Nokia X hacked to allow it to access Google apps and Play store, but Nokia doesn't mind

Nokia introduced its Android-based Nokia X family of smartphones nearly a week ago, but those handsets use a forked version of Google's OS that connects to services from Nokia, Microsoft and third party app stores. However, that has not stopped at least one developer from finding a way to get Google's services and apps installed on the Nokia X.

"Kashamalaga", a member of the XDA-Developers forum, posted up proof, in both video and image form, that he was able to quickly gain access to Google's apps and the Google Play download store, along with Google Now.

Obviously, people who buy the Nokia X and use these techniques to access Google's apps and services run the risk of the phone getting bricked. Also, the idea that the smartphone can be made to log into Google's services would seem to run counter to the company's ideas for the Nokia X for making an Android device with no other ties to Google.

However. it would appear that "Kashamalaga's" efforts are still appreciated within Nokia's software development team, as evidenced by their own Twitter message on the Nokia X hack.

Source: XDA-Developers via Engadget | Images via Kashamalaga

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30 Comments

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Still a shame Nokia left it so long to embrace 'droid - yes it may lump them in with a stack of other vendors who struggle to make their own mark on the Android OS, but there is still enough love for Nokia away from WP for it to have probably been enough to keep the wolves from their door.....

looks like everything is a "hack" nowadays. Hey look! I will "hack" my windows pc, you know, change my desktop background

WinRT said,
looks like everything is a "hack" nowadays. Hey look! I will "hack" my windows pc, you know, change my desktop background

evidently you have no idea about the difference between hacking software and changing a simple UI setting.....bet you think you've hacked your tv when you change channel

20legend said,

evidently you have no idea about the difference between hacking software and changing a simple UI setting.....bet you think you've hacked your tv when you change channel

ROFL

Ladies and Gentleman there is a name to the process and it's called "root."

This most likely will save Nokia, but also can be one of the final nails into the Windows Phone coffin.

Ya know,...... I know that people are buying Nokia's cheap phones (running Windows Phone OS) in 3rd world countries. However, I don't think they are doing so because of the Windows Phone OS. They are doing so because of the strong brand recognition, Nokia has in that area. Can you imagine poor or very low income people going into the stores and saying "What's the best Phone OS, I can use?" No. Let's not forget how resiliently strong Nokia was a few years ago during the whole iPhone craze. However, with Android juggernaut unleashed, Nokia can't compete. They can't compete especially with the very unpopular Windows Phone OS running their phones, no matter how cheap they are. However with Nokia X, the company has a chance....a strong chance to leverage the remaining of their brand strength with the world's most popular, strong, fast, and stable OS. This can occur if Nokia can model their forked version of Android similar to the Google's Nexus brand philosophy of "simplicity."

Ya know,...they say that with Nokia X, Microsoft can bring forth they're versions of their software services to the masses. Here's the problem, i have with this statement: THEY ALREADY DO. If you check the Google Play Store, there already is: Office, Outlook, OneNote, Bing, Remote Desktop, xbox 360. Tech Companion, Dynamics CRM, etc.... I don't know why the tech experts are making it sound like this is a mjaor MS opportunity here.

Its not rocket science to sideload the Play store apk and a launcher, would hardly call that hacking.

Sonne said,
Its not rocket science to sideload the Play store apk and a launcher, would hardly call that hacking.

Good luck if you you think that all you need to do is install any old play store apk and expect it to work....

Not surprised and doesnt look to hard to do. Shall see if someone creates a one click method of doing this so anyone could do it. May be a wasted effort depending on how welll these devices do.

Nokia hardware that supports Android is the important thing here - I know they cant go all out Google but this is as close as we can hope for. Id love Nokia hardware that I can then install a custom Android ROM on - job done.

I had a cursory glance at the headlines when the Nokia X was announced this week, but I didn't realize it was actually out already at the time of the announcement.

Microsoft should learn from that.

Microsoft's early announcements are a relatively new thing, they do it to avoid leaks. Remember that first leaks of Surface tablets were the day before announcement?

Obviously this was going to happen. It's Android, people who want to hack it will do so.

But seeing how this is a cheap device, I doubt the average buyer will do this or even know how to do it! If a few Android fanboys also buy a NokiaX and help bump sales then so be it. What si important is that developing markets are also able to access Microsoft services on cheap hardware. It would be best if a dumbed down version of WP8 was used but this is better than nothing.

Nice to see a little perspective here. Too often the audience here assumes "the rest of the world" are as tech savvy and care - which is not a valid assumption.

Yep. The vast majority of smartphone users out there don't have the level of interest required to do something like this.

The way I've always looked at it is that for those of us who do know and do care, it's nice to know there does exist a way to do these things. I agree that average users will probably never see this, and, depending upon how successful this project turns out to be, they may never have a need to...

It's pretty much the biggest Android hackers* forum on the net. They did a lot of the trailblazing for rooting Android phones that were locked down back in the day (and probably still today), and you can find a lot of the smaller custom ROM developers on there too.

* in the traditional "make it do things it couldn't originally do" sense, not the "gain unauthorized access to the device and steal all the user's data" sense

Majesticmerc said,
It's pretty much the biggest Android hackers* forum on the net.

No, that's XDA Developers!

Hello,

This was a given. Gapps are .APKs and Nokia has said that it allows installing normal Android applications and sideloading.

riahc3 said,
Hello,

This was a given. Gapps are .APKs and Nokia has said that it allows installing normal Android applications and sideloading.

Normally the Gapps package has to be installed from the recovery. So its not just a case of ticking the "unknown sources" box and downloading an apk.

McKay said,

Normally the Gapps package has to be installed from the recovery. So its not just a case of ticking the "unknown sources" box and downloading an apk.

I've never had a problem pushing through a root browser, setting permissions and and rebooting:

Simple guide:
download Googleservicesframework.apk & com.amarket.apk
copy to device
enable install from unknown sources
install Googleservicesframework.apk
move com.amarket.apk to system/app
change permissions to rw-r-r (6-4-4)
reboot

PmRd said,
Of course Nokia doesn't care. It's google that's losing money lol

How so? Any app purchases made through the Play store for a Nokia X would go to Google.

Majesticmerc said,

How so? Any app purchases made through the Play store for a Nokia X would go to Google.

Yes, but Nokia doesn't have to pay to include Google services if they don't include them, even if end users sideload them later. Other OEMs pay Google to use Android because they don't strip out the Google services.