Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Galaxy Note 2 New Look, with Flat Icons

The latest trend in icon is FLAT. Here is the update UI for Galaxy Note 2, My Version.
Let me know your feedback.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Change Default Data File Location in Outlook

Recently, my laptop crashed, and outlook configurations got changed, and to my surprise the outlook default profile data file for offline cached data file was getting created inside some folders which was not part of the backed up folder. I wanted to change it to my documents path. There is no option to do it in outlook 2013, if you want to do so, you need to edit the registry. 

Here is how to do it. 

Start - Regedit 
Navigate To: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook

Right-Click Outlook Select New then String Value

Type “ForceOSTPath” without the quotes for the variable name and press Enter then Double-Click ForceOSTPath to Edit the string

Type the location you want your data files to use.  In my case it was 
C:\Users\pshetty1\Documents\Outlook Files

Click OK. You will need to close Outlook in order for Outlook to use this new setting.  Now when you create a new OST data file Outlook will put it in the new location. 

Remember that, after this you need to create a new profile, and make outlook to use this profile by default, and you can delete the old profile. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Android: How to Launch Another App from Your App

I have been learning Android from quite sometime now, and in fact I am learning, hacking, and experimenting and doing some minimal development. sometimes its good to tell, how you did it may be it would help someone out there.

As you know in android everything has an Intent, so to launch another App from your app, you can create an Intent within your app saying that you want to launch the other App and then using that Intent start the activity as shown below.

Intent i = new Intent();
i.setComponent(new ComponentName ( "com.shetty.test","com.shetty.test.MainActivity"));

Here what you need to notice is that the FLAG_ACTIVITY_NEW_TASK needs to be set, so that this is launched as a new task, else would result in Force Close.

Virtuous Ten Studio IDE for Reverse Engineering the Apks and Mods

I curse myself for being not aware of this wonderful IDE, which was developed some awesome developers. It's more like an Visual C++ IDE for the Android reverse engineering, it is very clean and make life much easier with its integrated environment and the folder structures it uses, after trying this, AndroidMultitool looks very premitive, never the less, Multitool has one advantage, which came to to help to crack one of the Apks recently, that it allows to sign separately, that way you can add some files inside the apk built and then sign it, which when I tried was not possible with this IDE. But this is not the case always.

Here is a screen shot of how it looks,

  • The best part of this is 
  • The smali sytax highlight and the Java code generation with so much ease, 
  • The tools that are integrated into
  • Easy navigation from the project source path to the binary path etc. 
  • Also best thing is after you have built the binary, you can directly push into the device, no need to copy and install on device, just a click.
  • And You can get the apks directly from the phone without having use another shell prompt or adb to pull them from the /data/app folder.
Overall this makes the job very easy, and hence you spend more time on finding the right thing rather than in doing it. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Android Application Hacking

As most of you know android is based JAVA, and it runs a Linux kernel. It uses a Dalvik Virtual Machine, and which is bit different from the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Dalvik code since it is based on Java, we can have all the fun of java. I.e. We can decompile an Apk and generate the source code and them modify whatever we want to and then recompile to generate an custom application. This is all because of the DVM byte codes. If it were to be C language, it would not have been possible. 

I would like to write in detail as to how we can hack an application and different tips and tricks to be used, which I come across while doing such stuff. I am warning you, hacking is only for educational purpose, and I do not support unethical hacking. 

There are some good tools around which would actually simplify our process of decompiling, compiling, and signing of an app. And my preferred application is AndroidMultitool 

Here is the link to download the same, and usage details can be found in the same place, and I do not talk much about it, other than the link. But all I can say is that this is an wonderful tool, which makes the process super quick. 

First of all, you must know that your phone must be rooted to get access to these APKs and once rooted, this can be found at /data/app folder. Do a grep and find out where is the APK to be hacked. 

Some of the hacking tips now. 

Removing ads from the application. 

You must understand that the ads generate revenues for the developer and so we must support them, having said that, we can always get rid of it for many reasons, as it consumes lot of your 3G data. So it is your final decision what you want to do with it. We have different ways to go with it.

  • You can install some ad blocking apps which would actually modify your host file in Linux to block all the ad sites, which would not allow the app to fetch ad and show. 
    • But some ads would show local ad banners when network connections are not available.
    • Some apps would need internet connection for their working, so we can't disable internet connection in first place. 
    • Some would leave a blank space in the screen which is reserved for the ads, which eat up lot of screen real estate. 
  • Having said all this blocking the network connection for this app may not be so convenient, but it would be easy to do this for most of the apps, and most apps don’t leave space when network connection is not available, and hence this should be considered as the first preferred option. :)
  • You can find some very good apps for firewall, which can do this for you. I personally use Droid Wall to do handle the firewall. 
  • You can remove the ad content from the XML layout and recompile the app.
    • You need to search for the string @id/ad in all the xml files in resource folder, then use some common sense to change the height and width to zero. (0.0dip). Sometimes, you can remove this lines completely. 
    • If the app crashes after removing these lines, then it could be that these resources are accessed with in the code, by index and not by name, in that case, we may not be able to remove them, we can hide them by setting and android: visibility="invisible" or "gone". Gone would completely remove it, and invisible would make it transparent, but the screen real estate will not be recovered for other elements. 
Hacking the Android Apps (Getting Pro Features on Free Apps)

It may not be always possible to get the pro features on Free apps, but most of the times, we see that the Free app would have all the features in the application, but it would be blocked. In such cases we can search for some strings in the application project which we have decompiled, and try to figure out functions where they are blocked then unblock them.

Most of the cases I have seen till now, are very simple (I mean most complex blocks are easy to crack)
We  need to replace a line as below.

#if-eqz goto :cond_0
goto : cond_0

This is very trivial change, and it can change the flow of code, and then you would be able to use the Pro features. Or sometimes, some functions would be called to get some license checks which would return a zero on nonzero, and later that would be compared in many places, you make the function always return what is expected, your job is done. 

It is more of common sense to go through the smali files generated, and find out. You can check the smali syntax in Google, and that would give some good insight into what exactly the code is doing.