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Hacker gets Google apps running on the Nokia X

hackers get google apps running nokia x
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The new Android-powered Nokia X was only unveiled at the start of this week, but already the enterprising folks at XDA-Developers have worked out how to get the full range of Google apps and services running on the device. User Kashamalaga was able to get the Google Now launcher and the Google Play store running on the Nokia X he received at Mobile World Congress.

As we mentioned in our hands-on review of the Nokia X, while the phone uses Android as its foundation, most of the code has been built from the ground up by Nokia itself. This means a brand new handset will only be able to run apps from the Nokia Store, missing out on the standard Gmail, Google Maps and Google Hangouts apps that most Android users are familiar with.

Part of Nokia’s thinking behind its own version of Android was to promote Nokia and Microsoft apps rather than Google’s, but it seems that hacking into the code and removing its restrictions isn’t too difficult — there are just five steps listed in the process on XDA-Developers, though some degree of technical knowledge is required to work through them.

If you were considering investing in a Nokia X device but worried about a lack of support for Google’s key apps, it’s time to reassess your options. The unlocking process will void your warranty, and may cause unexpected results, but if you’re a tech-savvy user who likes to experiment then Nokia’s Android handset now looks much more appealing.

Nokia itself doesn’t seem overly concerned by the efforts of Kashamalaga — “This is awesome!” said the Nokia Development Team in a tweet to the user.

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David Nield
Dave is a freelance journalist from Manchester in the north-west of England. He's been writing about technology since the…
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