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Decompiling Android 2012th Edition
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While I always enjoy learning new things, I do value my time. When I came across this book, I was elated. I realized that the many disparate pieces of information I needed had been assembled in a single tome.
The book gives an excellent overview of Java/Dalvik decompiles - past and present. While having the latest and greatest is nice - you learn to appreciate them more when you know the history and evolution of such tools.
It covers, in depth, the use of existing tools that - piece by piece - transform an Android APK into Java source code. This information alone would have been a huge time to anybody seeking knowledge on the deconstruction of Android apps.
Beyond the discussion of existing decompilers, the main focus of the book is on the creation of custom tools to add to your reverse engineering tool belt. The book meticulously documents the process of decompiling an app. The appendix, to my delight, also includes a list of all the Java and Dalvik bytecodes.
While it is great to understand how to take apart an APK, it brings to light how vulnerable apps can be. Luckily, the book includes a chapter dedicated to the discussion of how to protect an app. Included, are several case studies using several existing utilities. In addition, there is general discussion on protection schemes, such as layout, control, and data obfuscation.
The book is well written and technically accurate. I highly recommend it to anybody interested in reverse engineering or those looking into creating, and protecting, their own Android apps.
I have been developing for Android since 2009 and the topic of reverse engineering frequently emerges but I have never had time to properly research it. Thanks to this book, I feel I can confidently answer such questions and perhaps do a little reverse engineering myself if necessary. Well worth the price and time.
I enjoyed the topic and writing style/organization, and the author gives a nod to NELIAC (my first working language) as a bonus.
This book will not be for the average application developer, but if you are interested in android internals then I think you will not be disappointed.