SendTo ZTools3 – Shortcuts for handling APK files
This blog describes a third collection of utility shortcut files located in PC SendTo folder in order to allow quick ‘right click’ access to commonly used utilities/techniques.
These shortcuts are focused on handling APK files i.e. installation, removal , backup, retrieving package information and checking for the latest version of a Play app without requiring a Google account.
Note that they are provided ‘as is’ i.e. no support & use at your own risk. Shortcuts should be compatible with PC’s running Win 8.x onwards and they require both ADB and Java to be included in the PC system path .
The previous collections of SendTo shortcuts are located at these links:
Ztools1 (Miscellaneous Utils): https://developer.zebra.com/blog/how-use-sendto-ztools1-shortcuts-zebra-devices
Ztools2 (Locking down a Zebra device) : https://developer.zebra.com/blog/sendto-ztools2-easily-create-zebra-lockdown-configurations
Push files to /enterprise sub-folders on non-SD660 devices: https://developer.zebra.com/blog/pushing-files-enterprise-folder-zebra-android-11-devices
- Download zip file from: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OtCwRzuMYMgpms-KZakBy3sjg4IqcA5w/view?…
- Extract all files to the SendTo folder on your PC (access by Win+R, type shell:sendto and press enter) preserving the sub-folders
- Ensure ADB is added to the system path (may require PC reboot after modifying the PATH in order to make it effective)
- Ensure Java is on system path
- If using Windows 11 , the SendTo option is not present on the initial right click menu ( it requires expansion to show the option) . This can be fixed by configuring Windows to show the full right click menu each time using a registry key modification detailed here: https://www.intowindows.com/how-to-enable-the-old-context-menu-in-windows-11/
Instructions for use
__apk_info : Get APK information
This shortcut will retrieve basic manifest info from the highlighted single APK file
- Highlight the APK files to be queried – note that filenames and paths should not contain spaces in order to install via this method.
- Right click and select - Sendto ‘_apk_info’
- A text file named package.txt will be created in the same folder as the selected APK and contains a dump of the manifest info including the package name , the target API level and the permissions requested by the app.
__apk_install : Install all selected APK’s on the target device
This shortcut will install the currently highlighted apps on the connected device via ADB and also pre-grant any required basic runtime permissions
- Highlight the APK files to be installed – note that filenames and paths should not contain spaces in order to install via this method.
- Right click and select - Sendto ‘_apk_install’
- APK files will be installed in turn
__apk_backup : Backup all installed non-system apps from the target device to a PC
This shortcut will allow any existing non-system apps on a device to be backed up onto the host PC via ADB i.e. any installed apps will be transferred as APK files to the host machine
- Create a new folder for the APK backup
- Right click and create a new textfile . Right click this file (it is not used) and select - Sendto ‘_apk_backup’ . This will query the connected device for non-system apps and generate a list of package names within a corresponding ADB command contained in a batch file (packages.bat)
- The packages.bat file is used to query the location of each package which is then included in a text file named backup.txt
- Since the format of the ABD commands in backup.txt is not correct , it is then post-processed in order to reformat the commands it contains. The correct ADB commands are contained in Backup.txt.bat
- Run Backup.txt.bat manually in order to actually copy the APK files to the current folder , using a naming convention of packagename.apk e.g. com.symbol.devicecentral.apk
__apk_remove_one : Remove (uninstall) selected APK from the target device
This shortcut will allow any selected single app to be removed (deleted) via ADB
- Right click on the APK file required to remove and select - Sendto ‘_apk_remove_one . This will query the connected device for the package name of the APK and then use that package name to uninstall the app via ADB
Zebra EMEA Aug 2023
__apk_remove_all : Remove (uninstall) all installed APK’s on the target device
This shortcut will allow any existing apps to be removed (deleted) via ADB i.e. any installed (non-system) apps will be removed which will return the device to the out-of-box condition in terms of installed apps
- Right click on any file (file is not used) and select - Sendto ‘_apk_remove_all . This will query the connected device for non-system apps and generate a list of package names (del_packages.txt)
- The package name list is used to generate a delete command for each APK which is executed via ADB. When this happens you will see multiple command windows open and close, one for each app delete process