16/07/2013

Tip: Extract any App or Game’s apk to get fonts, pictures, sounds and more

The apk file of an application or game is nothing but a zip file full of all the resources the app uses, which most of the times include sounds, pictures and fonts. So, if you had a very cure sound in a game that you always wanted to set as your ringtone, now you know how you can do so.

How to extract Sounds, Pictures and Fonts  from an APK file:

On your PC:

  • First of all, you need to have the apk of the app you are planning to extract. You can find the apk of almost any app by doing a quick google search with the term "Application_name apk”. If you want to play it safe, you can install any app or game from Play Store to your device and then pull the apk of that app from your device. Obviously, the first option is easier but we leave the choice to you.
    Note: Download 7zip for 32 bit Windows here. For 64 bit version, download this.
  • In the video shared above, I am using 7zip on my p to extract the apk files. Though WinZip and WinRAR can do this job equally well, it will require you to rename your *.apk files to *.zip file to extract them. That adds an extra hassle of renaming the files to zip and then back to apk to actually use it as an android application. Also, 7zip is totally free and open source.
  • Right click on the apk file you want to extract/unarchive, go to the 7zip dropdown menu and choose extract to application_name. This will extract all the files of the archived apk in a new folder named _application_name. Yyou will find all major files that that app uses in the /assets folder.
  • If you haven’t installed 7zip, you will have to rename the apk files to zip otherwise an extract option won’t appear.
Watch this screencast video to know how to do this on a Windows PC with 7zip.

On your Android device itself:

  • If you don’t have access to a pc or don’t want to boot it up for such a small task, you can extract and use the files from your phone itself.
  • First of all, install a good file manager app. ES File Explorer is our favorite. It is free and it comes with built in zip manager.
  • We are stating the exact steps to follow in the latest version of ES File Explorer. In other file managers, the steps might differ a bit.
  • Just like 7zip on PC, ES File Explorer doesn’t require you to rename the apk file first to zip and then back to apk. Other file explorers might require you to do so.
  • In ES File Explorer, locate the apk of the app/game you want to extract. Use this guide to find where the apk file might be located.
  • Long press on the apk file and then click on the More button present on the screen. Then press the Extract To option and select the location where you want to extract the files of the apk archive.
  • Find everything you want out of those files in /assets folder.

Is it legal to use the extracted files:

Though you should consider consult a lawyer for this, I don’t think that using the files for your personal use (like the ones I mentioned above) are going to get you sued. Obviously, these files are copyrighted to them, so any use on business level must be avoided.

Do let me know how you made use of this tip. Here are some of the best extractions I have made:
  • Brainwave Tuner is an app that plays white noise to help us concentrate and to cure head ache etc. In the whole list of white noise sounds, I found only one of them soothing. Also, my phone with just 140 MB internal memory appreciates me whenever I uninstall any app. So, I extracted that particular sound, uninstalled that app and played it in my Music Player!
  • I liked a few fonts in PicSay Pro photo editing apps. Other fonts I adore were extracted from Google Keep and Google Now.
  • I used the cute sounds of the crocodile (or was it an alligator?) from the Where’s my Water as my notification tone.
  • I used the meme images and fonts present in Meme Generator app to create memes on my PC.
Don’t forget to share the crazy things you find deep inside your favorite apps!
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