What is the launcher activity of Google Keep called? I thought a short Google search would help, but apparently not.

  • The question How to launch Google Keep from shell? links a document which can help you to figure it out: activities are listed in the app's Manifest. I guess your intention is to start this activity from command line?
    – Izzy
    Mar 24, 2013 at 13:13
  • 1
    @Izzy but how do I see its manifest? It's a binary file with little bits of text here and there.
    – KevinOrr
    Mar 24, 2013 at 13:49
  • See below -- I just summed it up and made it an anwer :)
    – Izzy
    Mar 24, 2013 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


How to find the activity?

Activities are listed in the .apk file's Manifest. This is e.g. explained in Run Android Application from Command Line. The linked page gives a short example:

<manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
  <application android:icon="@drawable/icon">
   <activity class=".Contact" android:label="@string/app_name">
    <action android:value="android.intent.action.MAIN" />
    <category android:value="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />

The activity is listed in the <activity> element, which also holds the intent to be called (in the contained <action> element).

How to investigate the Manifest?

Now for the tricky part, as we are no developers: How to view the Manifest? Luckily, we can get some help from the Playstore for this -- e.g. in the form of an app called App Detective:

App Detective AppExplore
App Detective and AppExplore (Source: Google Playstore; click images to enlarge)

As you can see in above screenshot, this app allows the user to investigate the Manifest files of installed apps, but does not stop at this. Ressources, libraries, signatures, and more can be looked up.

Alternatives worth mentioning are the ManifestViewer and the AppExplore. Pick your choice :)

So what is the main activity of Google Keep?

Using above "investigation methods", Kevin figured out it is com.google.android.keep.BrowserActivity (see below comment if you don't believe me ;)

  • Wow thanks! Two questions though: How does it read the manifest? Does it just know how to decode it, or does it just compile all the properties of the app into a manifest that is functionally the same as the original? The second is: I can just load App Detective and Keep onto a JB emulator, right?
    – KevinOrr
    Mar 24, 2013 at 14:45
  • First: I don't know, but I'd say it decodes and reads it (no secret in the format). Second: I never used an Android emulator, but I'd say it should do, yes.
    – Izzy
    Mar 24, 2013 at 14:46
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    The AndroidManifest.xml is binary encoded on generation of the apk, the format of the binary version is "difficult" to analyze and parse, fortunately for Android, since the AOSP source is available, some took pain to read the original source to try reverse engineer it. After running tools like this on a binary encoded version, is not guaranteed to be identical to the one that the original developer used. :)
    – t0mm13b
    Mar 24, 2013 at 14:49
  • Which reminds me of: "Open Source" != "Fully Documented". Thanks for the insights, @t0mm13b!
    – Izzy
    Mar 24, 2013 at 14:51
  • 1
    Thank you for the feedback, @KevinOrr! That makes the answer complete -- so I compiled it into my text :)
    – Izzy
    Mar 24, 2013 at 18:50

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