Technology

Proguard android: What Should a Lay Person Know?

In the contemporary world, security has turned out to be an important to almost every aspect of your life. The same applies to the overall code that you do write for your apps. Any APK file in the Playstore can get DE obfuscated. Here it is being talked about reverse engineering of the APK file. You can use Proguard to ensure that the android system stays safe and effective.

The point is what people do during the development is that they do put their efforts into converting their ideas into code and then simply package them to an APK type of file to deploy. But what attackers or hackers do is they simply pick their APK file, download it from any sort of third-party site, and simply de-obfuscate the APK file to just produce the source code files or even resources that they developed. It is mostly not a great idea to go live in the absence of securing your codebase. Take proper time and fix such a code security issue in case you haven’t done yet.

Remember that any APK file in the absence of security is like an ATM card without pin: anybody can easily access it or make use of it for their own purpose. The point is the developers have to be sure that they are taking proper precautions to ensure that the android app is absolutely safe and secure.

What is the guard then?

The pro-guard name itself suggests that it works as a guard to their overall codebase. This type of guard is a tool in Android that is absolutely used to shrink, obfuscate, and even optimize the app. It might not be a complete solution for sure  but it might be a good place to start with negligeable alterations to guard the codebase.

Obfuscation

Renames the overall classes and their members to simply some random short forms, that ends up in reduced DEX file sizes. And the decompiled type of code is going to be hard to read and even understand.

In other words, obfuscation is a process that simply make potential attacker’s life tough to read your code. It simply renames the remaining classes, fields, and even overall methods making use of short meaningless names and , make your overall APK challenging to reverse engineer that is especially valuable when your app application uses security-sensitive features, like licensed verification.

Optimization

It simply analyses and optimizes the overall code. You should remember that this guard does not really avert reverse engineering. But it simply does make it challenging , The obfuscated code makes your overall APK challenging to reverse engineer.

Shrinking

It is something that removes the unused areas and parts from being a part of the final APK. It is generally done in two phases like:

  • Code shrinking , it detects and securely removes unused variables, classes, methods, etc., from the app’s and its overall library dependencies
  • Resource shrinking , eradicates unused resource files from the app’s and its overall library dependencies

The purpose of this guard?

Well, it has to be clear why pro-guard type of tools are required now that you have a great understanding of what they are and what they actually are used for. You do utilise this technologies to simply avert this from happening since Android applications are quite easy to reverse engineer. Other reasons could be self-evident to you, like;

  • It enhances the application’s performance and even saves memory by removing unneeded code.
  • Helps in the overall reduction of the code complexity of overall Android applications.
  • Boosts the overall performance of the programme by simply optimising the functions of the code of the application  

Quick perks of pro-guard

All of the reasons you do use pro-guard are unquestionably advantages of guard android tools. Nevertheless, you must consider the below given guard perks:

  • One of the most critical perks is that it simply optimises the code, making it swifter and more dependable.
  • It improves the overall efficiency of the application’s code.
  • This even helps in resource reduction by diminishing needless resources.
  • It enhances the code format and rearranges it by removing unnecessary code segments.
  • It helps in the development of applications with the least type of feasible apk size.

Of course, once you get all these things in a single guard for your android applications and all; why wouldn’t you go for it? After all a single issue or leakage in your business application can ruin your name or entire business. After all, your business cannot afford to experience a stain on its name and reputation right?

Remember that to protect your app’s codebase from code theft with negligeable configurations, you can use this guard. It will definitely make things tough to understand and re-use after proper decompiling an APK file that has pro-guard applied. Once this guard is applied, method, variable, and class names are going to be replaced by some meaningless names or even characters that will be absolutely tough to read and even understand. This way you can simply can protect yourself to some extent.

Some critical points when using Proguard

  • In case you want to make use of this guard in your app then make sure that you try to use it from the beginning.
  • When using guard it will take more time to simply build your app. It is the reason that you may disable (false) guard in that of debug mode. But in such a case you should definitely allow it for checking your entire project before producing released apk.
  • Do not skip to add the guard rules in pro-guard-rules.pro file for any sort of library that you have encompassed in your project.
  • Do not skip to upload mapping. Text file in that of Playstore.

 Conclusion

To sum up, you should try out Proguard android when you are working on the application development for android. After all, you would never want to take a chance with the protection of the data and all that is in your application right? These days thefts and other similar activities are all over the place and you should take proper precautions to prevent them.

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