Make Gplay Show More Apps

If you open Google Play and click Apps, you will notice that there is only (at time of writing, July 2012) 150,000 apps available for download! This is far less than the 600,000+ that should be available, and many of the most important ones are missing.

This is because the Q is not reporting to Google Play that it has many of the functions needed for these apps, so they don’t show up despite the fact that many of these apps work just fine.

So we will fix this.

Credit goes to bosondehiggs of slatedroid.com, http://www.slatedroid.com/topic/34849-guide-to-fix-market-to-get-more-apps-compatible/, who applied this solution to another device, although as far as I know it had not been previously applied to solve this issue with the Nexus Q.

  1. We're going to use ES File Explorer app to do this. You can do it arguably simpler via command-line arguments but using this app makes it easier even for newbies to understand, and it's just a useful app to have. So, get es_file_explorer_v1_6_1_7.apk or latest version from the publisher at http://www.estrongs.com/en/download.html.
  2. adb connect to your device if not already. Type “adb devices” to check you are connected.
  3. adb install the ES File Explorer .apk, and run it using the Trebuchet launcher.
  4. Press “settings” (see my keyboard page to see how to do that). Scroll down and click Settings and enable “Up to root”. Also enable “Root Explorer”. OK we’re done here for now, we’ll use this app later.
  5. Download this file: http://www.davidnhutch.com/sandbox/blog/tablet_core_hardware.xml. It’s one of the .xml permissions files from the Nexus 7. You may also try other .xml files from other devices at your own risk. Or you can try mine, I guess also at your own risk.
  6. Let’s go back to adb. “adb shell”
  7. “su”
  8. “mkdir /sdcard/permissionsbackup”
  9. “cat /system/etc/permissions > /sdcard/permissionsbackup”
  10. “exit”
  11. “exit”. You should now be out of shell but still in the command window.
  12. “adb push <path-to-that-xml-file>/tablet_core_hardware.xml /sdcard/tablet_core_hardware.xml”
  13. “adb shell”
  14. “su”
  15. “cat /sdcard/tablet_core_hardware.xml > /system/etc/permissions/tablet_core_hardware.xml”
  16. If you want, check it’s there: “cd /system/etc/permissions” “ls”
  17. “exit”
  18. “exit”
  19. Next we will change the file permissions for that file we just copied. Open ES File Explorer, click “Up” once to get to the root directory, click System > etc > permissions. Right click or long-press on tablet_core_hardware.xml. Scroll to the bottom of the list that comes up and select Properties. Click the Change button. Select the following boxes, and only the following boxes: User read, User write, Group read, Other read. Click OK, OK. The other files in that directory also need to be rw-r-r, but they should be fine.
  20. Go to Settings > Apps > All > Google Play Store
  21. Click Clear data
  22. Reboot the Q by typing “adb reboot”. If you did that using adb-over-wifi, then you’ll probably need to do the “adb connect” thing again to reconnect.
  23. Open Google Play. If it’s still not working (still shows only a few apps), then continue.
  24. Go to Settings > Apps > All > Google Play Store
  25. Click Clear cache if it lets you, then click Force stop. DO NOT Clear data
  26. Go back once and go to “Google Services Framework”
  27. Click Clear data then Force stop
  28. Reboot the Q again in the same way. After rebooting, my Nexus Q worked with gPlay just fine! However if you still don’t see new apps, go back to Settings > Apps > All > Google Play Store, this time Clear Data if it lets you, press all the Clear or Stop buttons again, and that’s it! Now just Open Google Play, login and you should be able to see and download almost any app either directly on the Q or remotely through a browser on your computer (i.e. go to http://play.google.com, and the Q will show up as one of your devices). NOTE: You may need to download just one app (any app) in order to be able to get the remote-download-via-browser thing working, as Google Play appears to update its knowledge of which devices you have only when you download something.
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