GApps: What Is It And How Can You Install It?

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GApps: What Is It And How Can You Install It?
GApps: What Is It And How Can You Install It?

The history of the GApps started in 2009. Steve Kondik, developer and creator of the CyanogenMod, originally integrated the Google applications into his custom ROM. Google was a thorn in the side - because the Google Apps are not part of the open source Android operating system. At the end of September 2009, Steve Kondik signed an injunction, after which the developer contacted the US company to find a joint solution. Since then, the Google apps in the form of so-called GApps packages must always be installed separately on smartphones and tablets with custom ROMs - Google commented on this in a post on the Android Developers Blog. However, there are now several deviceswho use an officially Google-licensed version of the CyanogenMod and are therefore equipped with the Google Apps right from the start, such as the OPPO N3, the OnePlus One and the Yu Yureka from Micromax.

The GApps at a glance

The scope of the GApps packages is decided from Android version to Android version and from Custom ROM to Custom ROM. While the GApps packages of the CyanogenMod community only differ in the CM version used, the Paranoid team offers various app packages that differ in their scope. For example, there is the so-called "Google Stock Package", which includes all Android apps that Google also installs on its devices. If you are satisfied with the Google Play Store and the Play Services and install the rest via the Play Store, you can use the so-called "Pico Modular Package".

In the following list we have listed all applications that can usually be expected in a GApps ZIP (for example from Paranoid). In addition to the apps, some system files and (live) wallpapers also belong to the conventional scope.

  • Google calendar
  • Google Google Now Launcher
  • Google search
  • Google keyboard
  • Google Text2Speech (TTS)
  • Google Play apps: Google Play Store, Google Play Games, Google Play Kiosk, Google Play Books, Google Play Music, Google Play Movies
  • Google Play Services
  • Google Hangouts
  • Google camera
  • Google Drive
  • Google Keep
  • Google translator
  • Google Chrome
  • Google Cloud Print
  • Google email
  • Gmail
  • Google sync services (calendar and contacts)
  • YouTube
  • Google+
  • FaceUnlock
  • TalkBack
  • Sound Search for Google Play
  • Quickoffice
  • Google Wallet

Installation of the GApps: manually or via Gapps Manager

Manual installation of the GApps is comparatively easy if the device is already equipped with a custom recovery - this is usually the case when using custom ROMs. Users of the popular custom ROM CyanogenMod can, for example, download the GApps as a package from the CM website and install them in a few simple steps. The Paranoid Android team also regularly provides updated GApps packages for flashing.

  1. First, the GApps package suitable for the custom ROM version used must be downloaded.
  2. The downloaded ZIP file must then be copied to the directory on the Android device using the USB cable or ADB. The ADB command for this is:

    adb push /sdcard/

  3. Now start your smartphone or tablet in recovery mode and then select the "install zip" option.
  4. Now you have to navigate to the ZIP file that you previously loaded.
  5. Finally, simply restart the Android device in "normal" mode.
  6. Finished!

Another option for subsequent installation is to use the "Gapps Manager" app. Install the app on your smartphone or tablet (root rights required) and select the Android version used after the first start. The GApps Manager then downloads the required Google apps and saves them as a ZIP file. The ZIP file can then be installed using any custom recovery. The Android versions KitKat (4.4.x), JellyBean (4.1.x-4.3.x), Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.x) and Gingerbread (2.3.x) are currently supported.

The app could not be found in the app store.

Google Apps: regulations for manufacturers

A prerequisite for the standard pre-installed Google apps on smartphones and tablets is that the manufacturer of the device has signed a so-called Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA) with Google. In 2011, it became known that manufacturers had to enter into this agreement with Google in order to be able to use the Google apps and services. Hardware manufacturers have to install the entire range of Google apps on their devices, true to the motto "All or nothing". Only a few applications, such as Google Earth, are optional. In addition, the manufacturers undertake not to make any changes or modifications to the Google applications. The distribution of applications in other app stores is also prohibited,such as the Samsung App Store or the Amazon App Shop. Even the position of the applications on the devices is specified. If a manufacturer violates Google's requirements, the license to use the Google apps expires.

Links on the subject

  • CyanogenMod: Install Google Play Store - Here's how
  • AOKP - Custom Rom with the power of the unicorn
  • GApps for Android 5.0 Lollipop: Flashable Google Apps packages for AOSP ROMs
  • CyanogenMod: Current GApps packages for download
  • XDA Developers Forum: GApps packages from Paranoid Android for download
  • Current GApps packages for download

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