Make Your Own Gapps Package with Ease

Much of what users commonly refer to as “Android” isn’t actually a part of the OS itself, but rather first-party Google applications that have become integral to Android’s functionality or look and feel. This includes apps like Gmail and the Google Play Store. And for most people, it’s optimal to use these first party Google applications. But if you’re running a rooted device with a source-built custom ROM, chances are that you need to download a separate Gapps package.

Various Gapps packages are already available, as some big projects like AOSPA have released their own versions. But even with so many variants available, not everyone is able to find a package that has every app they need without apps they don’t want. Because of this, XDA Forum Member wilmsn created a Windows batch script that does the trick for you and removes or adds all the necessary files from the archive. The script simply unpacks your existing package, deletes files, compresses them, and signs the archive. You then end up with a separate package that’s ready to flash. If you want to preserve some files, simply remove them from the list and they will be kept.

If you ever wanted to automate process of making Gapps for your own personal use, this script is for you. You can visit the original thread to learn more.

Get the Latest Gapps with 0-Day PA Gapps Compilation

It’s no secret that pairing your device’s custom ROM with a good Google Apps package is quite important. This is especially true thanks to the emergence of ART, and its incompatibilities with certain Gapps packages.

In the past we’ve featured quite a few ways of getting Gapps on your device with minimal struggle. But thanks to XDA Senior Member TKruzze and the official PA Google Apps, there is a fantastic solution for users of any 4.3- or 4.4-based ROM.

So, what makes this Gapps package unique? For starters, the applications are updated 0-day. In other words, a new version of the Gapps package appears as soon as Google releases a new version. Next, several (modular) packages with varying numbers of built-in applications are offered. Finally, new versions to the Gapps come as OTA updates if you’re a Paranoid Android user.

While these are the official Paranoid Android Google Apps, they should work on any 4.3- or 4.4-based ROM, as long as you select the proper version of Android. Head over to the original thread to get in on all of the latest Gapps action.

Download the Correct GApps Fast and Easily with Gapps Manager

If you’ve ever used a custom ROM, you know that due to legal reasons, most of them are released without Google’s proprietary applications, simply known as GApps. Those packages can be a bit finicky, as every version of Android needs a particular package, so sometimes it’s hard to choose the correct file to download.

In the past, we’ve talked about two applications capable of downloading GApps packages easily: EasyGApps and GooManager. But since KitKat’s release, updated Gapps are not hosted on our partner goo.im anymore.

XDA Senior Member ebildude123 created a simple application to download the correct package directly to your phone or tablet, so all you need to do is to apply the package from the recovery of your device. The application supports every version of Android starting from Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread onwards. You can even download GApps compatible with the new ART compiler introduced in KitKat. And if for some reason you are not sure of your Android version, Gapps Manager will let you know so you can pick your poison.

With Gapps Manager, you won’t spend any second longer than necessary when finding and sideloading GApps to your device! If you are looking for easy Gapps manager, you should visit the application thread and get this simple application a try. This comes with good timing, given the recent M2 release of CM11 for quite a few devices.

Effortlessly Download Gapps Packages with EasyGApps

Finding and downloading the correct Gapps package can sometimes be a daunting task, especially for those who are new to flashing custom ROMs.  Goo.im and its corresponding Android application, GooManager, are great tools for the more experienced users who understand how to navigate its file system and how to read file names. For less advanced users, however, there may be difficulties navigating.

By implementing the Android API WebViews, XDA Senior Member MBQ_ has created EasyGApps, a simple solution that directs users straight to the source Gapps website, without the need to navigate through hundreds of other developer creations. The clean user interface makes the application very straightforward and easy to navigate. Four different package types are currently available including, Official Gapps, which bring users directly to the Gapps folder in goo.im; Banks GApps; Slim GApps; and PA GApps, which appears to be inaccessible at the moment.  Other features include hardware acceleration for its UI, nine different application themes, optimized views, cleared cache on exit, and a directory of other things created by the developer.

For more information and to download the APK, visit the original thread.

Nook HD+ Gets Alternate Root Method, Gapps, and More

A couple of weeks ago, we brought you news that the Nook HD and Nook HD+ had gotten permanent root. This is of course great news, as the Nook HD and HD+ run their own Android-based OS, and were in serious need of some more traditional Android goodness. Now, there is a new method for root, along with installing the Google Apps that will make the device much more usable.

XDA Senior Member someone0 posted a pretty long tutorial that takes Nook HD and HD+ owners through the entire root and modification process. Included is a link to three guides. The first is a root guide, the second is a Google Apps guide, and the third is a tips thread by XDA Senior Member leapinlar. Using these guides in tandem, users can get root, Google Apps, change the settings to install unknown sources, and more.

This guide can be immensely helpful to those who want their Nook HD or HD+ rooted and running Google Apps. Plus, Play Store access is always nice. In short, having these extra tools can make these tablets infinitely more useful to those who enjoy using Google’s products.

For the full tutorial and more details, check out the original thread.

Core Android 4.2 Apps and Gapps on Any Jelly Bean Device

Ever since Google revealed Android 4.2, we have seen several apps from Android’s latest version surfacing here at XDA. Now that the Nexus 4 system dump has been out for a while, things are only ramping up. Recently, Android hacker Kill Droid Hack extracted all core Android 4.2 apps as well as the latest Google Apps from the Nexus 4 dump, deodexed them, and ported them for installing on any device running Jelly Bean 4.1 or later.

The apps in the package include Camera, Desk Clock, Chrome, Maps, Street View, Gmail, Play Store, Play Music, Google Talk and all other core Google Apps and Android system apps. In addition, all the required libraries are also included in the package for functionality.

To make finding all the 4.2 apps easier for all of us, XDA Senior Member sharingan92 has posted a forum thread where you can find all these apps and more. So head over there and grab the latest Jelly Bean 4.2 goodies for your device running 4.1 or later.

Nabi 2 Tablet for Kids Gets Root, Recovery, and Gapps

Usually when we do pieces for rooted devices, they are devices that have their own forum sections. Of course, we make exceptions for unique devices. The Nabi 2 is an interesting exceptions for two reasons. First and foremost, it is a tablet for children. Second, and perhaps more importantly, it has better specs than 2/3 of the tablets that have their own sections. Inside this toy for tots is a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 8GB of storage with SD card slot, and a 7″ 1024×600 display. Essentially, it’s similar to a Nexus 7 with a lower resolution screen, HDMI out, and external storage options. Now, it’s been rooted and given Google Apps.

XDA Recognized Contributor jmztaylor has released the root method for the Nabi 2 as well as a method for getting Google Apps. To use it, you’ll need to have ADB working and the appropriate drivers installed. From there, you download the script, extract to your desktop, and run the script. Choose which option you want and enjoy root.

Once rooted you have a couple of options. You can keep the Monarch UI—the installed UI for kids—by not touching /system/vendor. However, if you want the classic Android experience, simply get rid of that folder. Granted, it’s only ICS, but it’s still a tablet with very impressive specs for a very cheap price.

How a tablet with these kind of specs flew under the radar so well, no one can be sure. But if you’d like more information, check out the original thread.

Get Gapps in Tablet Mode without Tablet Mode

We have all seen Paranoid Android, which features a true hybrid mode interface that allows users to change virtually any application’s DPI and layout. However when activated on a device with a smaller screen, tablet mode does not necessarily look all that neat. Depending on a lot of factors, you may want to revert back to regular phone mode. However, this forgoes the advantages you were trying to gain in the first place. If you are stuck in between this proverbial rock and a hard place (first world problem), you may want to look at what XDA Recognized Developer DAGr8 has in store.

Essentially, the dev has taken a couple of gapps as a proof of concept and has forced them to act as if your device was in tablet mode by giving you the multi-paned version of the app. So, essentially doing this gives you the best of both worlds (you get to use apps in tablet mode without sacrificing your trusty “non-tablet” mode (for lack of a better name). The dev has only gone ahead and changed only dark themed versions of Gmail and Gtalk but is willing to take suggestions for other apps that may be worth forcing into the alternate mode.

Please try them out and leave your feedback for the dev. The last thing to keep in mind is that due to differences in code (signatures, etc), you have to keep in mind that the apps may not work properly (or at all) on your device. So, it is recommended that you backup your device just in case you decide to go back.

Since we dont all like tablet mode but might like dual panel for some apps and not for others , I decided to start forcing a few apps to display in dual panel .

You can find more information in the original thread.

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Don’t Like Proprietary Applications on AOSP ROMs? Join the NOGAPPS Project

As most of you are aware, XDA is dedicated to a spirit of openness in both hardware and software. One thing that proponents of open source ideals have long rallied against is the bundling of closed source proprietary software, especially when that software is required for the operating system to retain full functionality. Even Google is guilty of this, as not using their proprietary Google Applications (i.e. Maps, Play Store, etc.) with an Android device greatly reduces standard functionality.

XDA Forum Member MaR-V-iN has taken it upon himself to do something about this with his latest endeavor: NOGAPPS Project. The basic premise is to incorporate all of the missing APIs that would normally come from the closed-source, proprietary Google Applications (GAPPS) and incorporate them into open applications. This would in turn allow AOSP to become truly independent and functional, without the user having to flash additional proprietary content. (For those not aware, Google does not allow AOSP ROM developers, like Cyanogen, to bundle GAPPS with their ROM’s, forcing users to flash them separately.)

The project is being updated regularly, and MaR-V-iN is looking for assistance in both testing and development. So head on over to the original thread and contribute in any way you can.

HTC M8 Gets First Lollipop Sense 6 ROM

SkyDragon M8 v 1 ROM brings Android 5.0.1 and Sense 6 together in a wonderful package that is debloated, fast, and smooth. It comes with an Aroma installer, latest GAPPS, and extra features like the useful app ops. Custom Kernel and root included.

Motorola Droid 4 and RAZR Get Unofficial Lollipop Builds

Android 5.0 Lollipop has been hailed by many as one of the most refined versions of Google’s OS. The OS revision started rolling out to devices last month, with the Nexus family having already been updated and Motorola and Samsung giving indications of a potential Android 5.0 update to select devices as well. Not only this, but unofficial builds have also been popping up everywhere, such as on Android One devices and on the HTC Explorer. And the ball isn’t even close to stopping here as two more devices, the Motorola Droid 4 and RAZR, have also received unofficial Android 5.0 builds as well.

This comes in the form of unofficial builds of CM12, originally developed just for the Droid 4 by XDA Senior Member stargo. The list of working functions includes phone calls, mobile data, WiFi and WiFi tethering, and GPS. As this is still a pre-alpha test build however, pretty much everything else remains not working, including the camera app, reboot to recovery, data encryption and more.

Courtsey of XDA Senior Member ktimque, this build can now also run on the Droid RAZR. However, as it uses the builds developed by stargo, Droid RAZR owners must make sure to flash the appropriate files for the Droid RAZR and not for the Droid 4. Additionally, XDA Recognized Developer dhacker29 provides the Gapps for these builds which are available for download as well.

If you would like to check these builds out, make your way over to the Unofficial CM12 thread for the Droid 4 and the Droid RAZR.

Google Maps, My Maps, YouTube, Androidify, Slides, Music Updated–Here’s What’s New

In the last few weeks, Google has been one of the busiest company in tech world. In addition to the floating Android revision releases popping up every couple of days, the developers from Mountain View have also focused on providing updates to proprietary applications commonly known as GApps. You, however, may not be familiar with some of these applications because they aren’t shipped with latest factory images.

The list of updated applications isn’t too long and contains six main entries. Let’s take a closer look on what have changed since the last release.

Androidify :

Google Maps:

My Maps:

Google Slides:

Google Music:

YouTube:

The changelogs for these applications might be incomplete, as Google rarely posts in-depth lists of changes. Updates should be soon available through all update channels. But if you can’t wait for the update notification, you can download them directly from these Google Drive mirrors.

[Big thanks to XDA Portal Supporter MihirGossai for the news tip and links!]

Source Built Lollipop for Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10, Xperia Z

Update: Thank you to commenter Amith KK for letting us know about the Source-Built Lollipop port for the Nexus 7 (2012) by XDA Senior Member MidnightNinja.

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The source code for Android 5.0 Lollipop was only fully released yesterday, but developers on XDA work extremely quickly. In less than one day, some developers have managed to create Lollipop builds for particular devices. Let’s see which devices are capable of using Lollipop as a daily driver so far.

It was easy to predict that Nexus devices would be the first to get these unofficial builds. Google Nexus 4 “mako” users have a chance to test one such Lollipop build. It has been prepared by XDA Senior Member C-o-M, and it is nothing more than a vanilla build of AOSP, without Google Apps or any other enhancements. The build reportedly works with 4.4.4 Gapps, but there are some flaws like a force closing keyboard or missing sync provider in the Calendar app. There is another build made by XDA Senior Member sykopompos, but its’ a direct port from Nexus 5’s preview releases.

Nexus 7 (2013) “flo” owners can use a Lollipop source-built port by XDA Recognized Developer scrosler. The developer prepared a Google Apps package with applications available for the Nexus 9, which is also a tablet device, so there should be no issues caused by the gapps package used. If you’re planning to use this build, you need to flash the newest version of the Nexus 7 bootloader from the latest developer preview.

Source-built Lollipop is also available for the Google Nexus 10, thanks to XDA Senior Member stiggy2012. Although the build is devoid of Google apps, users are already reporting great success in terms of usability and stability. You can get in on the action at the Lollipop for the Nexus 10 thread.

Quite a bit of Android 5.0 Lollipop goodness was made available for the Google Nexus 5 “hammerhead”. There are 3 ROMs available. The first Lollipop ROM for the Nexus 5 is a pure AOSP experience and was compiled by XDA Recognized Developer OldDroid. The ROM is available as fastboot images, just like the images prepared by Google. It lacks Gapps and new binary files, but we need to wait a bit to see them available. The Second Lollipop ROM for the N5 comes from XDA Recognized Contributor herna. This is a pure AOSP experience with a modified kernel. The last N5 release is a pure AOSP build made by XDA Senior Member yashade2001.

The only non-Nexus device on the list at this point is the Sony Xperia Z. Android 5.0 Lollipop was ported over by XDA Senior Member thomas1991_12, but there are quite a few items that need to be fixed before we can call it a daily driver. This should be resolved pretty quick, as the Xperia Z was one of the first devices with fully working Android 4.3. You can grab it from here.

There may be some ROMs that have popped since we started writing this article, so please feel free to share any links you find in the comments below. The community works incredibly quickly, so it’s pretty hard to keep up. Hopefully, Google will finally release the official images for all of the supported Nexus devices, as well as the proper binaries, so truly stable builds can be created. This will also surely speed up the development for other devices.