APK2TV Public Release (Convert APK to Android TV)
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Note: This [url=https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/886759/shield-android-tv/re-engineered-apks-for-android-tv/]Thread [/url]has a lot of the backstory of this application. I recommend looking through it. Here is the first public release of APK2TV. Note: V1.2 is now out. Minor fixes; it doesn't enhance conversion chances - so if you aren't having issues, you don't need to upgrade. Latest info and downloads are here: http://nvidiashieldzone.com/shield-android-tv/apk2tv/ [img]http://i.imgur.com/XVFqYRU.png[/img] APK2TV will attempt to decompile, alter and recompile (with a fake signature) an Android APK so that it is "Android TV" or Leanback Launcher friendly. It works by adding a banner to the package and some updates/lines to the Android Manifest file. After doing this by hand for dozens of APKs, I wrote this tool to help out. It is not 100% perfect. There are a million things that can go wrong when doing this process (easy for a human to see, harder to account for with code). I've added graceful failures to the code as much as possible but you're surely going to see something I haven't compensated for at some time. The resulting APKs are "unsigned" - which means they will not be recognized by Google as valid applications and auto-updates will surely not work. In some cases, the app itself may not work because it sees itself as "tampered with" - even if it passes conversion. This is derivative work. I did not create the core tools to unpack, pack and fake sign APKs. Links are provided in the credits for those talented folks. My goal was to make it possible to automate the process and possibly open the process up for the less technical Shield TV owners. [b]What it Does[/b] - Adds a banner image to the assets of the app. - Adds a reference to the banner image in the app so it can be displayed - Adds a reference to whether Android TV should consider this a GAME or APP for the launcher. - Adds a reference for the Leanback Launcher so that Android TV's interface is allowed to display the app's banner. - Adds a couple more "Android TV" related references to help the app get recognized and run by Android TV. - Breaks the "valid" signature of the app; meaning Google services like Play Games, updates, license checks, etc. may not work. [b]What it Does NOT Do[/b] - Fix portrait apps to be landscape - Add Shield Controller support or alter how Shield Controllers work with the app - Fix, alter or otherwise remove the "touch only" requirements for apps - Make an app work that doesn't work through regular sideloading - Fix any bugs or glitches with the app running under Android TV (in fact, may introduce new ones) Bottom Line: If it works sideloaded, but you want to launch it from Leanback Launcher instead of Sideload Launcher? This is for you. If the app doesn't work sideloaded, this hack will not help it work. Requires Java runtime installed, and .NET 4 (you probably already have both). I've added tooltips to EVERYTHING .. so hover your mouse over stuff to find out what it means. Standard disclaimer: I'm not responsible if this breaks anything or otherwise causes any damage, harms your ferret - whatever. Use at your own risk, blah blah blah. Please post bug reports, ask questions, etc. in this thread. Continue to post links to your "converted apps" in the link at the top of the page. Latest Version and Info are here: http://nvidiashieldzone.com/shield-android-tv/apk2tv/
Note: This Thread has a lot of the backstory of this application. I recommend looking through it.

Here is the first public release of APK2TV.

Note: V1.2 is now out. Minor fixes; it doesn't enhance conversion chances - so if you aren't having issues, you don't need to upgrade.

Latest info and downloads are here: http://nvidiashieldzone.com/shield-android-tv/apk2tv/

Image

APK2TV will attempt to decompile, alter and recompile (with a fake signature) an Android APK so that it is "Android TV" or Leanback Launcher friendly.

It works by adding a banner to the package and some updates/lines to the Android Manifest file.

After doing this by hand for dozens of APKs, I wrote this tool to help out.

It is not 100% perfect. There are a million things that can go wrong when doing this process (easy for a human to see, harder to account for with code). I've added graceful failures to the code as much as possible but you're surely going to see something I haven't compensated for at some time.

The resulting APKs are "unsigned" - which means they will not be recognized by Google as valid applications and auto-updates will surely not work. In some cases, the app itself may not work because it sees itself as "tampered with" - even if it passes conversion.

This is derivative work. I did not create the core tools to unpack, pack and fake sign APKs. Links are provided in the credits for those talented folks.

My goal was to make it possible to automate the process and possibly open the process up for the less technical Shield TV owners.

What it Does
- Adds a banner image to the assets of the app.
- Adds a reference to the banner image in the app so it can be displayed
- Adds a reference to whether Android TV should consider this a GAME or APP for the launcher.
- Adds a reference for the Leanback Launcher so that Android TV's interface is allowed to display the app's banner.
- Adds a couple more "Android TV" related references to help the app get recognized and run by Android TV.
- Breaks the "valid" signature of the app; meaning Google services like Play Games, updates, license checks, etc. may not work.

What it Does NOT Do
- Fix portrait apps to be landscape
- Add Shield Controller support or alter how Shield Controllers work with the app
- Fix, alter or otherwise remove the "touch only" requirements for apps
- Make an app work that doesn't work through regular sideloading
- Fix any bugs or glitches with the app running under Android TV (in fact, may introduce new ones)

Bottom Line: If it works sideloaded, but you want to launch it from Leanback Launcher instead of Sideload Launcher? This is for you. If the app doesn't work sideloaded, this hack will not help it work.

Requires Java runtime installed, and .NET 4 (you probably already have both).

I've added tooltips to EVERYTHING .. so hover your mouse over stuff to find out what it means.

Standard disclaimer: I'm not responsible if this breaks anything or otherwise causes any damage, harms your ferret - whatever. Use at your own risk, blah blah blah.

Please post bug reports, ask questions, etc. in this thread. Continue to post links to your "converted apps" in the link at the top of the page.

Latest Version and Info are here: http://nvidiashieldzone.com/shield-android-tv/apk2tv/

Shane R. Monroe
NVidia Shield Zone - Shield Device Utopia
Shield TV Compatibility List - Contribute Today
Shield Help and Chat Room - Come chat!

#1
Posted 11/13/2015 05:29 PM   
THANK YOU!!!
THANK YOU!!!

#2
Posted 11/13/2015 05:34 PM   
Looks good man. Nice to see a public release.
Looks good man. Nice to see a public release.

#3
Posted 11/13/2015 05:55 PM   
Amazing idea :) Keep up the good work enabling us to get the most out of our Nvidia Shield. I do however wonder why the Android app developers doesn't do this by them selves. The Shield and other Android TVs has been out there for quite a while now. Your app should have been obsolete to begin with. Once again, great work! :)
Amazing idea :) Keep up the good work enabling us to get the most out of our Nvidia Shield.

I do however wonder why the Android app developers doesn't do this by them selves. The Shield and other Android TVs has been out there for quite a while now.

Your app should have been obsolete to begin with.

Once again, great work! :)

#4
Posted 11/13/2015 05:56 PM   
[quote="Windwards"]Amazing idea :) Keep up the good work enabling us to get the most out of our Nvidia Shield. I do however wonder why the Android app developers doesn't do this by them selves. The Shield and other Android TVs has been out there for quite a while now. Your app should have been obsolete to begin with. Once again, great work! :)[/quote] This doesnt add Controller support if the app doesnt have and remember so developers dont want their app on Android TV For that reason I feel a bit iffy about this application. It skirts on the moral line for me.
Windwards said:Amazing idea :) Keep up the good work enabling us to get the most out of our Nvidia Shield.

I do however wonder why the Android app developers doesn't do this by them selves. The Shield and other Android TVs has been out there for quite a while now.

Your app should have been obsolete to begin with.

Once again, great work! :)


This doesnt add Controller support if the app doesnt have
and remember so developers dont want their app on Android TV

For that reason I feel a bit iffy about this application. It skirts on the moral line for me.

#5
Posted 11/13/2015 08:00 PM   
Most developers have no idea about Android TV or how to enable it. I've spoken with several developers of my favorite apps, sent them banner images and altered Manifests and they are all excited about offering support. I really don't think any developer wants to LIMIT the size of their user base. If this involved pirating paid apps, I could understand a developer hesitation. But this app doesn't "crack" or otherwise let someone get something for free.
Most developers have no idea about Android TV or how to enable it. I've spoken with several developers of my favorite apps, sent them banner images and altered Manifests and they are all excited about offering support.

I really don't think any developer wants to LIMIT the size of their user base. If this involved pirating paid apps, I could understand a developer hesitation. But this app doesn't "crack" or otherwise let someone get something for free.

Shane R. Monroe
NVidia Shield Zone - Shield Device Utopia
Shield TV Compatibility List - Contribute Today
Shield Help and Chat Room - Come chat!

#6
Posted 11/13/2015 08:06 PM   
Excellent Shane, thanks.
Excellent Shane, thanks.

#7
Posted 11/13/2015 08:14 PM   
[quote="Shane_R_Monroe"]Most developers have no idea about Android TV or how to enable it. I've spoken with several developers of my favorite apps, sent them banner images and altered Manifests and they are all excited about offering support. I really don't think any developer wants to LIMIT the size of their user base. If this involved pirating paid apps, I could understand a developer hesitation. But this app doesn't "crack" or otherwise let someone get something for free.[/quote] True. I think the concern more applies to games. However, developers may want to limit the size of their userbase temporarily. For example, developers like Netflix has a specific user experience in mind. So if they did not have an Android TV app available they might not like their normal Android TV app converted because it wont give the best user experience. Their tech supports might get a lot of calls now, people cancel because they are frustrated with the interface etc. Yes, those of us here that convert the apps realize the less than stellar experience is the price we pay for sideloaded and hacked app. I can guarantee some of these apps will spread across the internet. On this form itself I've seen people get mad at Nvidia because their sideloaded Amazon app sucks.
Shane_R_Monroe said:Most developers have no idea about Android TV or how to enable it. I've spoken with several developers of my favorite apps, sent them banner images and altered Manifests and they are all excited about offering support.

I really don't think any developer wants to LIMIT the size of their user base. If this involved pirating paid apps, I could understand a developer hesitation. But this app doesn't "crack" or otherwise let someone get something for free.


True. I think the concern more applies to games.

However, developers may want to limit the size of their userbase temporarily. For example, developers like Netflix has a specific user experience in mind. So if they did not have an Android TV app available they might not like their normal Android TV app converted because it wont give the best user experience. Their tech supports might get a lot of calls now, people cancel because they are frustrated with the interface etc.

Yes, those of us here that convert the apps realize the less than stellar experience is the price we pay for sideloaded and hacked app. I can guarantee some of these apps will spread across the internet. On this form itself I've seen people get mad at Nvidia because their sideloaded Amazon app sucks.

#8
Posted 11/13/2015 08:14 PM   
I definitely get your point on the "rollout" control. On the other hand, these apps are all sort of time bombed since they will never get updates.
I definitely get your point on the "rollout" control.

On the other hand, these apps are all sort of time bombed since they will never get updates.

Shane R. Monroe
NVidia Shield Zone - Shield Device Utopia
Shield TV Compatibility List - Contribute Today
Shield Help and Chat Room - Come chat!

#9
Posted 11/13/2015 08:21 PM   
good job shane, at least yuo will update
good job shane, at least yuo will update

#10
Posted 11/13/2015 10:04 PM   
https://youtu.be/trw6GWvWBpw

#11
Posted 11/14/2015 04:24 AM   
[quote="ATR_Gamin"]https://youtu.be/trw6GWvWBpw[/quote] If this is your video? Might I make a suggestion, this is not to down you but please take it as constructive which is what I do mean it to be. Just be more prepared in what you will be speaking on. The over all key points you want to discuss. Also as you speak to those points be more aware of what you will say. You don't have to make a script but man I had to turn it off after the twentieth "um". So your info seemed good just deliver it a bit more professional. And not saying you have to be all news anchor just something between that and what you have now. Keep it up though it is good to see the support! Nice work on the app Shane. Much easier than all the manual edits. I do agree with cchrisv though, I hope we see more peeps making APK' for their own personal use instead of spreading these around all over the place.
ATR_Gamin said:https://youtu.be/trw6GWvWBpw


If this is your video? Might I make a suggestion, this is not to down you but please take it as constructive which is what I do mean it to be. Just be more prepared in what you will be speaking on. The over all key points you want to discuss. Also as you speak to those points be more aware of what you will say. You don't have to make a script but man I had to turn it off after the twentieth "um". So your info seemed good just deliver it a bit more professional. And not saying you have to be all news anchor just something between that and what you have now. Keep it up though it is good to see the support!

Nice work on the app Shane. Much easier than all the manual edits. I do agree with cchrisv though, I hope we see more peeps making APK' for their own personal use instead of spreading these around all over the place.

#12
Posted 11/14/2015 04:30 PM   
Agreed.
Agreed.

Shane R. Monroe
NVidia Shield Zone - Shield Device Utopia
Shield TV Compatibility List - Contribute Today
Shield Help and Chat Room - Come chat!

#13
Posted 11/14/2015 09:48 PM   
[quote="ATR_Gamin"]https://youtu.be/trw6GWvWBpw[/quote] I liked your video and subscribed to your youtube channel and twitter. I look forward to seeing more videos from you! Keep it up! -A
ATR_Gamin said:https://youtu.be/trw6GWvWBpw


I liked your video and subscribed to your youtube channel and twitter. I look forward to seeing more videos from you! Keep it up!

-A

#14
Posted 11/14/2015 10:08 PM   
Hello I just setup a new computer with windows 10, and now i get GDI+ errors all of the time, when i try to convert apk's. I have net 4 and Java installed. And it used to work in windows 8.1 on my old computer. Do you have any ideas how to make it work. When i load the apk's It goes way faster than it did when it worked. The Consoled shuts down immediately after launching. I hope you can understand what i am writing. Thank you for making this useful app.
Hello
I just setup a new computer with windows 10, and now i get GDI+ errors all of the time, when i try to convert apk's. I have net 4 and Java installed. And it used to work in windows 8.1 on my old computer. Do you have any ideas how to make it work. When i load the apk's It goes way faster than it did when it worked. The Consoled shuts down immediately after launching. I hope you can understand what i am writing.
Thank you for making this useful app.

#15
Posted 11/18/2015 12:10 PM   
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