gmail - How can I install the Google Apps Package (Play Store, ...) on my Android device?

  • Questioner

    I have recently installed a custom ROM and cannot find the Play Store. It seems like all apps that belong to Google are missing.

    How can I install the Google Apps Package (Play Store, ...) on my Android device?

  • Answers
  • Evan Carroll


    Only Android devices that are licensed by the Open Handset Alliance contain the so called Google Apps. Usually people associate apps like Google Maps, Google Play Store, etc. with Android, but because of the open-source nature of Android, manufactures can sell Android devices without Google Apps and therefore avoid to pay the license fee.

    Custom ROMs

    At first cyanogenmod shipped its ROM with pre-installed Google Apps. In September 2009 the founder of Cyanogen received a cease and desist letter from Google, demanding that the Google Apps not be included in the team's ROMs, since the ROM could be ported to devices which are not licensed to have the Google Apps. In turn, that would bypass the requirement for the devices to be licensed. For a few days, development on the ROM ceased, there were outcries from Android users all over the Internet, and many bloggers suspected Google had just shot itself in the foot.

    Eventually, an alternate method was found, whereby Google Apps are not included in the ROM proper but the Google Apps which came with a device would be backed up by the device's custom recovery or another app, and then re-installed onto the device once the new ROM was flashed. This would therefore "Google-ify" one's ROM.


    How to install Google Apps?

    Generally speaking:

    • If you don't want to or cannot root your device: (Supported on less devices than the root method, but doesn't require root)

      1. Confirm that your bootloader is unlocked.

      2. Confirm that your device supports either Fastboot or Odin/Heimdall.

      3. If not already installed, install a custom recovery for your device using Fastboot or Odin/Heimdall.

      4. Install a Google Apps Package using the newly installed Custom Recovery.

    • If root is not a problem: (Supported on more devices)

      1. See if you can root the device

      2. If root then:

        • If possible: Install the Google Apps package for your Android version
        • If not possible: Install ROM (if exists) with Google Framework.

    Further References

  • Seasoned Advice (cooking)

    I brought my son the Binatone Kidzstar Ulitimate Tablet for xmas which runs on andoid. There is a way of getting content from the google play store (without the need to root) if you own another android device with google play already installed.

    1. On the tablet download the "esfile explorer"(or similar)

    2. On the other device in my case it was a samusng galaxy s3 download "app backup and restore"

    3. Download all the games and apps you want to download on the other device.

    4. Open app backup and restore and backup the apps/games you wish to put onto the tablet.

    5. Remove the SD Card from the other device and put it into the the tablet.

    6. connect the tablet upto a pc and copy the files from the sd card onto the tablet memory.

    7. In the tablet open the ES file explorer and find the files you have just copied and touch each one and it will ask you to install them click yes and the files will be installed onto the android device.

  • Related Question

    applications - Install Gingerbread Google Apps (gapps package) over ICS
  • svarog

    I have recently flashed a custom ICS rom on my device, and then installed from zip via recovery mode the relevant gapps package for that rom (from here: Let's say I now want to revert my google apps back to their old Gingerbread versions and install a 2.3 gapps package, how would I safely do that ?!

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