On Friday we reported that a leaked APK of the upcoming Gmail 4.2 for Android had been released, giving a sneak peek at some of the features on the way. If you want to try the leaked app for yourself, here’s how to do it, but take note: you’ll need a rooted device to run it.

Before we get started, we need to reiterate that you’ll need a rooted device running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or higher. We can’t give you instructions on how to root your device here for a number of reasons, but be warned that both rooting your device and installing the leaked APK can render your device unusable, so proceed with caution.

  1. Download the apk (available here) and place it on your device’s internal storage. Make sure the name is “Gmail2.apk” without the quotes.
  2. Just in case, create a NANDroid backup.
  3. Remove any other Gmail any other versions of Gmail on your device. This can be done with an app like Titanium Backup, or by manually removing the files in /system/app and /data/app. If you’re doing this manually, delete both the .apk files and the .odex files, if they exist.
  4. Reboot your device. There should now be no Gmail app installed on your phone.
  5. Install the Gmail2.apk using a file explorer app or adb and the command adb install Gmail2.apk.
  6. Enjoy!

Have you tried the leaked Gmail 4.2 APK yet? Do you plan to? Or are you just going to wait for the app to be officially released?