How to Install Incompatible Apps from the Android Market

January 7, 2012
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The Android Market holds a lot of useful Android apps for a variety of Android devices. Some of the apps on the Android Market, however, are incompatible with some handset models. This often causes disappointment among some users who would like to try out such incompatible apps on their own handsets.

The good news, however, is that someone has found a method for tricking the Android Market into allowing you to download and install apps to your handset even if the apps are marked as incompatible with such handset.

All you need to do is tweak some file on your device. This can get a little technical, but it’s a simple procedure that almost anyone can follow.

To be able to use the said method, you will need:

  • A rooted Android device
  • A file manager app such as ES File Manage or Root Explorer (both available on the Android Market)

Use this guide at your own risk. We will not be held liable for any damages arising from your use of this guide.

Instructions

If you’re ready to go, follow these steps:

  1. On your Android phone, Go to Settings > Applications > All > Market and select “Clear Data.”
  2. Open your file manager app.
  3. If you are using ES File Explorer, navigate to Settings > Root Settings and enable “Root Explorer” and “Mount File System.” For Root Explorer, tap the r/w icon at the top of the screen.
  4. Locate and open the file “build.prop” in the /system folder.
  5. Create a backup for “build.prop.” To do that, copy the file and save it to another folder. You will also need to rename the file.
  6. Go back to the original “build.prop” file. Open and edit it. If you are using ES File Explorer, you will need to long-press the file and open it in ES Note Editor.
  7. Locate “ro.product.model” and “ro.product.manufacturer” and make the following changes (for this guide, we will be using Nexus S as an example):
    • ro.product.model = Nexus S
    • ro.product.manufacturer = samsung
  8. After typing in the necessary changes, save the file.
  9. Go to Android Market and try downloading the app that previously told you “This item is not compatible with your device.” You should now be able to download and install it to your phone.

Congratulations! You have successfully allowed your phone to download and install incompatible apps from the Android Market. However, being able to install such apps does not mean they will actually work on your device. But, who knows? You might get lucky.

What incompatible app are you trying to download? Do the instructions in this guide work for your device?

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