Most consumers that buy an Android device assume they’ll have access to all the applications available in the Google Play Store. But this is not always the case. While most app restrictions are usually based on OS version compatibility, i.e. some apps are optimized for Android 2.3 or higher, sometimes, restrictions are based on your geographical location. Especially if you live outside the US and have used the Google Play Store for a while, you probably are familiar with the message “This item cannot be installed in your country.”
Of course, some of these apps that aren’t very useful and likely won’t work at your location anyway. But in a lot of cases, location-based restrictions are for no apparent reason, and the restricted apps should work fine when downloaded.
As it is usually the case when it comes to problems with Android, the enthusiasts at XDA developers have a solution at hand. XDA senior member Deeco7 has been working on a modified Google Play Store that has as a primary feature the removal of the location-based restrictions found on the “original” Play Store.
As with any such “development”, there are a few bugs and glitches that need to be worked out. There are some users that faced problems after installing this app, but, fortunately, the developer has been prompt with updates and fixes in an attempt to remove such errors. The latest build (v3.5.16) of the unofficial Play Store app brings:
- Much faster than the previous (v3.5.15) version
- Frequent forced close errors for Android 2.2 (Froyo) users fixed
- Works faster even on slower data speeds
- UI changes in the “My Apps” section include an “Installed” and “All” tab that can be swiped to move between them
- The “All” tab now includes a handy drop down menu to switch between accounts easily
- Some stock apps that weren’t recognized by the earlier version have now been linked to the Play Store, and can now be updated.
If all the issues with this modified Play Store can be fixed or if you are lucky enough to have a fully functional app right from the installation, it will be a huge boon for all of you geo-restricted app lovers out there.
You can find further information, download, and installation instructions here. It goes without saying that you should backup the original apk, which can be re-installed if something goes wrong.
Have you faced problems with app restrictions based on your location? If you try this modification, do let us know your experience in the comments section below.