How Can I See the Code of a Mobile App?

Patrick Burnett

If you’re curious about the inner workings of a mobile app, you may wonder how to see its code. While it may seem like a daunting task, there are actually several ways to peek under the hood of your favorite apps. In this article, we’ll explore some of the methods you can use to view the code of a mobile app.

Method 1: Use a Decompiler

One way to see the code of a mobile app is to use a decompiler. A decompiler is a tool that can reverse engineer compiled code into its original source code. There are several decompilers available for different platforms such as Android and iOS.

For Android apps, one popular decompiler is JADX. This tool allows you to load an APK file (the package file format used by Android) and view its source code in Java. You can download JADX from its official website and install it on your computer.

Once installed, simply launch JADX and load the APK file of the app you want to decompile. The tool will then extract the code from the APK and show it in its interface. From there, you can browse through the source files and examine their contents.

For iOS apps, Hopper Disassembler is a popular decompiler that can be used to extract assembly code from Mach-O executables (the file format used by iOS). Hopper Disassembler is available for macOS and can be downloaded from its official website.

Method 2: Use an Online Decompiler

If you don’t want to install any software on your computer, you can also use an online decompiler. Online decompilers allow you to upload an APK or IPA (the package file format used by iOS) file and view its source code directly in your web browser.

One popular online decompiler for Android apps is JADX Online. This tool provides similar functionality as the desktop version of JADX and can be accessed from its website. Simply upload the APK file of the app you want to decompile and wait for the tool to extract its code.

For iOS apps, you can use Online Disassembler. This tool allows you to upload an IPA file and view its assembly code in your web browser. Online Disassembler supports several architectures used by iOS devices, including ARMv7, ARMv7s, ARM64, and x86_64.

Method 3: Use an APK Analyzer

Another way to see the code of an Android app is to use an APK analyzer. An APK analyzer is a tool that can inspect the contents of an APK file and show you its components such as resources, classes, and libraries.

Android Studio comes with a built-in APK analyzer that can be used to inspect any APK file. To use it, simply open Android Studio and select “Profile or debug APK” from the “Welcome to Android Studio” screen. Then, select the APK file of the app you want to analyze.

Android Studio will then display a breakdown of the contents of the APK file. You can navigate through different tabs such as “Classes”, “Resources”, and “Libraries” to examine their contents.

Conclusion

In summary, there are several ways to see the code of a mobile app. Whether you choose to use a decompiler or an analyzer, these tools allow you to peek under the hood of your favorite apps and gain insights into how they work. Keep in mind that reverse engineering apps may not always be legal or ethical depending on your intentions, so make sure you’re using these tools responsibly.