How to Add Custom Images for Android Magazine Lockscreen

A fair number of devices are shipping with Magazine Lockscreen, otherwise known as MgzKeyguard when you look under installed /system packages on your device. This app basically displays random photos and quotes as your lockscreen wallpaper, and it auto-updates itself from time to time to grab new photos. The weird thing is that there is no way to set your own photographs as the slideshow, unless you’re on Nougat, in which case you can only choose up to 9 photographs for the lockscreen.

In this guide, I am going to show you how to take apart the .apk file and replace all of the stock photographs inside it with your own, then prevent the app from updating itself so it will only display your photos, not ones it grabs from the internet.


A device that has the Magazine Lockscreen feature


Cwebp Utility

Optional: WebP Photoshop Plug-in

  1. First thing you’ll want to do is install a root explorer app from Google Play. This can be FX Explorer, Root Explorer, ES File Explorer, etc. Anything that can browse /system.
  2. Now you need to find apk and copy it to somewhere else, like onto your SD card.
  3. Connect your device to your computer via USB, and copy the mgzkeyguard.apk from your SD card onto your computer.
  4. Now right click on the .apk file, and choose Open With > WinRar. Now you can browse inside the contents of the .APK file. The photographs you want to change are inside \Res\Drawable-xxxx, the xxxx is depending on your screen size, for example there is Drawable-xhdpi.

If you’ll take notice, the wallpaper images are named wallpaper01.webp, wallpaper02.webp, etc. What the heck is a .webp file? It’s an open-source lossless compression used on a variety of internet images, and allegedly it can achieve up to 30 percent compression over JPEG without any loss in quality.

Luckily, as an open-source project, there are a number of tools we can use to convert your favourite image files into .webp files.

  1. So gather all the photographs you want, and start renaming them into wallpaper01, wallpaper02, etc.
  2. Now download and install the cwebp encoder tool from the link above, and install it. This will allow you to convert your images to .webp format via command line. Alternatively, you can install the Webp Photoshop plugin, and convert your images that way.

To convert images to .webp via the cwebp command interface, type:

cwebp -q 80 image.png -o image.webp

Now once you have converted all of your images to .webp format, begin dragging them inside the .apk folder, replacing the old .webp images with your new ones. Just make sure they have the exact same file names.

  1. Now we need to put the .apk back where it belongs, there are a couple ways to do this.

a) Open up your rom and navigate to the place where you took your .apk file from. Click on the old .apk file and press the delete button. Now drag your new edited .apk file into the zip. Then connect your device to your computer and drag the ROM onto the sdcard and flash it via recovery. Now reboot the system and see your changes in effect!

b) Copy your new .apk file from your computer to your device. Then, using Root Browser or a similar app, navigate to the old .apk file and look at the permisions. (eg. RW–r–) Now delete the old file and replace with the new, but make sure to set the permissions the same as they were before. Now Simply reboot and see your changes in effect!

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.