Thinking of flashing a custom ROM? Before you proceed to wipe your phone, make sure you read this post. Or the least you can do is check whether the ROM you are about to flash includes a GApps package.
What is GApps?
Well, in legal terms, Google Apps or GApps are the proprietary Google-branded applications that come pre-installed with most Android devices, such as the Play Store, Gmail, Maps etc. Simply speaking, they are the vital apps that your Android phones require to function. Of course, you can’t possibly have a decent experience on an Android phone without the Play Store. It brings many goodies of the Android ecosystem to your device.
Now due to licensing restrictions, custom ROM developers are not allowed to include these pre-installed on their ROM. Hence they rely on individual developers or their own teams to compile and create bundled packages of these Google Apps. Please note here that none of these GApps packages are supported by the ROM developer. But with our experience so far, no serious issues exist. They can always be updated once the phone is booted.
Another key point to be mentioned: if you are considering an official ROM from a register mobile OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer]; you WILL get the GApps preloaded. A good example here is the OxygenOS for Oneplus that comes with all possible Google Apps that you can possibly think of.
Moving on, now that you know what GApps are; the next concern is deciding what package works for you. There are 2 things you need to consider:
This is very important. You must only flash the GApps of the Android version which match that of your custom ROM. For example GApps for Android 5.0 will not work with a ROM for Android 4.4. Make sure both the ROM and GApps are the same version
Full / Stock / Minimum:
If you have an 8GB Android phone, certainly you wouldn’t want all the Google Apps to clutter the limited space. On the other hand if you want the full Android experience, you wouldn’t be happy with a condensed package.
Yes! Most ROMs provide their recommended package as a separate download. So look around on their website or do a Google search.
That’s all for theory. Here are links to the most popular GApps packages. We are in love with the first one (universally applicable & lot of options)