Android: What is AAPT?

Android has a ton of tools.  This is a quick introduction to a couple commands I use in AAPT.

What is AAPT?

AAPT (Anroid Asset Packaging Tool) is a great tool to help you view, create and update your APKs (as well as zip and jar files).

Where is it?

On Windows, check you Android/tools folder.  For my Windows 8, it is located here:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk\build-tools\23.0.2

Just add it to your path Environment Variable.

Getting your VersionCode, etc…

By running the following commands, you will see lots of important information from App Id, Version Code, Version Number, SDK Info, Permissions, etc…

aapt dump badging my.apk

This is really helpful when delivering the APK to a client.  If a client questions the VersionCode or other information, you can easily verify the app and also explain how the client can verify it.

When running this tool the output will look similar to this:


Check your permissions:

It also helps verify what permissions are set in the app.  We recently failed a security audit for our App.  The customer said the Third Party failed our app for too many permissions.  This tool was very helpful in determining the exact permissions our App had and provided the information to our customer.  Turned out the Third Party was wrong and accidentally got the permissions of another app.  Opps!

aapt dump permissions my.apk


Other Resources



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