Monthly Archives: February 2013

Stopping OTA Android update

There are many ways to stop Android OTA updates from coming up, such as apps that require root, changing build.props replacing apps, changing permissions, etc…

I will describe a simple and neat method that works on the most devices and doesn’t require “su”.


  • adb.exe + device drivers
  • can remount system partition (insecure adb)


execute in command prompt:

adb remount
adb shell mv /etc/security/ /etc/security/otacerts.bak

to revert back:

adb shell mv /etc/security/otacerts.bak /etc/security/

enjoy 🙂

AOSP changelog 4.2.1_r1.2(JOP40G)—4.2.2._r1(JDQ39)

New release for Nexus devices is out and android factory images updated.

yakju OTA update zip:

Full changelog:

project bionic/

5115d43 msm_mdp: Update header for 4 layer support

project build/

fbef8b9 JDQ39
b7f9637 docs: fix ::selection style to use Android blue for text highlighting Continue reading

Android menuItem invisible set to visible

Let’s say we have 2 menu items in a menu, one of which is visible and the other not.

So in /res/menu/main_menu.xml we have:

<menu xmlns:android="" >



This is all good and we will see the first item but not the second.
What happens if at some moment we need to make the second item visible. We naturally try


which will fail due to null pointer. However


Will work.
This is because menuItem 2 has never been generated as a view and thus never found.
Note that menu items can be visible or invisible(gone) no middle option as with the views.

So to set a menuitem visible we need:
1) save the menu instance from “onCreateOptionsMenu” callback:

        Menu currentMenu;
	public boolean onCreateOptionsMenu(Menu menu) {
		// Inflate the menu; this adds items to the action bar if it is present.
		getMenuInflater().inflate(, menu);
		currentMenu = menu;
		return true;

2) use this instance to find the Menu Item and set it visible


Android menu item set onClick method from xml

There is a simple and easy way to set the callback method for a view from the xml describing the view.

We simply need to add to our view:


And then in the code implement the “doTheClick” method.

public void doTheClick(View v) {    	
		//do smth here

To do this for a menuItem you just need to change the “doTheClick” so it accepts MenuItem argument.

public void doTheClick(MenuItem mi) {    	
		//do smth here

Add a link to external dir in the project tree in Eclipse

To do this you can manually edit “.project” file in the project dir and add linked resource smth like this:


The whole .project file will look smth like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

Get some apk info using aapt from Android SDK


What is aapt?

aapt is the Android Asset Packaging Tool. It is used in the APK build process to compile application resource files, such as the AndroidManifest.xml file and the XML files for your Activities, generate and also to create, update and view Android zip-compatible packages (apk, jar, zip). Thus aapt executable can be used to view various details of an APK such as the target api version, resources, launcher activity etc.

 Where to find it?

Aapt comes with Android SDK ($ANDROID_HOME/platform-tools) or can be compiled from the source code.

The sources are located at: $ANDROID_BUILD_ROOT/frameworks/base/tools/aapt.

The compiled executable by default will be at: $ANDROID_BUILD_ROOT/out/host/linux-x86/bin

 What to do with aapt?

The full list of option of appt is:

djodjo@ubuntu:~$ aapt
Android Asset Packaging Tool

 aapt l[ist] [-v] [-a] file.{zip,jar,apk}
   List contents of Zip-compatible archive.

 aapt d[ump] [--values] WHAT file.{apk} [asset [asset ...]]
   badging          Print the label and icon for the app declared in APK.
   permissions      Print the permissions from the APK.
   resources        Print the resource table from the APK.
   configurations   Print the configurations in the APK.
   xmltree          Print the compiled xmls in the given assets.
   xmlstrings       Print the strings of the given compiled xml assets.

 aapt p[ackage] [-d][-f][-m][-u][-v][-x][-z][-M AndroidManifest.xml] \
        [-0 extension [-0 extension ...]] [-g tolerance] [-j jarfile] \
        [--debug-mode] [--min-sdk-version VAL] [--target-sdk-version VAL] \
        [--app-version VAL] [--app-version-name TEXT] [--custom-package VAL] \
        [--rename-manifest-package PACKAGE] \
        [--rename-instrumentation-target-package PACKAGE] \
        [--utf16] [--auto-add-overlay] \
        [--max-res-version VAL] \
        [-I base-package [-I base-package ...]] \
        [-A asset-source-dir]  [-G class-list-file] [-P public-definitions-file] \
        [-S resource-sources [-S resource-sources ...]] \
        [-F apk-file] [-J R-file-dir] \
        [--product product1,product2,...] \
        [-c CONFIGS] [--preferred-configurations CONFIGS] \
        [raw-files-dir [raw-files-dir] ...] \
        [--output-text-symbols DIR]

   Package the android resources.  It will read assets and resources that are
   supplied with the -M -A -S or raw-files-dir arguments.  The -J -P -F and -R
   options control which files are output.

 aapt r[emove] [-v] file.{zip,jar,apk} file1 [file2 ...]
   Delete specified files from Zip-compatible archive.

 aapt a[dd] [-v] file.{zip,jar,apk} file1 [file2 ...]
   Add specified files to Zip-compatible archive.

 aapt c[runch] [-v] -S resource-sources ... -C output-folder ...
   Do PNG preprocessing and store the results in output folder.

 aapt v[ersion]
   Print program version.

   -a  print Android-specific data (resources, manifest) when listing
   -c  specify which configurations to include.  The default is all
       configurations.  The value of the parameter should be a comma
       separated list of configuration values.  Locales should be specified
       as either a language or language-region pair.  Some examples:
       If you put the special locale, zz_ZZ on the list, it will perform
       pseudolocalization on the default locale, modifying all of the
       strings so you can look for strings that missed the
       internationalization process.  For example:
   -d  one or more device assets to include, separated by commas
   -f  force overwrite of existing files
   -g  specify a pixel tolerance to force images to grayscale, default 0
   -j  specify a jar or zip file containing classes to include
   -k  junk path of file(s) added
   -m  make package directories under location specified by -J
   -u  update existing packages (add new, replace older, remove deleted files)
   -v  verbose output
   -x  create extending (non-application) resource IDs
   -z  require localization of resource attributes marked with
   -A  additional directory in which to find raw asset files
   -G  A file to output proguard options into.
   -F  specify the apk file to output
   -I  add an existing package to base include set
   -J  specify where to output resource constant definitions
   -M  specify full path to AndroidManifest.xml to include in zip
   -P  specify where to output public resource definitions
   -S  directory in which to find resources.  Multiple directories will be scanned
       and the first match found (left to right) will take precedence.
   -0  specifies an additional extension for which such files will not
       be stored compressed in the .apk.  An empty string means to not
       compress any files at all.
       inserts android:debuggable="true" in to the application node of the
       manifest, making the application debuggable even on production devices.
       inserts android:minSdkVersion in to manifest.  If the version is 7 or
       higher, the default encoding for resources will be in UTF-8.
       inserts android:targetSdkVersion in to manifest.
       ignores versioned resource directories above the given value.
       when used with "dump resources" also includes resource values.
       inserts android:versionCode in to manifest.
       inserts android:versionName in to manifest.
       generates into a different package.
       generate for libraries. Separate libraries with ':'.
       generate dependency files in the same directories for and resource package
       Automatically add resources that are only in overlays.
       Like the -c option for filtering out unneeded configurations, but
       only expresses a preference.  If there is no resource available with
       the preferred configuration then it will not be stripped.
       Rewrite the manifest so that its package name is the package name
       given here.  Relative class names (for example .Foo) will be
       changed to absolute names with the old package so that the code
       does not need to change.
       Rewrite the manifest so that all of its instrumentation
       components target the given package.  Useful when used in
       conjunction with --rename-manifest-package to fix tests against
       a package that has been renamed.
       Specifies which variant to choose for strings that have
       product variants
       changes default encoding for resources to UTF-16.  Only useful when API
       level is set to 7 or higher where the default encoding is UTF-8.
       Make the resources ID non constant. This is required to make an R java class
       that does not contain the final value but is used to make reusable compiled
       libraries that need to access resources.
       Forces aapt to return an error if it fails to insert values into the manifest
       with --debug-mode, --min-sdk-version, --target-sdk-version --version-code
       and --version-name.
       Insertion typically fails if the manifest already defines the attribute.
       Generates a text file containing the resource symbols of the R class in the
       specified folder.
       Assets to be ignored. Default pattern is:

However we will use only list and dump options. Continue reading

activity full screen mode – remove title and status bar

Status bar comes from the android system.

Title bar comes from the application.

you can remove either of them either by editing the manifest of the activity.

Remove Title Bar

in Manifest: in the activity element add: android: theme=”@android:style/Theme.NoTitleBar”

in Activity: code in OnCreate before setting the layout add: requestWindowFeature(Window.FEATURE_NO_TITLE);

Remove Title Bar and Status Bar

in Manifest: in the activity element add: android: theme=”@android:style/Theme.NoTitleBar.Fullscreen”

in Activity: code in OnCreate  add: this.getWindow().setFlags(WindowManager.LayoutParams.FLAG_FULLSCREEN, WindowManager.LayoutParams.FLAG_FULLSCREEN);