UPDATED: Installing Google Play On Jolla

We recently tried out a new set of instructions for running Google Play Store and Services on our Jolla running the latest update 1.0.4.20.

The instructions are the latest and are much easier to follow than the previous available.

Having tested and run the Google Play store everything seems to work well especially if you are a new Jolla owner looking to get these services on your handset.

The one cautionary note I should warn you off is that I had some problems with a few games/apps (requiring google services).  The games/apps that were downloaded from Aptoide/1mobile would not load after installing the google play services and this may apply to other apps requiring google services.   This should be easily remedied by uninstalling the apps that are problematic which you had downloaded from other sources and reinstalling them through the Google Play store.   I thought that I had lost save game data, but after removing the Google Services framework/store etc and other elements my apps/games work as normal, but obviously I lost the Google Play store.

A good example here is the “Clash of Clans” game which I had accrued some saved game progress.  After installing google services, the game would not load (error msg: unfortunately clash of clans has stopped) and I thought I had lost all the game data as we are currently unable to backup via google+.  However I removed all the Google Services/Play Store files and the game reverted to working as per normal with all the saved data intact.

So do bear this in mind if you have any apps that require google services and if you have already happily been using Aptoide or some other Android-based store, acquiring Google Play may not be necessary at all for you.

Without further ado, here are the updated instructions for getting Google Play on your Jolla running Sailfish OS:

The following procedure limits the software installed just to the Google Play store, eliminating all other stuff most often accompanying the Play store installation.

Alternative to Google Play Store installation

Question HowTo: Download app installation (apk) files from Google Play Store points to a web address allowing to download the app installation file when you know the package name or Google Play URL. So, at least for apps you do not have to pay for in-store, this could be an alternative to a Google Play Store installation as described below. (This alternative may not be more trustworthy than Google itself, see the comments to that question. Also: No idea, how app updates will be handled when you have not installed Play Store.)

Preparations

You need on your Jolla handset:

  • Jolla Store access
  • Internet access (WLAN/WiFi or mobile network)
  • App “File Browser” from Jolla Store
  • Since Sailfish OS 1.0.4.20 possibly: Installation of untrusted software being enabled. Set |- Settings | System | Untrusted software | “Allow untrusted software” = active -|. (I could not test this, installation may also work while this option is left inactive.)

Note: Linux file and directory names are case sensitive!

Procedure

  1. Make sure you have a Jolla account and the Jolla device can access the Jolla Store.
  2. Go to |- Settings | System Settings | Developer Mode -|.
    Because your Jolla device can access the Jolla Store, a Terminal app is installed now.
  3. Activate „Developer mode“.
  4. Activate „Remote connection” (either enter and [Save] a password or [Generate] it; if you generate it, you have to edit it slightly before the [Save] button becomes available).
  5. Using the Jolla device, open the browser and download http://goo.im/gapps/gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip.
    The file is downloaded to directory /home/nemo/Downloads.
  6. Open the Terminal app installed during step 2.
    The SailfishOS command prompt will appear. You are logged in as user, the prompt is a “$”.
  7. Go to the download directory: Enter cd ~/Downloads [Enter]
    In case of an English Terminal keyboard layout, the “~” key is the shifted “=” key.
  8. Unzip the file: Enter unzip gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip [Return].
  9. Get root access: Enter devel-su [Enter].
  10. When requested: Enter your password (as specified during step 4) and [Enter].
    The prompt changes from “$” to “#”. Now, you have root access to the Jolla device! Be careful!
  11. Go to the destination directory: Enter cd /opt/alien/system/app [Enter].
  12. Copy the following files one by one (you do not need all the other ones unzipped before):
    • cp /home/nemo/Downloads/system/app/Phonesky.apk .
      (Do not forget the dot at the end of the line.)
    • cp /home/nemo/Downloads/system/app/GoogleLoginService.apk .
    • cp /home/nemo/Downloads/system/app/GoogleServicesFramework.apk .
      By now, your Terminal window will look like:

      bash-3.2$ cd ~/Downloads
      bash-3.2$ unzip gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip
      inflating: (… many, many lines …)
      Inflating: system/usr/srec/en-US/symbols
      bash-3.2$ devel-su
      Password:
      bash-3.2# cd /opt/alien/system/app
      bash-3.2# cp /home/nemo/Downloads/system/app/Phonesky.apk .
      bash-3.2# cp /home/nemo/Downloads/system/app/GoogleLoginService.apk .
      bash-3.2# cp /home/nemo/Downloads/system/app/GoogleServicesFramework.apk .
  13. Reboot the Jolla handset (switch off and on using the power button).Alternatively:
    • Restart Alien Dalvik service: Enter systemctl restart aliendalvik.service [Return].
    • End root access: Enter exit [Return].
    • End Terminal: Enter exit [Return].
  14. Open app “File Browser”.
  15. Goto directory /opt/alien/system/app.
    The File Browser opens in the /home/nemo/ directory. To get to the root directory you have to tap the 2 upper left dots, then you can go down to the app directory.
  16. Tap file Phonesky.apk.
    A new page opens with details of this file.
  17. From the pulley menu select “Install”.
    The Google Play store is being installed, a corresponding icon placed on the launcher screen.
  18. Using File Browser you may clean up the Downloads directory from all the files unzipped there and not required any longer.
  19. Start the Play app and log in to the Play store. Refuse all options you do not want (e.g. backup to the Google cloud).

You are done.

If you have followed this tutorial and are now happily running Google Play on your Jolla we’d love to hear from you!

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