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I am debugging an apk app that I do not have the sources for. I want to debug it on a smali level, not decompiled.

I used to do this with apktool, but looking at their website, smali-debugging is deprecated and they point to SmaliIdea - a plugin for android studio. So I installed that, and indeed - it works fine: I can step, set breakpoints, view smali registers (v7,v8,v9 etc) when I set a watchpoint on them.

What I cant do is actually modify those registers / local variables. I can see them when I set a watchpoint on them, but cant assign a value.

Looking at "planned features" of SmaliIdea:

  • Show all registers with a value in "locals" pane
  • Ability to set the value of a register in "watch" pane

It doesnt say I cant modify a register at all right now, but doesnt exactly confirm it either.

This used to be possible with ancient apktool version though! A pretty hefty regression, I would say. (Going back is impractical, too much changed)

Question: How can i modify those smali registers while debugging? is there a register view I am missing or something? How do other people debug APK on smali level?

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