How to set default launcher on marshmallow update 12/28/15

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Asadullah

Senior Member
Aug 24, 2010
1,029
350
0
casselberry
So your ready to change the default launcher but google isn't letting playing fair (shame shame google).
Don't worry I gotcha. Lets jump into it. There's two methods you can try and they both work about the same
it's all up to you, now is a good time to remind you that you take all responsibility for what your doing
to your Nexus player.

So the first method is the no root method (which I give 75% of the credit to vlasp for a post he made). Very
simple install the launcher that you would like to use but more importantly it has to have the ability to be
set as the default launcher. Some launchers don't have this ability it's very important. Next connect your
nexus to your computer and open up a command prompt and type this:

Code:
adb shell pm hide com.google.android.leanbacklauncher

If you want to undo it type this
Code:
adb shell pm unhide com.google.android.leanbacklauncher

I made a very poor quality video here showing how's it's done.

So the second method requires root.
First thing of course is to install the launcher you wanna use and update the leanback launcher (if you still
want to use it). Open up Es file explorer and mount everything as read/write. Now navigate to /system/priv-app
and delete the folder leanbacklauncher. Reboot and that's it.


HOW TO HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TO
If you still want access to the leanback launcher and/or have settings in the app drawer download the settings
and/or leanback shortcut attached to this thread and install it. You'll now have the a settings and/or
leanback launcher shortcut in your app drawer.

Thanks to breakthecircuit and unvaluablespace for some great ideas.
If you have an icon that you think would look better than the ones included in these apps post them on here and
check them out. If they look good I'll switch them out

If your curious about the app-release it's just a standard launcher built from the sdk with some slight modifications.


<rant> marshmallow and android tv are terrible<rant>
 

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  • app-release.apk
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  • leanbackshortcut.apk
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  • Settings.apk
    15.1 KB · Views: 4,305
Last edited:

darthcircuit

Senior Member
Apr 4, 2010
51
5
0
This does work, so thank you for that. The big downside tho is that you have no access to the system settings app if you are using XBMC Launcher as I am in my case.

This is what I did:

Before deleting/renaming the apk for LeanbackLauncher, i pulled a copy of it to my laptop with ADB. I then installed XBMC launcher and configured it. I then renamed the leanbacklauncher.apk and rebooted the system. Kodi started just fine. I then sideloaded the copy of leanback launcher i pulled earlier, so that it shows up as a launcher option when i press the home button. Unfortunately it doesn't show up in the Android Apps section of Kodi, so we'll have to try something else.

What i'm doing now is restoring the Kodi backup I made from my FireTV.

In the favourites.xml i added this:

Code:
<favourite name="LeanbackLauncher" thumb="androidapp://sources/apps/com.google.android.leanbacklauncher.png">StartAndroidActivity("com.google.android.leanbacklauncher")</favourite>

I have no idea whether or not my favorite will work as it is still restoring, and it's a fairly large backup. I will edit this post when the restore finishes to update whether this is a viable solution. With any luck, we can keep Leanback as a backup so we can manage apps and settings and use kodi for everything else.

EDIT: So that didn't work. I will keep playing with it and update if I find something.
 
Last edited:

unvaluablespace

Senior Member
Jul 4, 2007
183
28
0
This does work, so thank you for that. The big downside tho is that you have no access to the system settings app if you are using XBMC Launcher as I am in my case.

This is what I did:

Before deleting/renaming the apk for LeanbackLauncher, i pulled a copy of it to my laptop with ADB. I then installed XBMC launcher and configured it. I then renamed the leanbacklauncher.apk and rebooted the system. Kodi started just fine. I then sideloaded the copy of leanback launcher i pulled earlier, so that it shows up as a launcher option when i press the home button. Unfortunately it doesn't show up in the Android Apps section of Kodi, so we'll have to try something else.

What i'm doing now is restoring the Kodi backup I made from my FireTV.

In the favourites.xml i added this:

Code:
<favourite name="LeanbackLauncher" thumb="androidapp://sources/apps/com.google.android.leanbacklauncher.png">StartAndroidActivity("com.google.android.leanbacklauncher")</favourite>

I have no idea whether or not my favorite will work as it is still restoring, and it's a fairly large backup. I will edit this post when the restore finishes to update whether this is a viable solution. With any luck, we can keep Leanback as a backup so we can manage apps and settings and use kodi for everything else.

EDIT: So that didn't work. I will keep playing with it and update if I find something.

Has anyone tried this but with a different launcher like halauncher? thats the one i use but i downgraded back to lollipop cuz i was having too much issues with marshmallow, so i cant try it personally. but it sounds like xbmc launcher is just not seeing it as an installed app. i wonder if halauncher would? personally i wouldnt mind keeping halauncher as my default home launcher and just getting into leanback launcher and settings when needed.
 

Asadullah

Senior Member
Aug 24, 2010
1,029
350
0
casselberry
I don't think leanback launch like settings app has a launcher or leanback launcher activity so if you wanted it to show up you would have to use an app like the settings app app I made that opens it up. Or something that makes shortcuts or a regular home screen.
 

darthcircuit

Senior Member
Apr 4, 2010
51
5
0
I fixed it!

So, the settings app is genius. Thanks a bunch for that. It will probably do all that I need it to, but I really like having the old launcher too just in case. So here's what I did:

-Decompiled leanbacklauncher.apk with apktool
-Edited the manifest so it launches the activity like a normal app
-recompiled/signed the apk
-sideloaded
-Profit

The apk i've attached makes the app show up in Kodi's "Android Apps" list and allows me to launch leanback back to the launcher.

The downside of this is that Leanback is no longer a launcher option, so it cannot be made a permanent launcher again without uninstalling my apk and reinstalling the official one.

I've included the original launcher as well in case anyone wants it.

BREJ6qN.jpg
 

Attachments

  • LeanbackLauncherKodi.apk
    5.9 MB · Views: 788
  • LeanbackLauncher.apk
    5.9 MB · Views: 675

breakthestatic

Senior Member
Jun 15, 2010
98
46
38
So, the settings app is genius. Thanks a bunch for that. It will probably do all that I need it to, but I really like having the old launcher too just in case. So here's what I did:
BREJ6qN.jpg

What skin are you using? That looks awesome to me. Way better than the standard kodi theme (and several of the popular 3rd party ones I've tried).
 

darthcircuit

Senior Member
Apr 4, 2010
51
5
0
What skin are you using? That looks awesome to me. Way better than the standard kodi theme (and several of the popular 3rd party ones I've tried).

It's called Eminence. I like it a lot.

It's in the default skin repo.

EDIT: Asadullah! I just noticed you updated your first post, so thanks for all the work you did :) That is marvelous!
 
Last edited:
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Juhler

Senior Member
Nov 23, 2012
59
12
0
Kolding
So, the settings app is genius. Thanks a bunch for that. It will probably do all that I need it to, but I really like having the old launcher too just in case. So here's what I did:

-Decompiled leanbacklauncher.apk with apktool
-Edited the manifest so it launches the activity like a normal app
-recompiled/signed the apk
-sideloaded
-Profit

The apk i've attached makes the app show up in Kodi's "Android Apps" list and allows me to launch leanback back to the launcher.

The downside of this is that Leanback is no longer a launcher option, so it cannot be made a permanent launcher again without uninstalling my apk and reinstalling the official one.

I've included the original launcher as well in case anyone wants it.

Hey, great work, but it does not work on my shield :(

Does it need to be rooted to function?

I accessed it on a USB drive through ES Explorer, but it could not install it unfortunately.

EDIT: I now see that this was for the Nexus Player, i did not notice, i google myself to this thread..
 
Last edited:

darthcircuit

Senior Member
Apr 4, 2010
51
5
0
I did have to root my nexus player for that to work, yes. I had to remove leanback from the system apps and install mine by itself. I'm sure something similar can be done with the shield tho.
 

Asadullah

Senior Member
Aug 24, 2010
1,029
350
0
casselberry
The adb hide method will work with xbmc launcher right, that has the ability to be set as default launcher?

I honestly haven't used the xbmc launcher one thing you could try to be certain is to install the launcher on the first page and xbmc then run the adb hide command push the home button and if the xbmc launcher is there your good to go and you can uninstall the other launcher
 
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Andy4Shurr

Senior Member
Jun 3, 2014
438
92
48
Manchester
So, the settings app is genius. Thanks a bunch for that. It will probably do all that I need it to, but I really like having the old launcher too just in case. So here's what I did:

-Decompiled leanbacklauncher.apk with apktool
-Edited the manifest so it launches the activity like a normal app
-recompiled/signed the apk
-sideloaded
-Profit

The apk i've attached makes the app show up in Kodi's "Android Apps" list and allows me to launch leanback back to the launcher.

The downside of this is that Leanback is no longer a launcher option, so it cannot be made a permanent launcher again without uninstalling my apk and reinstalling the official one.

I've included the original launcher as well in case anyone wants it.

BREJ6qN.jpg

I'm running into errors when recompiling my android tv apps using apktool. I'm on the latest build. Did you experience any issues when recompiling?

EDIT: I just didn't clear my old framework files from userdata, all good now! :)

I couldn't get the modified Leanback Launcher app from the nexus player to install on my shield tv so I have just extracted mine from the shield, decompiled it and copied the manifest info over from yours darthcircuit. I've recompiled and signed it and it looks to be ok but I'll test it all properly when I'm back home later. If this one works on my shield tv I will provide links for anyone else that is interested.
 
Last edited:
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darthcircuit

Senior Member
Apr 4, 2010
51
5
0
I'm running into errors when recompiling my android tv apps using apktool. I'm on the latest build. Did you experience any issues when recompiling?

EDIT: I just didn't clear my old framework files from userdata, all good now! :)

I couldn't get the modified Leanback Launcher app from the nexus player to install on my shield tv so I have just extracted mine from the shield, decompiled it and copied the manifest info over from yours darthcircuit. I've recompiled and signed it and it looks to be ok but I'll test it all properly when I'm back home later. If this one works on my shield tv I will provide links for anyone else that is interested.
I'm glad you got it figured out :) i don't know if i would have been much help. I was mostly guessing when i decompiled and recompiled. I'm no dev by any stretch. Yay for the powers of google-fu.

I'd be interested in trying your leanback launcher. Mine works fine it seems, but it also seems to try to start listening to the mic when i open the app.
 

Andy4Shurr

Senior Member
Jun 3, 2014
438
92
48
Manchester
I'm glad you got it figured out :) i don't know if i would have been much help. I was mostly guessing when i decompiled and recompiled. I'm no dev by any stretch. Yay for the powers of google-fu.

I'd be interested in trying your leanback launcher. Mine works fine it seems, but it also seems to try to start listening to the mic when i open the app.

Mine installed ok, no errors like before, but it just closes instantly. So back to the drawing board with that. I've not had time to look at it since but I'll take another look asap.

I'm not a dev either, I have done some basic programming in various languages but I'm not at a level or have much experience with linux/android.

UPDATE: I just thought I'd come back and let people know that since I had the MM update on my 16GB Shield TV this method and the leanback apps work fine, so that seemed to solve the issues for me! Thanks for all the info on here :)
 
Last edited:
Feb 7, 2016
42
2
0
Anyone tried running this on a Sony Android TV? It runs MM 6.0.1 , so presumably it could work.

The problem with Google's Leanbacklauncher for Android TV's is the priority setting of "2" in the intent filter:

<intent-filter android:priority="2">
<action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />
<category android:name="android.intent.category.HOME" />
<category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
</intent-filter>

Apparently only system apps can have priorities higher than "0". If / when they do, Android will take the higher priority apps over lower ones.
 

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  • 6
    So your ready to change the default launcher but google isn't letting playing fair (shame shame google).
    Don't worry I gotcha. Lets jump into it. There's two methods you can try and they both work about the same
    it's all up to you, now is a good time to remind you that you take all responsibility for what your doing
    to your Nexus player.

    So the first method is the no root method (which I give 75% of the credit to vlasp for a post he made). Very
    simple install the launcher that you would like to use but more importantly it has to have the ability to be
    set as the default launcher. Some launchers don't have this ability it's very important. Next connect your
    nexus to your computer and open up a command prompt and type this:

    Code:
    adb shell pm hide com.google.android.leanbacklauncher

    If you want to undo it type this
    Code:
    adb shell pm unhide com.google.android.leanbacklauncher

    I made a very poor quality video here showing how's it's done.

    So the second method requires root.
    First thing of course is to install the launcher you wanna use and update the leanback launcher (if you still
    want to use it). Open up Es file explorer and mount everything as read/write. Now navigate to /system/priv-app
    and delete the folder leanbacklauncher. Reboot and that's it.


    HOW TO HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TO
    If you still want access to the leanback launcher and/or have settings in the app drawer download the settings
    and/or leanback shortcut attached to this thread and install it. You'll now have the a settings and/or
    leanback launcher shortcut in your app drawer.

    Thanks to breakthecircuit and unvaluablespace for some great ideas.
    If you have an icon that you think would look better than the ones included in these apps post them on here and
    check them out. If they look good I'll switch them out

    If your curious about the app-release it's just a standard launcher built from the sdk with some slight modifications.


    <rant> marshmallow and android tv are terrible<rant>
    2
    You gave me a great idea. Thanks Here's an app called settings. it's 24kb installed and all it does is open system settings

    mved app to first post
    2
    Thanks. Not time critical at all, but I appreciate you looking into it.
    I just did a fresh stock nougat install. Used this https://github.com/seSuperuser/AOSP-SU-PATCH to gain root. Installed mLauncher from the store and then installed home switcher from the store clicked the hide/unhide leanback command every thing worked great.
    1
    What skin are you using? That looks awesome to me. Way better than the standard kodi theme (and several of the popular 3rd party ones I've tried).

    It's called Eminence. I like it a lot.

    It's in the default skin repo.

    EDIT: Asadullah! I just noticed you updated your first post, so thanks for all the work you did :) That is marvelous!
    1
    The adb hide method will work with xbmc launcher right, that has the ability to be set as default launcher?

    I honestly haven't used the xbmc launcher one thing you could try to be certain is to install the launcher on the first page and xbmc then run the adb hide command push the home button and if the xbmc launcher is there your good to go and you can uninstall the other launcher
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