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Thread: iOS7 .car File Extractor / Compactor! Start of a New Theming Platform?

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Hello Everyone! A handful of us have been having discussions about where theming might end up with the pending iOS7 JailBreak. WinterBoard, DreamBoard, Dylibs, Manual file replacement; it's enough to
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  1. #1
    King Kong ain't got nothing on me! King_O_Hill's Avatar
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    Default iOS7 .car File Extractor / Compactor! Start of a New Theming Platform?
    Hello Everyone!


    A handful of us have been having discussions about where theming might end up with the pending iOS7 JailBreak.


    WinterBoard, DreamBoard, Dylibs, Manual file replacement; it's enough to make your head spin.


    So, we thought it was time to start an official thread and share some ideas and tools to see what trouble that we can get into. This is an open thread with the intent of sharing ideas to promote learning and advanced techniques. Everyone is welcome to come and offer help, suggestions, ideas and ask many questions. Please feel free to jump into the conversation at any time. Once we have something working, I will organize and repost here on the first couple of posts.

    Looking forward to the future!


    Link's are from the following contributors:

    Jato_BZ
    June'sIphone

    Thank's for your contributions!

    First one is just an FYI. It's a spread sheet that is maintained to show what works on which version of iOS. It's a very nice resource:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...list_api&pli=1


    Here are links to .car extractors:


    @0xced's UI extractor: https://github.com/0xced/iOS-Artwork-Extractor

    It doesn't grab ALL .car files just the core. We essentially need to extract any given .car file not just some.

    Repacking isn't essential IMO at the moment. Sure it would be a nice luxury but not essential. Just need to focus on the extract process to move on from there are my thoughts.


    Here's another extractor Xcode based:

    @stroughtonsmith: https://github.com/steventroughtonsmith/cartool


    --********************--

    As we are learning, .car isn't well documented. But there is quite a bit on .bom

    Lsbom
    https://developer.apple.com/library/...8/lsbom.8.html

    Archiver
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archive_Utility

    Use lsbom to inspect bill of materials
    http://ilostmynotes.blogspot.com/201...ckage.html?m=1


    --********************--

    Winterboard isn't available for iOS7 nor is a jailbreak. Yet. To early to tell. Although I know a few have seen this.
    https://github.com/steventroughtonsmith/cartool

    Proof of concept in a way. If anyone wants to play with cycript you can. Even on unjailbroken phone. You can hook into any process run the tree and find and try whatever you like.

    Saurik recently did a demonstration.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5d1cK0nq4GY
    Last edited by King_O_Hill; 10-12-2013 at 10:09 PM.
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    Full Moon Krima's Avatar
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    Very cool King. Jato and I were talking a little about this today so glad you started a thread.

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    King Kong ain't got nothing on me! King_O_Hill's Avatar
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    It's definitely time. Thanks for jumping on board bro!
    Widget-Weather App Now Available! Also with MyLocation Support!
    Check out the thread here - Widget-Weather
    To install the Widget-Weather app, just go to Cydia and install. This will also remove MyLocation, as it is built in!
    Want to protect your JailBreak! Add this repo http://cydia.myrepospace.com/iLEXiNFO/ & Install "iLEX R.A.T."
    It will allow you to bring your phone back to a fresh jailbroken state!

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    .artwork assassin Jato_BZ's Avatar
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    Nice work King, I also have some positive news. Caught up with Doug Dev to get my comp that he's fixed now. He's almost onboard to look at the .car files.

    He read Dave's Github mention that's posted below.

    Doug wants to take the second approach & not rely on XCode...If anyone can possibly do this Doug can.

    We've seen Doug work his magic on the "Greyscale FIX" for Dave Peck's iOS extractor tool. Something that Dave gave up on.

    The changes that iOS7 brings as per below

    "iOS7 introduces a new notion of "asset catalogs" which are managed by XCode and which are ultimately compiled down into .car files by the actool binary.

    Asset catalogs in iOS7 are radically different than the .artwork files found in previous versions of iOS. They contain images, yes, but they also contain complex metadata (like 3- and 9-grid slicing information), embedded fonts, paths, glyphs, icons, and a whole bunch of other stuff besides.

    The bottom line: reverse-engineering these files is going to be a massive undertaking. More importantly, it may not be necessary anymore. Read on for details.

    What you should use instead of this tool.

    If you want to extract the contents of .car files, you'll want to build a native iOS app that uses undocumented UIKit APIs to iterate through the available images. The best option right now is probably 0xced's UIKit-Artwork-Extractor I suspect we'll see it quickly updated for iOS7.

    If you want to create new .car files, you're in luck: just create an XCode 5 project, create an image catalog, and add your images to it. When you build your project, XCode5 will build a proper .car file for you.

    Don't want to use XCode projects? No problem; inside the XCode 5 app bundle is a binary called actool that is used to turn an image catalog into a .car file. You can man actool for more information; it's not terribly well documented, but I was able to get it to create simple and valid .car files.

    It's worth pointing out some notable disadvantages to this approach over using my tool in the past:

    You have to be a registered Apple developer in order to use these tools
    The overall process of extracting images and then creating new archives for the purposes of modding the iOS UI has gotten a lot more cumbersome. (Although a few shell scripts could theoretically help you here.)
    What you should know if you want to try reverse-engineering this stuff.

    All this said, it is fundamentally possible to update my iOS-artwork-tool for iOS7. I just don't think it's worth it to do so, especially given that there are other tools that can accomplish similar goals.

    If you feel like you're up to the challenge, here's what I know.

    Under the hood, the .car file format is actually a Mac OS X BOM (Bill Of Materials) file.

    Typical BOM files can be manipulated with the lsbom and mkbom command-line utilities. However, iOS7 .car files aren't typical BOM files. Standard BOM files contain a Paths variable in the BOM manifest; the Paths section is basically a directory tree.

    While the new .car files are BOM files, they don't contain a Paths variable. Instead, they have ten unique variables, including CARHEADER, RENDITIONS, COLORS, FONTS, FONTSIZES, GLYPHS, BEZELS, FACETKEYS, ELEMENT_INFO, and PART_INFO. In order to properly support the new *.car files, you'll have to reverse-engineer each of these sections. The good news is that actool is quite capable of creating content for each of these sections, so it should be possible to generate a number of handy example files from which you can then reverse-engineer the file layout.

    One last "gotcha": the Mac OS X BOM file format is itself undocumented. Luckily, someone has taken a crack at it and has built a good-enough implementation of lsbom that you can at least get started on understanding the layout of the files. You can find this re-implementation at cooljeanius/osxbom"
    Last edited by Jato_BZ; 10-09-2013 at 08:38 PM.
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    Geeze Jato, good looking out bro. I'm happy that someone is as invested as you are in coming up with a viable theming option for iOS 7. Appreciate your time on this.

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    Nice Jato! Now we have somewhere to start!
    Widget-Weather App Now Available! Also with MyLocation Support!
    Check out the thread here - Widget-Weather
    To install the Widget-Weather app, just go to Cydia and install. This will also remove MyLocation, as it is built in!
    Want to protect your JailBreak! Add this repo http://cydia.myrepospace.com/iLEXiNFO/ & Install "iLEX R.A.T."
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    Yip hopefully we can hit the ground running! Might even be good to get Doug on here. Altho I get the feeling he likes to work on things on his own.

    Aren't most JB Devs like that anyways?

    I must admit it seems like a HUGE & daunting challenge to do it without XCode but see what comes of it! Even offered Doug my MacBookPro as I never use it if he wanted to try the Xcode method!

    More ppl onboard the better IMO!
    Last edited by Jato_BZ; 10-09-2013 at 08:36 PM.
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    I"m here to learn as much as I can.. Will just be a reader until I even learn the definition of a '.car file'.. LOL!! I've watched the iOS 6 Theme Guide thread forever - but feel like everyone's speaking Greek and I'm speaking Mandarin.. LOL!!

    Here to watch and learn...
    Here to help if I can. If I can't I know someone who can!

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    so we'd be changing the metadata in a long story short? I've got a chance to play around with Xcode and it's not discouraging, it's just going to be a little tougher

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    King Kong ain't got nothing on me! King_O_Hill's Avatar
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    Awesome! That's what we need is to hit it from both angles. Thanks!
    Widget-Weather App Now Available! Also with MyLocation Support!
    Check out the thread here - Widget-Weather
    To install the Widget-Weather app, just go to Cydia and install. This will also remove MyLocation, as it is built in!
    Want to protect your JailBreak! Add this repo http://cydia.myrepospace.com/iLEXiNFO/ & Install "iLEX R.A.T."
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    I think the quote I posted sums up the .car files. From what I've seen inside an A4 7.0 IPSW is that ALL working pngs for apps are now included in "asset.car" files inside the App folder as defined by Dave. So essentially IMO a zip file locked down by Apple. We just need to figure out the methods to extract & repack effectively like we have done in the past! Since we're starting on it now might give us a lot more time to get things together!
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    King Kong ain't got nothing on me! King_O_Hill's Avatar
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    Yes, I agree. ^
    Widget-Weather App Now Available! Also with MyLocation Support!
    Check out the thread here - Widget-Weather
    To install the Widget-Weather app, just go to Cydia and install. This will also remove MyLocation, as it is built in!
    Want to protect your JailBreak! Add this repo http://cydia.myrepospace.com/iLEXiNFO/ & Install "iLEX R.A.T."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pj2039 View Post
    so we'd be changing the metadata in a long story short? I've got a chance to play around with Xcode and it's not discouraging, it's just going to be a little tougher
    Yes & no I guess...you want to repack your own pngs but retain the same info so the iOS accepts the modded .car files is my understanding. Similar to .artwork modding. U change the png but the headers etc are still written as the iOS would expect to call on them.

    I ran @0xced's UI extractor kit from his Github here https://github.com/0xced/iOS-Artwork-Extractor

    It doesn't grab ALL .car files just the core. We essentially need to extract any given .car file not just some.

    Repacking isn't essential IMO at the moment. Sure it would be a nice luxury but not essential. Just need to focus on the extract process to move on from there are my thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by King_O_Hill View Post
    Yes, I agree. ^
    King do u want to include @0xceds extractor in the first post? I know there's another one out there. Maybe under Tools?

    Here's another extractor Xcode based

    From @stroughtonsmith

    https://github.com/steventroughtonsmith/cartool
    Last edited by Jato_BZ; 10-09-2013 at 09:01 PM.
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    @Jato we had this discussion on Twitter earlier lol. I see the pngs and the car files. It's just going to be a different way about the process as to building a normal theme. Its not harder, its just an adaptation. When did DAVE get a chance to look at it?

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    Yes, I'll get the up on the first post!
    Widget-Weather App Now Available! Also with MyLocation Support!
    Check out the thread here - Widget-Weather
    To install the Widget-Weather app, just go to Cydia and install. This will also remove MyLocation, as it is built in!
    Want to protect your JailBreak! Add this repo http://cydia.myrepospace.com/iLEXiNFO/ & Install "iLEX R.A.T."
    It will allow you to bring your phone back to a fresh jailbroken state!

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    Master Theme Creator June'sIphone's Avatar
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    .car isn't well documented. But there is quite a bit on .bom

    Lsbom
    https://developer.apple.com/library/...8/lsbom.8.html

    Archiver
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archive_Utility

    Use lsbom to inspect bill of materials
    http://ilostmynotes.blogspot.com/201...ckage.html?m=1

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    .artwork assassin Jato_BZ's Avatar
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    Thanks June! Great to see u contributing! And thanks for the extra info! It all helps!
    Twitter ID: @Jato_BZ
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    King Kong ain't got nothing on me! King_O_Hill's Avatar
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    Thanks June!
    Widget-Weather App Now Available! Also with MyLocation Support!
    Check out the thread here - Widget-Weather
    To install the Widget-Weather app, just go to Cydia and install. This will also remove MyLocation, as it is built in!
    Want to protect your JailBreak! Add this repo http://cydia.myrepospace.com/iLEXiNFO/ & Install "iLEX R.A.T."
    It will allow you to bring your phone back to a fresh jailbroken state!

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  36. #19
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    hi to all i was reading all King and Jato post i can say that i don't understand well this things but i am here to learn hehe.great job guys sow far.

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    Maybe this was already covered but I just didn't understand it correctly. Is it possible that this .car file wouldn't have to be repackaged? Instead, maybe they could figure out a way to just 'edit' it w/ custom artwork. I understand that in order to edit it, you'd have to open it. But, maybe, instead of 'opening & extracting' images, we could 'open it & overwrite' images.

    That way, iOS will read it as the default file but everything inside is changed.

    I don't know...just a thought...
    Last edited by thazsar; 10-10-2013 at 06:13 AM.

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