Tips & Tricks

Installing Incompatible Android Apps – How To

Many times we have come across some really cool apps but were unable to download them since they weren’t compatible with our device. The pop-up message ‘This app isn’t compatible with your device’ takes away all our excitement. The incompatibility could either be because some apps are supported only on certain devices, or because some apps can be installed only in certain countries or because you do not have the minimum Android version that those apps require.

This App is Incompatible with Your Device

Missing out on those cool apps. That’s sad, isn’t it? But you need not worry anymore because we shall tell you some tips and tricks to get your hands on these apps.

However, keep in mind that even if you install an incompatible app, it might not necessarily work on your device. But there is a good chance that it works, so its basically just a test and try things. So let’s just give it a try I would say!

Let’s get started:

For this hack to work, you first need to root your device.

All the Android devices have a build.prop file which identifies the model of your device. Once you root your device, you can then manually edit this build.prop file. This way your device will appear to be another device to the incompatible apps and will, therefore, allow you to install those apps which are incompatible with your device.

You’ll only be editing a few bits of text in this file to trick Google Play into thinking that you are using a different device. But you need to be super careful when editing this file because if you edit it wrongly, you could cause serious problems to your device.

Let’s now see how to edit the build.prop file manually:

  • After you have rooted your device, install ES File Explorer from Google Play.
Installing Incompatible Android Apps - How To 1
The app was not found in the store. 🙁
  • Launch the ES File Explorer app.
  • Open its Settings screen. Now enable Root Explorer and Mount File System options.
  • For your ease, you can also enable the Up to Root option on this screen to easily navigate to your root directory.
  • Now locate the build.prop file on your device by navigating to the /system/ directory.
  • First, you should create a copy of this file. Long press the file, now select ‘Copy‘ and then paste it into another folder.
  • Now you will edit the file. Long press it and select ‘Open As‘. Now select ‘Text‘, and then select the ES Note Editor app which we had just downloaded.
  • Now that you have opened the file, look for the part that you have to edit, which are only two lines. Find the following lines:
  1. ro.product.model
  2. ro.product.manufacturer
  • After each of these lines, the actual model, and manufacturer of your device will be written. This is the part that we will change.
  • We will now edit these lines so that our device appears to be another device to the Google Store. E.g to imitate your device as a Nexus S, write:
  1. ro.product.model = Nexus S
  2. ro.product.manufacturer = Samsung
  • Now select Save from the Menu button.
  • You are all done!
  • Next, go to the ‘Settings‘ option on your device.
  • Select ‘Applications‘.
  • Tap on the ‘All‘ category which will display a list of all the apps on your device.
  • Choose ‘Google Play Store App‘.
  • Clear its cache and data by tapping on the ‘Clear Cache‘ and the ‘Clear Data‘ buttons.
  • After this, restart your device.
  • Once you restart, go to Google Play Store and this time you will be able to download the apps which you could not download earlier due to incompatibility with your device.

Also, note that you might not see the incompatible apps when searching at Google Play on your Android smartphone or tablet. They might not appear in the search results. To find them, search for them on the Google Play website.

Aamir Jamal

An Android Geek and audiophile who love to read and write reviews/tutorials about gadgets and new tech stuff. He has written 1007 guides and other posts.

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