Send broadcast on start

Send broadcast on start is a developer option, which sends an arbitrary broadcast when the cloned app is started. The broadcast is sent as soon as the app’s process is started, before any app activities may (or may not) be shown. This means the broadcast will also get sent when the cloned app starts any background services. The broadcast’s intent is empty and does not have any action nor intent extras set.

You need to specify the the broadcast receiver’s fully qualified component name in the form of <packageName>/<className>. Do not use the abbreviated form of <className>. When declaring the broadcast receiver in the manifest, make sure to mark it exported.

You may also use this option along with the Shared user ID and Process name options to trigger loading an external extension app into the same process as the cloned main app.

Shared user ID & Process name

App Cloner 1.5.22 adds two new developer options called Shared user ID and Process name.

The Shared user ID option allows generating clones with a specific shared user ID, an arbitrary string value, which must contain at least one ‘.’ separator. Apps with the same shared user ID can access each other’s data and, if desired, run in the same process, provided the apps are also signed with the same certificate.

The Process name option forces all app components to run in the named process. The process name must start with a lower case character and must also contain at least one ‘.’ separator.

This allows creating your own add-ons in separate apps, extending the clone’s functionality.

By signing the clone using a custom certificate (using the Custom certificate option) and creating your own app using the same shared user ID, process name and certificate, the clone and your app will run in the same process and virtual machine (VM).

Each app is executed using its own class loader, which loads classes from the corresponding APK .dex files, so a simple Class.forName("...") won’t work. To access the cloned app’s classes via reflection you must enumerate all threads, find the thread called ContextClassLoaderThread, which is provided by App Cloner, and use its context class loader to load the app’s classes.

Here’s an example in Kotlin:

val threads = arrayOfNulls<Thread>(Thread.activeCount())
Thread.enumerate(threads)
for (thread in threads) {
    if ("ContextClassLoaderThread" == thread!!.getName()) {
        val contextClassLoader = thread.getContextClassLoader()
        val clazz = contextClassLoader.loadClass("...")
        // TODO: Do something with the class
        break
    }
}

If the ContextClassLoaderThread thread cannot be found it means the clone hasn’t yet been launched into the process.

In order to get the cloned app’s Application instance you can use the Utils class provided by App Cloner:

val utilsClass = contextClassLoader.loadClass("com.applisto.appcloner.classes.Utils")
val getApplicationMethod = utilsClass.getMethod("getApplication")
val application: Application = getApplicationMethod.invoke(null) as Application

Once you have the Application instance you can register ActivityLifecycleCallbacks to get notified when the cloned app appears on the screen:

application.registerActivityLifecycleCallbacks(object : ActivityLifecycleCallbacks {
override fun onActivityCreated(activity: Activity, savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {}
override fun onActivityStarted(activity: Activity) {}
override fun onActivityResumed(activity: Activity) {}
override fun onActivityPaused(activity: Activity?) {}
override fun onActivityDestroyed(activity: Activity?) {}
override fun onActivitySaveInstanceState(activity: Activity?, outState: Bundle?) {}
override fun onActivityStopped(activity: Activity?) {}
})

The Shared user ID option is available with the medium donation, the Process name option is available with the large donation.

App valid from & App valid until

App valid from and App valid until are two developer options that allow restricting the use of a clone to a certain time range, the latter one probably being more useful.

It adds the Internet permission to the app so that the clone can fetch the current date & time from an NTP time server on the internet, which means it’s not dependent on the system clock being correct.