How to install modified apps on your Android phone

Posted by Alex Zaah filed under Others

I love my Galaxy S5, I love Android, I do not love ugly Android apps but I could not live without them. I decided to make those apps look better in my way a long time ago and had some success. However If you have been doing exactly the same thing¬† you will know that Android won’t let you do that. You will get the error message like app not installed or parse error if you try to install a modified app.

parse-error

If you still face this problem,here I will introduce a few solutions, just follow the guide and choose the one suits you best.

Patch the Android core

The reason why you could not install the modified app is that Android verifies the signature whenever you install an app. The signature voids even if you change a single byte of the app.

So the direct approach would be disable the the verification process and LuckyPatcher does exactly that.

Fire up LuckyPatcher and tap toolbox->Patch to Android, then check signature verification status always true,disable .apk signature verification and disable signature verification in the package manager and tap apply and your phone will reboot automatically. You can check the status by going to the same menu in LuckPatcher. If it patches the Android core successfully you will be able to install any modified app.

luckypatcher

disable signature verification

You can uncheck those setting if you wanna remove those patches later. Remember to backup your phone before you take any actions, it’s always a good practice.

Replace the official app

Here by official app I mean the original app you try to install. The trick is that Android system only checks the verification during the installing process, so we could take advantage of this.

First download and install the app on your phone.

Then open Root Explorer, go to data->app (and sub-folder if you have Android 5.0+) and locate the app you have installed, write the name down. Then rename the modified app to the name you remember and copy / move it to the folder you just open (you can open two tabs for easy operation), remember to change the permission.

Side note. If your cell phone runs Android 5.0+, you will find that all apk files are located under a sub folder under /data/app, the folder name is the package name and all apk files name base.apk.

permission

Now go back to the home screen and open the app, you should see the new look. If it prompts app has stopped, just reboot your phone to reopen it.

Sign the app for yourself

Above two solutions require rooting your phone. However not everyone want to root their phone, fortunately this solution does not need root access.

First, setup the Java environment on your PC.

Second, create an update.zip file. You can do this by creating a folder and names it data, then create a sub-folder app and move the modified app there. If you have Android 5.0 or later, refer to the second solution. Once you finish the whole process, zip it and names it update zip.

Third, sign it. Download this zip file to your PC and unzip it. Then copy the update.zip there and double click sign.bat. The whole process takes a few seconds, open the zip file once it finishes and check if the META-INF folder is being created.

Fourth. Flash it to your phone using recovery. Now copy the file to your handset and reboot into recovery. I will not go into details since everyone knows how to do it.

Use backup and restore apps

There are many apps that can backup and restore your apps, Titanium Backup for example. If you can figure out the location and format, it’s a good idea to use it to install modified apps.

So what solution should you use? Well if you do not want to root your mobile phone, then sign your app is the best. If you have root access, LuckyPatcher might be a good option although there’s a little risk, and it does not work sometimes too. I personally think replace the original app is easier and pose no risk on your handset as well. But it’s your choice, anyways.

Posted by Alex Zaah | Category: Others | Tags:

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