A few days back I wrote an article on how Android users can clone an app on their phone and run two independent instances of that app. As the cloned app had the same APK name and icon, it became difficult for the user to launch the correct app when needed. Therefore, to make things smoother, I thought to change one of the apps’ name and icon using an APK editor I had covered earlier.
You can still do it that way, but as that app runs on Java, it was giving a hard time to many users. Most of them were getting errors while attempting to change the app name and icon and thus the need for a new, better alternative.
Well, it was not easy, but I managed to land on the APK Icon Editor open source application page and when I installed and tried it, I was pretty impressed. So let me show you how you can change app icons and names using this particular app.
After you download APK Editor, installing the application is a simple task. Just follow the on-screen default instructions to set up the application. Make sure you have the latest version of Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed on your computer. If you are not sure, you can download and install it now. Feel free to re-install if you already have it, it will just update to the latest version.
Changing App Names
Now that the app is installed, launch it. First we’ll address the easier task, which is to change the app’s name. To get started, drag and drop an APK file on the editor and wait for it to read and unpack the package. If you encounter any errors, look at the current mode on the top-right edge of the program and change it to QuaZIP.
Once the app is read successfully, click on the Properties tab to change the name. While changing the name, the app mode should be Apktool instead of QuaZIP. Once you have changed the name, pack the APK again by clicking on the option Pack APK.
Changing APK Icons
After you’ve changed the name of the APK, you need to repack the file before changing the icon. As both the features use two different encoders, it has to be done separately. Make sure the mode is set to QuaZIP while changing the icons.
After the file has been read, it will show you icons of all the dimensions that are used depending upon the Android phone on which the APK will be installed. For example, low end phones would use the MDPI or HDPI icons while tablets would use XXHDPI.
Right-click on the icon that you want to change and select the image file you would like. The app will auto-resize the icon for you. If you don’t want to change the icon, but just need a distinguishing look, you can choose to add color effects to the existing icon. Pretty easy compared to changing the icon altogether.
Finally, repack the APK, transfer it to the phone, and install it manually. If you are getting any signature errors while installing the app, uninstall the app from your phone first and then install the modified version.
Note: The tool also gives you the option to change the version number and version code, but it’s better to leave them untouched unless you know what you’re doing.
APK Editor is an easy-to-use tool for changing the names and icons of APK files. The supported image formats are PNG, ICO, GIF, JPG, or BMP, and one can also sign and optimize APKs using it. The project is free and open source and anyone an contribute to it on the developer’s Github page. If you have any doubts, let us know.