AimDroid on Unrooted Devices

The current implementation of AimDroid requires to root the device to install the Xposed framework. Currently, we leverage the Xposed framework to support the following operations.

  1. To block/unblock the start of an activity and record the parameter intent.
  2. Start an activity by directly call the API startActivity and its variants.

Actually, we have found that the Android framework has already provided necessary APIs to support AimDroid. These APIs are used by Monkey to support the option -p, which is mainly used to block inter-app activity transitions.

  1. To block/unlock activity start, we can implement a custom IActivityController. Check the method activityStarting.

     * The system is trying to start an activity.  Return true to allow
     * it to be started as normal, or false to cancel/reject this activity.
    boolean activityStarting(in Intent intent, String pkg);
  2. To start an exported activity, we can use IActivityManager.

You can checkout the source code of Monkey to learn how to use these APIs.

Related hidden APIs:

  1. IActivityManager
  2. IActivityController

Another technique challenge is to build and run AimDroid on an unrooted device. This might not be a problem since Android 6.0. We are now working on improving SATA, a practical framework for black-box model-based testing for Android app. Try SATA on an unrooted device.