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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  5. In my experience, if you want to update an .apk downloaded through the web page, you can simply download the new version in the same way (or get someone with an android phone to send it over) and install the new .apk over the old. No need to remove anything first, for example.

    I have not tried installing Google Play/Services yet, and I don’t think I will… I don’t need new stuff so often that I’d mind going the way around. Still, it’s good to see it is getting easier to access more content more easily on Jolla!

    • I agree if you already know other ways to get/update apk’s and have used other methods to date (aptoide etc), acquiring google play is most probably unnecessary.

      However if you are a new Jolla owner or are doing a fresh install and you are happy to potentially remove problematic android apps and other stores and reinstall via google play then this could be useful for you.

    • @JC

      Was this an app that you downloaded from another source (ie. Aptoide or web etc) or did you originally download the app (you’re trying to update) from the play store ?

    • I also have the same problem. I deleted all the apps that I installed from 1mobile and download again from play. And then I delete the installation files of play store. Nothing went wrong and when I woke up and checked the phone the app disappeared. Do I have to install it again following your procedures? Thanks.

  6. From instruction 17, the install procedure does not indicate when it has actually finished, other than that a perfect run through with not a single problem.

    Well done :)

    • @andrew: Under normal circumstances, a toast notification should should pop up at the top of the screen.

      @dex: The same happened to me after the first time rebooting and the play store app icon disappeared. Just repeat steps 15-17 and hopefully it will remain.

  7. Paid apps doesn’t work to install or update through store though. Please make that a little clearer (at least not with old instruction, should have changed since the md5sums of these files are identical). Otherwise, good instruction, thanks.

  8. I did this some month ago in a likewise way, but instead of using the phonesky.apk from the above mentioned zip I downloaded the newest version of google play store, renamed it to phonesky.apk and put it into /home/nemo/Downloads/system/app/, then I installed it from there.
    Works well, and so you have the latest version of google play out of the box.
    Well, but even then inly free apps work.

  9. Open app “File Browser”.
    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.
    Tap file Phonesky.apk.
    A new page opens with details of this file.
    From the pulley menu select “Install”.
    The Google Play store is being installed, a corresponding icon placed on the launcher screen.

    Is there another way to install Phonesky,apk?….like using Terminal mode??? I have the phone, but I cannot Install anything more. Just don’t know why. Especially the File Browser application. I have the 1.0.4.20 running on my phone, but nobody knows why I cannot download anything on this phone, except certain application that I was able to download after reinitializing the phone. I am, a little upset, you can imagine. In 2014, someone telling you, no one understand why it is like that. So if somebody could tell me how I could by pass the File Browser application is really welcomed.
    Fernand

  10. I’m very happy to see that this procedure is finally working on my Jolla. Google Play now not only installs,but also runs and lets me download apps. Good improvement. Jolla team!

  11. I think I have to completely reinstall my phone. Suddenly all the typical android “back” and application button at the button is gone in every application. Tried removing android support and deleting everything under /opt/alien and reinstall. Still same thing, and after having installed play it keeps crashing when starting. How do I COMPLETELY remove the alien related things and get them reinstalled?

    Guess reinstalling phone is only way?

  12. Does this work in 1.0.5.19? Somehow I managed to install it but when Im trying to start it, it just pops up for half a second and then shuts down again and again..

  13. Even after following the new directions to the letter I still get to the point where I enter my google email and password then (after waiting about 60 seconds) it comes up with “unfortunately google services framework has stopped”. Any suggestions?

  14. Didn’t work. Everything went well perfect until point 17. It just says that “Install launched, If the app is already installed or the package is faulty, then nothing happens”. Nothing happens and there doesn’t seem to be Play app anywhere.

  15. I noticed that Aptoide can provide all the apps I wanted from Google Play and Aptoide can be installed from Jolla store.

    • Yeap, these instructions didn’t work for me also. It says ‘Install launched ..’ and nothing happens. Device is restarted but nothing changes..
      One GOOD hint: you can install Google Play from Aptoide Store! GREAT! :)

    • Which version did you install?
      I tried an older one (1 year ago) but even though it’s installed, new icon there, it won’t start.

    • I installed Google Play Services from Aptoide and that did NOT work.

      The logs kept saying
      java.lang.SecurityException: attempting to read gservices without permission: Neither user 10014 nor current process has com.google.android.providers.gsf.permission.READ_GSERVICES.

      And chrashes kept comming and gmail wouldnt open.

      The procedure listet here worked fine.

  16. I followed the instructions to the letter and some apps from Play Store do work, but some apps complain about missing Google Play services.. For example Spotify works fine but Vivino doesn’t. :(

  17. The problem solved itself when I rebooted the handset by removing the battery the next morning. Funny problem :)

  18. “Didn’t work. Everything went well perfect until point 17. It just says that “Install launched, If the app is already installed or the package is faulty, then nothing happens”. Nothing happens and there doesn’t seem to be Play app anywhere.”

    Same Problem here. Any Ideas?

  19. ““Didn’t work. Everything went well perfect until point 17. It just says that “Install launched, If the app is already installed or the package is faulty, then nothing happens”. Nothing happens and there doesn’t seem to be Play app anywhere.”

    Same Problem here. Any Ideas?”

    I did a factory reset. Problem solved.

    • Factory reset helped me too with installation not starting. I don’t know if it worked because I did it while still using 1.0.4.20. for which these instructions were made. I downloaded all the apps that I wanted and then udated to 1.0.8.19, after which the store and apps were working and it even fixed some minor problems, like front camera’s image being flipped upside down when using IG or Snapchat.

  20. Perfect guidance!
    Adding new user in Google Play didn’t work, but through sign-in a fresh Google-account was paired with Play.

  21. I just used this tutorial, it worked like a charm ! Thanks a lot !
    I indeed had to remove the apps I had installed via downloading the apk and reinstall them using Google Play.
    I’ve tried Snapchat using Google Play so far and it works fine.

  22. I have installed Google Play as you described. But now I have the problem, that my Jolla always (!) connects automatically to the net, even abroad and even when I choose “data roaming: always ask” – it never asks me. I also choose that I don’t want the updates in Google Play Store -> Settings -> automatic updates: no. That’s really very annoying. Can anyone help me please? It already cost me a lot of money abroad :-(

  23. The installation work. But had to download the zip file with the PC.

    Unfortunatetly the Playstore Icon vanishes after a while or the attempt of Installing a app/ or it does not start after pressing the icon. It also didn’t install the apps (bought ones) I hopped for. How can I deinstall the app und all the files Completly?

    Thanks

  24. I followed the steps, but nothing happens after I choose “Install” from the pulley menu for Phonesky.apk.
    I’m running Sailfish OS 1.0.8.19 with developer mode and “allow untrusted software” ON.

  25. Well, I followed the instructions and everything so far seems to work. Dead chuffed. It’s even been through an update cycle through Aptoide, and one of the apps I’d purchased by not successfully installed now actually installs (requires Android 4+).

    • How did you do it? Im stuck on instruction 12. it says copy files one by one, but copy them to where?. i don’t understand

  26. Nice. Gets me an access to the Google play. However, when trying to install Yahoo Mail, it says it is already installed. It is not. Also, trying to install Amazon music, cannot even find it …. ???

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  28. This isn’t working for me. I’m on Sailfish 1.0.8.19. When I get to instruction 7 and type in cd~/Downloads I get an error command ‘bash:cd~/Downloads:No such file or directory’. I’m a new Jolla user. I’ve even reset my jolla. Any suggestions please?

  29. @shantanutushar7 thank you for coming to help me.
    These instructions are clear enough, we all aren’t developers or super tech savvy.
    I got stuck on instruction 12 copy files one by one, copy them to where?? it says nothing about what to do with these files just reboot device. I’m getting tired, very frustrated already regretting buying jolla.

  30. @slizzay

    In point 11 you enter the file system by typing in terminal: cd /opt/alien/system/app [Enter]

    This gets you into that folder where the files in point 12 are being copied to.

    All you have to do is type those commands into terminal in each point it’s just a case of typing in the commands correctly.

  31. @slizzay

    On a side note, do you think you really need google services ? You can just download the “aptoide” app from the jolla store and get access to most android apps you require that way.

  32. I followed all steps, Got the Play Storr, But I cant download anything, When I press Install, The app freezes and nothing happens

  33. where is the download directory found. I have the app terminal. I see the dollar sign . but no directory. ??? anyone help

  34. Completed the first 12 steps – at 13 my attempt to reenter Dalvik is rejected “Failed to issue method call: access denied”

    Pretty much stuck

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  36. I’m running Sailfish as a dual boot and so don’t have AlienDalvik folder mentioned on the instructions. I have managed to copy the 1mobilemarket and google play store apk’s to system/app folder, however the apk’s won’t install? (Can’t find application to open) message comes up. Have tried to run the apk’s using terminal 1, but probably not using the correct instruction? Any suggestions on how to run apk’s?

  37. Anyone issues with the installation on version 1.1.6.27? I can install it through the procedure, but i cannot run the play store app after installation. I create a new account and then it stops working. When i use login to existing account i get a message could not sign in. (Can’t establish a reliable connection to the server, when pressed next i got a unsupported action). Play store icon is visible after reboot of phone play store icon is gone.
    Anyone an idea? Would be nice if i get the play store running