I'm trying to reverse engineer a newspaper app. I've decompiled it with apktool v2.4.1 apktool d APK_NAMEadded to android:debuggable=true in AndroidManifest.xml and changed one boolean method's return value to always true.

Then I recompile it apktool b APK_FOLDER -o APK_NAME I don't know if it signs it and if the signing issue causes the problem. Then I go to Android Studio -> debug or profile an apk and USB debug it with my mobile device connected. After the app runs un my mobile i using it's UI when I go to the section I changed and press to read an article it suddenly loops and jams. I don't know what causes that loop so I don't know where to put the breakpoint(s)

What I need is to see the running code while the app runs or better to see the stack trace while the loop occurs. is that possible?

I'm running the whole thing under Kubuntu Linux 20.04 x64

Thank you


1 Answer 1


Android Studio is not designed to work on APKs you don't have the Java source code of.

When it comes to debugging apps without sources I recommend to check out the tool Frida. It allows to manipulate apps at run-time.

Using frida-trace you may be able to identify what methods are called when the app "loops and jams".

For advanced manipulation you can also checkout the tool "Objection" which bases on Frida.

On a non-rooted device you may have to include the frida-gadget (a special native library) into the app to be able to connect to the app: https://fadeevab.com/frida-gadget-injection-on-android-no-root-2-methods/

Alternatively Objection provides an "APK patcher" that does this injection for you: https://github.com/sensepost/objection/wiki/Patching-Android-Applications


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .