Reverse engineering Android APK

Recently at work I was asked to look into how easy it would be to get the source code of an Android APK.

I know this is nothing ground breaking to the world of developers, but its something that is worth yet again highlighting to all those new programmers whipping out mobile apps one after the other…..

So what did I find…..

A nice easy tool is available to download

Simply save the jar file to your machine and make sure its in your system path (windows) and then you can run the following from the command prompt;

apktool d name-of-file-here.apk

This will then generate a folder with the name of the APK file and you can view all of the original source.

Ouch how easy was that….

Well a quick google and you can even simply use other services available that let you just upload the APK.

Or even download more free sophisticated tools ;

Holy Sh$$ – Don’t Panic!,

What do I do to protect my lovely source code….

Well I think follow a few basic rules;

Its nice to protect your source but any decent developer can pretty much copy it from looking and getting to understanding its features , whilst then trying to add on their own stamp.

And lets face it , a majority of what you want is out on the world wide web sitting in some open source project begging you to become part of its community.

Happy reverse engineering! :).


URL Not Found Android Studio Install (Access Denied)

Normally I use eclipse for Android development but now that Android Studio looks to be the IDE of preference I want to make sure I star using it. Android Studio is built on intellij which is a bonus as I really love jet brains software.

First problem I have hit setting up on my lovely new Window 8 machine was an error with the SDK installing, which I have not had before so best to make a note now so I save time
when I have the problem again ( no doubt I will have to install windows more than once 🙂 ).

The error is as follows ;

Downloading Android SDK Platform-tools, revision 20
URL not found: C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-studio\sdk\temp\ (Access is denied)
Downloading Android SDK Build-tools, revision 19.1

I guess its not enough that I work on my machine with an Admin account, UAC is disabled as much as it can be and yet still! I have to tell the program ‘Run As Administrator’! great :).

So if you hit the good old Access denied when installing the SDK, make sure you run the android.bat file as admin to make the problem go away.


Reference that helped me realise what was wrong.