and such, might as well share my knowledge...

    I would also like to thank Devildog8791 and say that he went thru and added a lot to this via PM (which I then pasted here). He also made it a lot more detailed and easier to follow along for everyone..yes, even noobs...


    Things you will need:

    -APK Manager located here. It is the one from post #226. It uses apktool version 1.3.1 instead of the newest one, 1.3.2. The new version has some bugs that have not been worked out yet.
    -Android SDK located here. There are two different files for Windows: a zip file and an .exe file. I downloaded the zip file, but you can try the .exe file.
    -7zip located here. Make sure you pick the right installation for your setup (32-bit or 64-bit)
    -Java JDK located here. Make sure you pick the right installation for your setup (32-bit or 64-bit)

    Before I begin, please keep in mind that this is just how I did it. Maybe it's perfect, maybe its wrong, BUT... it worked for me.

    NOTE: PLEASE READ THIS
    Unless you are going to be pushing apks to your phone or pulling them directly from the phone, you do NOT need to bother with steps 3-6 and 9-11. You also only need to add the Java stuff to your Environment Variables.

    OK here is how I set all this up and in the order that I did it.




    1) Install the Java JDK. You probably don't need to, but I rebooted after the installation was complete.
    2) Install 7zip.
    3) Extract the android SDK file and move the extracted folder to the root of the C: drive. I renamed the folder "androidsdk", but you can rename it whatever you want. On my computer, the SDK is at C:/androidsdk (whatever you name this and anything in its filepath, make sure there are NO SPACES).
    4) Go into your sdk folder and run "SDK Manager".
    5) When the "Android SDK and AVD Manager" screen opens up, select "Available packages". Select the packages you want to install and click on "Install Selected". If the "Choose Packages to Install" screen comes up automatically, then select "Accept All" and click "Install". This will take a few minutes. Go ahead and get a drink and stretch your legs.
    6) When your packages get done downloading and installing, close the "Installing Archives" and the "Android SDK and AVD Manager" screens.
    7) Extract the APK Manager zip file and move the extracted folder to your user file. Mine is located at C:\Users\Tim\apk_manager_4.9.
    8) Now you need to set your environment variables. To do this, click on "Start" and then right click on "Computer". Left Click "Properties" and in the left pane you will see "Advanced system settings". Click on that and it will open up a new window called "System Properties". Click on "Environment Variables" at the bottom of the screen.
    9) Now that you are in the Environment Variables screen, you want to look at the top part of the screen first. Under "User variables for <your name here>", click on "New...".
    10) In the "Variable name" section, type in ADB.
    11) In the "Variable Value" section, type in C:\androidsdk\platform-tools\adb.
    12) Now go to the bottom part of the screen and find "Path" on the left side under "Variable".
    13) Double-click that "Path" section and it will bring up the edit screen.
    14) Go to the end of the "Variable value" section and add the following: ;C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin;C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_23\bin;C:\androidsdk;C:\androi dsdk\platform-tools;C:\androidsdk\tools. Verify that the bin file locations for java are in the same place as indicated here. They should be the same, but check it to be safe. Also, don't forget to change the name to whatever you named your sdk folder. One last thing is to make sure you have a semi-colon in between each path as indicated.
    15) Click "OK" when done and close all the windows.
    16) Reboot your computer.

    Now that you have your environment variables set, you should be good to go to use APK Manager. One thing that you might have to do is set up your adb drivers for your phone. I have a Droid Incredible and I went to this site to get mine set up. If you have a Motorola Droid 1 (which most on this site do), then it should set up with the proper drivers when you plug it in the computer. My wife has a Droid 1 and that is what happened for me.

    So, now you have 7zip, SDK, Java and APK Manager installed, setup and ready to use. Fantasmagorical!

    Great, now, what the hell do you do with it...lol

    1) You decide on an apk file (let's choose phone.apk) to use. You can grab it from the stock ROM your using, pull it off your phone, whatever...
    2) Now that it is on your computer, move it into the APK Manager's "place-apk-here-for-modding" folder.
    3) Run the script.bat and select option 22. Then choose the apk (project) you want to work with.
    4) Now select option 9 to decompile the apk.
    5) Once that's done select option 11 to recompile the apk. If it asks you if it's a system app (y/n) then you are in business. If it says there is an error, it is most likely that the apk has some .9.png images without guides. If this occurs, grab the stock images and stick them in by using 7zip and choose "open archive".
    6) OK, so it works fine, now what? Just choose "N" and when it's done, go to the "place-apk-here-for-modding" folder and delete the "unsignedphone.apk" file.
    7) Now go back to the script and choose option 9 to decompile again.
    8) Once it's decompiled, navigate to the "projects" folder and go into the phone.apk folder.
    9) Make all your xml edits.
    10) Now, go back to the script and choose option 11. Choose "Y" and then choose "Y" again.
    11) Now, go into the "KEEP" folder and delete the resources.arsc file and also delete every single xml you edited. Then go back to the script and "press any button to continue".
    12) Once that is done, you are done. Go into the "place-apk-here-for-modding" folder and you will see an unsignedphone.apk file.
    13) Put it in an update.zip that you can install to your phone and then rename it to phone.apk.
    14) If you are wanting to now stick your own images in, use 7zip and select "open archive" and then drag your images into the proper folders.
    15) Close 7zip and select "yes" to the box that pops up.
    16) Now you are ready. Move the zip file to your phone, reboot into recovery and install it.
    Last edited by xkape; 01-15-2011 at 09:51 PM.
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    #2
    Upon rereading this.. please note that no matter what the forum decided to post as my words, in the paths, there ARE NO SPACES. and also, it's platform-tools, not.. platf rm-tools
    Choices always were a problem for you
    What you need is someone stong to guide you, like me.
    Trust In Me now don't you judge or question
    You are broken now but faith can heal you
    Just do everything I tell you to do
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    #3
    LOL... I think you scared everyone to death...lol...

    I think that maybe for most just the JDK, setting the path (just the path to the bin folder), and APKManager is sufficient to do most of their stuff...

    well that and as you mentioned 7Zip, and perhaps Notepad++ or Textpad to do the XML viewing and editting...

    then once they get their feet wet they can go to SDK...

    ADB is really not needed as much imho, although it's handy I guess for some, but most are rooted so they can merely just transfer them
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    #4
    I agree, I never use ADB... i just stuck it in there to kind of "cover all"
    Choices always were a problem for you
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    #5
    LOL... yeah, I think you frightened the crapola out of those that took a look... ..... all of this is more than likely too daunting for many....

    maybe a guide like this but in steps?? that might not scare most so much...
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    #6
    Cool guide
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    #7

    SDK Manager

    I have been using APK Manager in Linux for about a month because I always had problems trying to get it set up in Windows. I am trying to follow your guide and I would like to add something. When you first extract SDK, "platform-tools" is not in there. You might want to add that the user needs to run SDK Manager at least once to get it to populate in there.

    That is just my 2 cents since I came across that while setting this up. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the guide. It is a pain in the a** switching between Windows and Linux just to decompile an apk.
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    #8
    To run APKManager in Windows all you need is JDK really....
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Mbk View Post
    To run APKManager in Windows all you need is JDK really....
    Now you tell me...JK. I got it going, but I had to stray off of this guide to do it. It got me started though and it's much appreciated.
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    #10
    Devildog, if you don't mind, post up what you did. I will add it to the OP (with credit of course). Maybe we can make this a good one stop thread for getting started. God knows I wish I had a guide when I was trying to figure all this out..lol
    Choices always were a problem for you
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    Trust In Me now don't you judge or question
    You are broken now but faith can heal you
    Just do everything I tell you to do
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