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Creating flashable zip with minor modifications to stock

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Hi guys


Bit of background:

I need some Android 4.x smartphones for my new business employees and as a startup, need to keep costs down. This makes the Y300 of interest.  The problem is, we need to install a custom app, complete with homepage widget and this app does not seem to get on well with the Huawei customised launcher and keyboard.  I do not wish to root the phones and wondered if this was feasible:


1) Take one phone, Unlock bootloader and flash CWM via fastboot.

2) Dump current ROM rom to a zip file in CWM

3) Replace Keyboard and Launcher apk's in the zip file with Google Keyboard and Nova Launcher apk's, renaming them with the original filenames of the Huawei-customised equivalents. (while we're at it, edit build.prop to get rid of the annoying data popup)

4) Repeat step1 on each phone, copy the zip to the SD cards and flash each phone to the custom ROM, reflash stock recovery and lock the bootloader


What I hope to achieve by this is:

1) Root privileges for Nova Launcher and no way of accidentally or deliberately reverting to Huawei's custom UI or keyboard. It is my understanding (correct or otherwise) that by installing Nova as a system app will allow it such privileges without rooting.

2) Having set the first phone up how we want it, back up Nova Settings. Then copy this to the Nova backup directory on the other handsets and restore from it at first boot


Am I on the right lines here, guys? Can these mods be done so simply? If not can anyone point me to the resources to help me learn how to do this properly?

I do not really want to get embroilled too deeply in my specific reasons for wanting to do this, merely whether this would be a feasible fix. The alternative, of course, is spend a bit more on some handsets with a more favourable stock UI for our app and widget. The fear of 'bricking' handsets steers me slightly in this direction tbh.


Still, if this is feasible, does anyone know which apk files in the system partition I'd need to replace?


One last one - if I create a 'data' folder in the zip and a subfolder 'app' then put our custom app apk into it, would this install our custom app in user space at the same time as the ROM?


Any help most gratefully received.


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