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Most anti-procrastination apps on the web help you stay focused and increase productivity by blocking time wasting websites. The thinking goes that if these online distractions are gone, you are more likely to focus on actual work.



'Time is Running', a Chrome app that takes a slightly different approach. It replaces the new tab page of your Google Chrome with a real-time counter that displays your incrementing age.

Every time you launch Chrome, or open a new tab in the browser, the extension works as a sobering reminder that the clock is ticking away. That may motivate you to exit the Bermuda productivity triangle and focus on the more important things. You can grab the free app here on app store.

If you have any queries/feedback, please write it in comments section below OR mail me here : Snehal [at] Techproceed [dot] com

Happy Chrome App'ing :-)

Whether you have an .apk file or an unpacked folder with the android files within, these steps will help you continue on your quest. If you haven’t unpacked the .apk file yet, you want to check the below article:

How to Decrypt, Unpack, and Edit .apk files

It contains step by step on how to unpack .apk files correctly and easily.

Once you’ve unpacked your file. Continue below steps:

  • You need to download Eclipse and Android SDK for these steps. Luckily they are already in a bundle. And here’s the link. Download Bundle.
  • File -> Import -> Android Code into Workspace -> (Select Root Directory (folder) of the Application you are importing) -> Check the (Copy projects into Workspace [checkbox]) -> Click Finish
  • Go Take a break
  • Now nerd out on your new app.


If you have any queries/feedback, please write it in comments section below OR mail me here : Snehal [at] Techproceed [dot] com

Happy Androiding :-)

If you’re an Android user you’re probably very familiar with mobile ads. Advertisements make the Internet go round. Heck, even dotTech relies on ads to make money. However, there is a huge difference between non-intrusive advertisements and ads that are so obnoxious that you can’t even read what you came to read on a website.



That is why we’ve put together this guide to help you block ads on Android smartphones and tablets. Read on to learn more and keep in mind, we have a separate guide on how to block ads on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Before We Begin

This guide will cover three ways on how to block ads on Android.

The first method requires a rooted device and will block ads globally on your smartphone or tablet; this means, it will block ads for all browsers, apps, games, websites, etc. Once you apple the first method, you don’t need to ever run the ad blocking app again — it is a do-it-once-and-forget-it method. Method #1 works with all Android smartphones and tablets running Android 2.1 and up.

The second method does not required a rooted device and also blocks ads globally. However, it requires you to continually have an app running to block ads — if you close the app, ads will stop being blocked.

Method #1 works with all Android smartphones and tablets running Android 2.1 and up.
The last method blocks ads in Firefox on Android and does not require root nor does it require a separate app to be running.

For the first two methods, you will be required to sideload an app because the apps needed to perform the ad block are not available in Google Play Store. Sideloading apps on Android means download their APK (the installer file) and using a file manager to manually install the app as opposed to download from Play Store. In order to sideload, you need to make sure to enable ‘unknown sources’ on your Android device, which can be found Settings -> Security or Settings -> Applications.

Also note, after performing any of the following three methods to block ads, it is very easy to unblock ads. For the first method, there is an option withing the ad blocking app to remove ad blocking. For the second and third methods, simply uninstall the ad blocker apps to stop blocking ads.

That said, let’s begin…

Method # 1: How to block all ads on Android using AdAway app (root required)


This first method is a global ad blocking solution that blocks ads by modifying the HOSTS file of your Android smartphone or tablet. As such, it requires you to have a rooted device. If you don’t want to root your device, skip down to method #2 or method #3 to block ads.

Once you have a rooted device, blocking ads by modifying the HOSTS file is actually very easy. You need to do the following:

  1. Make sure ‘unknown sources‘ is enabled on your Android device. You can enable it from Settings -> Security or Settings -> Applications. You can disable ‘unknown sources’ after you’ve finished blocking ads. In fact, we recommend disabling ‘unknown sources’ after you are done blocking ads.
  2. Download and install F-Droid on your smartphone or tablet, a third-party app store for Android. You will need to sideload F-Droid onto your Android device. To sideload, download F-Droid’s APK installer file and place it on your smartphone or tablet’s internal storage. Next, open your file manager, find the APK file you downloaded, and tap it to install it.
  3. After you’ve installed F-Droid, run F-Droid on your Android smartphone or tablet, and let it scan your device for compatibility. After it is finished, simply search for AdAway from inside F-Droid. Once you find AdAway, download and install it.
  4. Once AdAway is installed, run it and grant it root access. Once you’ve granted it root access, just press the ‘Download files and apply ad blocking‘ button and wait while AdAway modifies your HOSTS file to block ads. After it is done, restart your device.

Once your Android smartphone or tablet has finished restarting, all ads in all apps and on all website will be blocked. And the best part? You don’t ever have to run AdAway again, unless you want to update your ad blocking filters, because AdAway does not need to be running to block ads.

Also note, after you are done, you can uninstall F-Droid if you like and it is recommend to disable ‘unknown sources’.

Enjoy!

Method #2: How to block all ads on Android using Adblock Plus app (root not required)

This second method also blocks ads globally on your Android smartphone or tablet (meaning it blocks ads in all apps, games, websites, browsers, etc.) However, the difference between this second method and the first method is, you need to always have Adblock Plus app — the app used to block ads — running in order to block ads. If you close Adblock Plus, then ads will stop being blocked.

The way Adblock Plus blocks ads is by using a reverse proxy. You don’t need to know what a reverse proxy is or how to use it because Adblock Plus does all the hard work for you. However, because different versions of Android have different support for proxies, you may or may not need root access.

All Android 3.1 and up devices (e.g. Android Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat, etc.) support proxies so you do not need root access to use Adblock Plus. Most manufacturers of devices running less than Android 3.1 (e.g. Android Gingerbread, Froyo, etc.) manually added support for proxies even though earlier versions of Android didn’t support it, so even if your device runs an older version of Android then you likely can use Adblock Plus without root access.

In other words, the majority of people with Android smartphones and tablets will be able to block ads with Adblock Plus without root access. However, if you have one of the few Android devices that don’t support proxies, then you will need root access to use Adblock Plus. And if you are going to root your device, I recommend using method #1 instead of this method anyway.

That said, blocking ads with Adblock Plus is a fairly simple process. To block ads on Android smartphones or tablets using Adblock Plus, do the following:

  1. Make sure ‘unknown sources‘ is enabled on your Android device. You can enable it from Settings -> Security or Settings -> Applications. You can disable ‘unknown sources’ after you’ve finished blocking ads. In fact, we recommend disabling ‘unknown sources’ after you are done blocking ads.
  2. Download and install Adbock Plus on your smartphone or tablet. You will need to sideload Adblock Plus onto your Android device. To sideload, download Adblock Plus’s APK installer file and place it on your smartphone or tablet’s internal storage. Next, open your file manager, find the APK file you downloaded, and tap it to install it.

After you’ve installed Adblock Plus, run Adblock Plus on your Android smartphone or tablet and enable Filtering. For most devices, Adblock Plus will then automatically setup the proxy settings required to allow Adblock Plus to block ads. However, if you have one of those devices for which Adblock Plus is unable to setup the necessary proxy settings, you will need to do it manually (it takes less than five minutes). 

Once Adblock Plus is installed and it has been enabled and properly setup to block ads, you are done — all ads should now be blocked! However, keep in mind, Adblock Plus needs to be running at all times if you want ads blocked. If you disable or close Adblock Plus, it will stop blocking ads.

Enjoy!

Method #3: How to block all ads in Firefox on Android using Adblock Plus add-on (root not required)

If both method #1 and method #2 for blocking ads have been unsuccessful for you, you can block ads in Firefox on Android using the Adblock Plus add-on for Firefox. This method will only block ads when you surf the web using Firefox (it won’t block ads in other apps or games or if you use a different browser) but you don’t need root access to use this method and there is no app that you need running at all times to use this — ads are automatically blocked whenever you use Firefox.

That said, blocking ads via the Firefox mobile web browser for Android is probably the simplest way of blocking ads. To do it, do the following:

  1. Download and install Firefox on your Android smartphone or tablet from Google Play Store; you can find it in Play Store by searching.
  2. Once Firefox is installed, launch it and either search for Adblock Plus in Firefox’s add-on section from the Firefox browser on Android. Once you’ve found it, install Adblock Plus for Firefox and ad blocking within the browser will start immediately — no restart is needed.

Enjoy!


Conclusion

Android is a wonderful platform but it’s also a platform that can sometimes be swamped with advertisements (as is pretty much the whole web nowadays). Luckily, Android being as versatile as it is, blocking advertisements is a reality. Enjoy!

If you have any queries/feedback, please write it in comments section below OR mail me here : Snehal [at] Techproceed [dot] com

Happy Ads free Android  :-)

Yes, you can view or decrypt the XML files of an Android APK file. There is a tool android-apktool

It is a tool for reengineering 3rd party, closed, binary Android apps

How to do this on your Windows System:
  • Download apktool-install-windows-* file
  • Download apktool-* file
  • Unpack both to your Windows directory

Now copy the APK file also in that directory and run the following command in your command:

prompt:  apktool d HelloWorld.apk ./HelloWorld

This will create and directory “HelloWorld” in your current directory. Inside it you can find theAndroidManifest.xml file in decrypted form and you can also find other XML files inside the"HelloWorld/res/layout" directory.

Here HelloWorld.apk is your Android APK file.

See the below screen shot for more information:


Now that you’re finished. You probably want to this folder into Eclipse and Edit.

Alternatively, you can go for below UI based approach:

You want to edit apk file(android app) directly without the need of eclipse or command line build utility? Yes You can do it using APK Edit Utility.

Steps

(1) Download APK Edit Software from here. Download 'APK Edit' software from internet.

(2) Unzip the zip file and extract its contents. Click on "APK Edit.exe".

(3) First it will ask you to choose Java Executable from "Program Files" folder. Normally it resides in "C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.6.0_25\bin". Folder may be different if you have different java version installed or different bits operating system.


(4) Later software will ask you to choose android apk file you want to edit. Browse the apk file you want to edit.


(3) Wait for some time until the Browse link becomes clickable in Details Tab.


(4) Now, click on browse and folder structure will be opened.


(5) You can make small changes like string name change, image change, app name change & save the file to reflect the changes in apk file.
  • To Change icon or images :- Replace existing images with new images.
  • To make string changes :- find strings.xml file in res and change the string’s values.
  • To make app name, package name changes :- Change the android manifest file.

After making all changes, save the file and close the folder structure. Click On Ok and you will see the android app with all the changes you made.


If you have any queries/feedback, please write it in comments section below OR mail me here : Snehal [at] Techproceed [dot] com

Happy Androiding :-)