Sometimes you find yourself not liking the icons of your favorite android apps. This happens when a good app comes with a dull icon. Generally it’s not possible to change an Android app’s icon on your phone. The easiest way to change icon of apps on your phone is to use a launcher/theme that comes with the features of custom icons. But still the icons of the APK files (Android apps are packaged as apk file) remain the original. No matter why and what it takes, you may want to change the icon or name or anything else of an APK file so that it reflects your need when you install it on your phone or tablet.

APK icon editor cover

Though APK files are seem to be like zip files, they are a kind of binary build from Android SDK, the tool used to develop and build android apk packages. So it’s harder to change something inside it. You will see folks and hackers from XDA Developers changing identity, altering functionality, cracking apk files to gain certain purpose, etc. These all done with reverse engineering which is not meant for normal users. Though you will find some APK editor tools both for Android and PC, it’s hard to find a user friendly one that is usable for all. After searching around, I have found an APK editor tool, APK Icon Editor, made for Windows which is best of its kind.

Side tip: Change icon of any EXE file.

About APK Icon Editor

APK Icon Editor is a free and open source Android app package editor  which lets you edit various components of an APK file without any technical knowledge or coding. Yes it’s even friendly for noobs! It comes with many features in convenient way that the most other APK editor don’t. It’s written in C++ and Qt framework.

System Requirements

  1. Windows PC (its not available for Mac, Linux or Android)
  2. Java Runtime Environment. Java is needed for using apktool mode and signing packages.

Major Features of “APK Icon Editor”

  • Edit Application name: You can edit identifier name of an Android app. That means if an APK file’s application name is com.google.android.apps.maps (it’s the name of Google maps app), you can rename it to anything like com.google.android.app.techgainer. Switch to apktool mode to use this feature. Don’t confuse it with file name. File name can be any.
  • Edit Icon: You can replace, edit or extract icons of any APK package. You can also use multiple icons for different sizes. It supports major image formats including ico files.
  • Optimize and sign Apks.
  • Edit version info: You can change the version name and the code.
  • Cloud upload support: After editing an app, you can upload the file to online storages like Like Dropbox, Google drive, Microsoft OneDrive.
  • Associate the program with files: You can associate APK Icon Editor with APK files on your PC. Thus you can directly open an APK file with the editor tool by double clicking on it.

How to Get the the APK file of an Android Application

It is very easy to pull the apk files of the apps installed on your phone or tablet using ASTRO File Manager. Then copy the apk files to your PC. Alternatively, you can directly download APK files from Google Play to PC.

How to Edit or Change Icon of an APK file

  1. Open up the APK file using APK Icon Editor. It may show you a progress bar of unpacking process if the file is big. Here I will use the apk file of Google Maps for Android.
    APK Icon Editor
  2. From right side, under Icons tab, you can choose the specific dimension of icons. Remember an APK file can possess multiple dimensions of a same icons. Then click on the Icon from toolbar to customize or Replace the chosen icon.
    Replae icon
  3. This way you can do all things icon in this tool. After you have finished, click Pack APK. While saving, give the file a name.

How to Change App Name and Version Info

  1. To be able to change name and version info, you need to switch to apktool mode. You can do it by using mode toggle button on top-right corner.
    apktool mode
  2. In apktool mode, you can give the APK your own name and custom version number.
    Change APK name and version info
  3. That’s it!

You can also Improve this Project

If you are an Android developer and also know to code in C++ and use Qt Framework, you can also contribute to this open source project to improve its usability and add more features. The source can be found at APK Icon Editor’s GitHub page.

Conclusion

For mainstream users, editing APK files to change name or icon was never been this easy. APK Icon Editor made the process completely foolproof. Thanks to the developers for this awesome tool.

[Download link: APK Icon Editor]

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Author: 

Jaber is a tech enthusiast, geek and web worm from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is the founder and Chief-Editor of TechGainer. While he is away from his keyboard, either he's fishing or messing with wildlife. In case, you can contact him at rijans[at]techgainer[dot]com.

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