What’s new in 2.9.12

Although many of the changes are under-the-hood optimisations, there are some great new features in there too.

Colour picker sidebar

This is easily the standout feature of the new version. Some of you may have seen this as a beta in the previous version, but the feature is now fully mature and working great.

Essentially, the sidebar is the little column to the left of the line numbers in any open document. When you open any xml (or smali) document that has a colour code in it, the colour itself will be displayed in the sidebar:


If there are multiple colours, they will all be represented here (up to 4 at once). If you hover over the sidebar, the colour square will enlarge so you can see the colour more clearly.


Clicking on one of the colour squares will bring up the colour picker.


Here you can choose a new colour using the colour field, ARGB values, or by typing in the hex code using the #AARRGGBB format. Clicking ok will insert that colour code into the appropriate place in the document.

Now you can tell exactly what colour the hex code represents, and change it easily without needing to plug the values into an image editor or other software.

You might notice that some smali public.xml references get picked up as colours, even if they aren’t. Unfortunately this is unavoidable due to the way smali colours are stored, but if this is a big problem, it is possible to turn the feature off for smali documents. This setting can be found in the Advanced VTS Settings


Backup shortcuts

The project context menu (right click on project name) has a new option – Backups.


May not seem like much, but makes the process of porting your edits to a new version of the apk much smoother. Try it and see….

Default apktool flags

Those of you modifying HTC binaries will hopefully appreciate this one. As you know, decompiling com.htc.resources.apk requires the use of the “—keep-broken-res” flag. Current versions of VTS require you to add this to the Advanced Project Settings, which means importing the apk, letting it fail, editing the settings, then reimporting. Not a big problem, but a nuisance if you’re working with resources a lot.

There is now a new option in the general Advanced Settings


which allows you to set default apktool flags.


Set your desired flag here, and you can add as many resources binaries as you want without having to enter the flag for each project.