Nokia’s announcement at the MWC regarding new Android handsets didn’t come as much a surprise as what the company did with Android running on its devices. It’s like the Finnish company – now owned by Microsoft – is attempting to create Android without Google, replacing the Mountain View company’s offerings with Microsoft’s. In fact, the Nokia X smartphone, although based on AOSP, is complete devoid of Google Apps, from looking at the device, you’ll have a hard time even telling that it’s Android. However, all hope is not lost, as thanks to the active Android developer community, there’s a way to not only root the Nokia X, but also install Google Play Store and the Google Now Launcher onto the device. Details past the jump.
Before we get to the details of how you can modify the Nokia X to do all these things, do understand that the device isn’t yet available in production markets. The hack comes courtesy of XDA Developers senior member Kashamalaga, who got a Nokia X at the MWC and put it to good use. Hence, all thanks to him for bringing this wonderful workaround for early adopters.
Please understand that this method is different from conventional rooting, since the Nokia X bootloader seems to be partially locked and there isn’t a working custom recovery for the device either.
Disclaimer: The instructions herein are to be followed at your own risk, as AddictiveTips does not take any liability for any damage to your device whatsoever.
Before we begin, let’s take a look at what you’ll need
- Framaroot app
- A root-level file explorer (Root Explorer or ES File Explorer, for instance)
- Nokia GApps package (available at the source link at the end)
- NokiaX_SomeGoogleApps.zip (available at the source link at the end)
1. You need to begin by rooting your Nokia X first. Since there isn’t a working recovery, root can only be achieved via the Framaroot app. Sideload the Framaroot APK and gain root level access via these simple steps.
2. Next, sideload the root file explorer of your choice to enable changing permissions for system files.
3. Download and extract the contents of the NokiaX GApps ZIP file, and copy all the APKs within the package to the /system/app directory on your Nokia X using the file explorer you just installed.
4. Set the permissions for the APKs to “read” for all and “write” for just the first one from top, as per the screenshot below.
5. Reboot the device, and now install all the APKs from the second ZIP file (NokiaX_SomeGoogleApps) normally, as you would for any application.
That’s pretty much all there is to it – your Nokia X smartphone is now not only rooted, but also able to run Google Now Launcher and the Play Store. Launch the latter to enter your Google Account information and download all the apps that you were missing!
For more information and support, please visit the XDA developers forum thread below.