Being a Google-powered OS, Android lets you enjoy the amazing services from its owner on your smartphone more intuitively than on any other platform for mobile. Half of the charm of the OS lies in the fact that it integrates apps like Google Search, You Tube, Gmail, Google+, Google Maps, Google Play, Google Sync and Google what not. Today it is almost impossible to imagine a happy mobile life with these apps by Google.
Why Do I Need to Install GApps Manually?
Well, there might be three possible reasons to do a manual installation of the Google apps package. While most stock ROMs come with Google Apps pre-installed, it has now become a fashion among the custom ROM developers to provide a separate GApps package rather than include it inside the ROM. To have those Google apps, you need to flash them separately via CWM Recovery or some other custom Recovery.
There is another situation when you might need to manually flash the Google apps on your Android device. Suppose you have flashed a custom ROM on your Android device and feel later that any of the Google apps is not functioning properly. I have gone through such a situation while using a custom ROM on my Galaxy S2 last year.
Some of the apps that form the Gapps package include the Google Play Store itself, Google Talk, Google Sync (for adding and synchronizing Google accounts), Google Backup Transport, Car Home, Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Search, Google Voice Search, Google Music, Google Currents, and Google Docs. Most of these apps can be downloaded directly from the Google Play Store itself.
The apps by Google are updated to implement new features and updates. If any of the Google apps receives an update, your device notifies you to install the new version via Google Play store. If you have update a single app, you can do it easily, but if there are many updates, it is better to find the latest GApps for your OS version and flash them via a custom Recovery program like ClockworkMod Recovery or TWRP.
Please not you will have to flash the Google Apps package every time you install a new custom ROM. In case you are upgrading a ROM, you might or not not need to install the GApps but it is always good to ensure that you have the latest package installed on your device.
Do not try to install the Google Apps package via Stock Recovery or you might get “signature verification” error, and if installed it might create internal conflicts. If you have to update a Google app, do it via Google Play Store or by installing the APK file manually if you have it.
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How to Flash Gapps via CWM Recovery:
Well, flashing the Gapps on you rooted Android phone with ClockworkMod Recovery installed is even easier than installing a custom ROM. If you are a seasoned ROM flasher, it might be just a child’s play. But if you are new to such things, it is always good to be careful. Here are a few tips that should be taken care of:
- Download the latest Google Apps according to the OS version your device is on. To find out the latest Gapps, check the date found in the file name :gapps-jb-20121212-signed.zip. Here you can see the date when the Google Apps package was released/updated: gapps-jb-YYYY-MM-DD-signed.zip. Just take a look at the date to find out which is latest.
- In case you have install a GApps package just after a custom ROM, download the gapps.zip and copy it to your phone (external or internal SD Card). Turn off your device and boot it into ClockworkMod or TWRP Recovery mode. Install the GApps just after installing the ROM using “install zip from sdcard> choose zip from sdcard” option. Navigate to the file, select it, choose “yes” when asked.
- If you have to install the Google apps over an older version, turn off your device and boot it into stock or ClockworkMod Recovery mode. Go to “advanced” option and select “wipe dalvik cache”. Go back to main menu in Recovery and install the GApps using “install zip from sdcard> choose zip from sdcard” option.
- Go back to the main menu and select “reboot system now”.
- Done !