14
Feb
mh

One of the more annoying things about the Android app ecosystem is that there are loads of apps and games that are needlessly restricted to one device or another. If you care to get down and dirty, you can edit the build.prop file on rooted devices to make your device appear to be something other than what it is. Market Helper gets you the same results, but it doesn't touch the build-prop and it's easy to revert to your original profile. For obvious reasons, this app is not in Google Play. It is, however, just a sideload away.

2013-02-14 20.08.50 2013-02-14 20.08.25 2013-02-14 20.08.17

Market Helper is a very new app, and it only has a handful of profiles. However, you can already spoof your device to make it look to Google like a Galaxy S3, Kindle Fire HD, classic Amazon Kindle, or an HSPA+ Nexus 7. Just pick the device you want to emulate and grant root access to continue. To finish the setup, you'll have to go to the Play Store and refresh your devices page. The whole process takes a few seconds. The app also has an option to send the developer a copy of your native device info so he can use it to build more profiles into the app for others to use.

Once you're done being someone else, just reboot your phone or tablet with WiFi/cellular data enabled and everything should snap back into place. You can also use the Restore option, but it might still need a reboot. Market Helper is for rooted devices only (obviously) and it's totally free. As usual with these kind of apps, proceed at your own risk.

[Market Helper]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

  • TheFirstUniverseKing

    This is the first app to do this? It took this long? :p Super glad that it's here though, I can get some use out of it.

  • JirafaBo

    Quick, someone tell me some apps I want on my Nexus 7 that I can't get already. Only one I can think of is Snapchat.

    • Paul_Werner

      ZumoCast... for streaming all your music if your playlist is more than Google Music can handle (it's what I use but I have the patched one so I don't need this app. It would be good to test with though)

    • Eric

      Haha.. I was just messing around the build.prop to install whatsapp 1 hour ago!

  • http://www.about.me/FHL09 Troy

    I'm not complaining but isn't there normally a genuine reason an app is incompatible with a device when it says it is. Say for example it has been known to crash on a incompatible device, me personally not sure if I'll do this I must likely will try it but yea is it worth the risk given then people with incompatible devices will leave 1 star reviews when it does crash.

    • http://twitter.com/fababian Justin Fabian

      Google wallet on VZW Galaxy nexus is the only example I can think of.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        How about apps during sales that you can't buy because they are incompatible for some reason?

        • http://www.about.me/FHL09 Troy

          Artem,

          How's things going with you?

          I have to ask as head of the horse so to speak do you not even if a little agree with me when I say many apps are incompatible for a reason.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            Oh, of course I do, which is why a tool like this needs to exist, and people using it need to understand that their complaints should be void if something goes wrong.

          • Martin Krischik

            But this app makes it to easy. Now noobs will start installing incompatible Apps.

      • br_hermon

        Google Wallet works just fine on my VZW Gnex.

        • letsplaaay

          Yeah, but the whole point is: did you download it from Google Play?

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      Watch for all of the [New App] posts on Android Police and you'll notice about 1 in 10 have several comments from people complaining, "WUT, n0 neXus 7 supoort?!?!? #UBERFUCKYOUFAIL". Right after that, 3-4 people pop up saying that they've sideloaded the apk and it works perfectly. By the next day, the developer says it will be fixed shortly and it was just a mistake. Within 48 hours of the article, the app is available to several more devices. A lot of times unavailability is just a goofy issue that has nothing to do with real compatibility.

      Upon thought, this app might be a good way for developers to test if a device is available for all of the devices that it should be.

      • http://www.about.me/FHL09 Troy

        I agree with you 100%

        There in lies the benefit I see in this, I will install this when I finish work and any previous apps marked incompatible if I want it bad enough I'll install it via this and if it goes or if it doesn't I'll let the developer know either way, hopefully it assists them.

        Thanks for the reply too mate!

    • Martin Krischik

      That is what I am afraid of as well. This app is a disaster for honest programmers who marked there app as incompatible for a reason.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Brian.K.White Brian White

        Honest programmers don't rely on unsafe assumptions and promises made by the platform. Honest programmers put in the effort to fail gracefully.

        Everyone should live without full ownership of their devices, for YOUR convenience? No.

        • Martin Krischik

          If you buy a car then it won't fly. Drive it off a cliff in the hope that it will fly you will die. Full owner ship of your car won't make it fly.

          And if you own a cheap and ancient android device then the newest version of my Apps won't run.

          Install my app on a QVGA device and the buttons will be to small to use.

          Install it on Éclair and it will crash with a method not found exception.

          And both are pretty safe assumption.

          Note that older version (Éclair and QVGA compatible versions) are still for download. There are three different version of my app in fact. If you spove your id you might get the wrong one. Read this:

          http://developer.android.com/google/play/publishing/multiple-apks.html

          BTW: i don't mind user to tweak there build.prop file. If they manage that they are hopefully intelligent enough NOT to send a bug report.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

            Poor analogy. A better example would be if you built and sold jetpacks that enabled cars to fly, yet limited their use (or even sale) to people who drove Hondas. You have every right to enforce that limit, but why get upset when Toyota owners find out your jetpacks work just fine for their cars and decide to circumvent the purchasing process so they can buy your product?

          • Martin Krischik

            Or it tears the toyota to pieces because some special reinforcements are missing.

            Again: I ave Multi-APK set up and if you install the wrong version the app will plain crash.

        • Floss

          My app is MY property, what the fuck does it have to with you being the owner of your device?

          • Martin Krischik

            I kind of not understand your point. Is that some kind of sarcasm?

      • John Merrit

        Remind me NOT to bother with ANY of your shit apps. This is why LAZY devs like you are easy to avoid while I stick to devs who bother to check their apps properly. Hopefully you'll be flipping burgers in a short while, and not ruining the app store with your trash.

        • Floss

          Obviously they did check their apps properly if they are saying it doesn't work with X,Y,Z devices.

          PS I find it hilarious that you think your boycotting apps which aren't 100% compatible with all 100 million different devices in existence actually matters.

          • John Merrit

            Reading comprehension failure. I never mentioned the word "Boycott", and even then it would be only directed at Martin Krischik.

            Lastly, devs clearly do NOT check their apps properly. I have a nexus 7 and 9 out of 10 apps, where I have tried to buy, that claim to not work on my n7 actually work fine. I had to resort to pirate apps to test them but they all worked fine, yet the devs won't allow me to buy them because they are too lazy to test properly and even update their apps. And this is a major problem of Android.

          • Martin Krischik

            Well you should be able to install my App for a Nexus 7. As you mentioned “Reading comprehension failure”: I clearly stated that I blocked small (QVGA) screens and Android 1.x. And only for the newest version of my app which use more advanced features. Thanks to Multi-APK (google it) you can still install the older versions.

            One more thing: even with the Nexus 7 being quite cheap I am facing divorce and am not in the position of actually buying a Nexus 7 right now. You seem to think we developers make a million bugs on those apps and we can afford to buy new devices left right and centre.

        • Martin Krischik

          Other way around: I only mark incompatible if I know for sure it won't work. I if might work I allow installation and if bug reports come in I fix them.

          But I already get strange _“java.lang.ClassNotFoundException”_ messages form device type _“OTHER”_ leaving me wondering how this is at all possible.

          Well I guess now I know.

          And last not least: Most developers can't spend a Million bugs to buy one of every Android device on the Planet. This is not iOS after all.

  • nsnsmj

    This app would have been so great to have during some of the Play Store sales. I couldn't buy a few really cheap tablet and TegraHD apps because of that.

  • Guest

    Tried this out and now my device won't stop showing as a GS3. Yes, I've rebooted. Yes I've done "restore" in the app.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Report it to the developer in the comments on the blog, I am sure he can look into it. Mention the phone you have and the OS version.

    • RyanWhitwam

      My Nexus 7 restored to its default state without incident. Definitely ping the dev.

    • http://redphx.com redphx

      please read the FAQs section in my blog. I just added your question. Hope this helps

    • Régis

      Maybe you forgot to enter the settings page on play store. It's a required step.

  • http://twitter.com/rolycoley Cole Doyle

    If I'm running ICS on my LG Optimus G and ran this app and acted like a nexus 7 or other jelly bean device, could I download Google Now?

    • SickoPsycho

      Google now is a system app- can't get it from teh market. You can probably find a flashable zip somewhere, though...

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Google Now is part of Google Search which is a play store app. However it relies on JB core functionality.

        My guess is Marker Helper can help install incompatible apps but only of they satisfy minimum API requirements.

        • SickoPsycho

          oh yeah- listen to him... like he knows what he's talking about. sheesh... ;-)

  • Google_is_the_Higgs_Boson

    What are some of the reasons for a app to not be compatible with your device, and what are the risks downloading these apps to a incompatible device?

    • Martin Krischik

      Display to small, OS to old. The App might crash on start. And please don't send bug reports to the programmer.

      • PhoenixPath

        ...or the dev is needlessly restricting an app to cut down on support requirements, or to artificially limit the number of users (testing), or for other, less scrupulous reasons.

        The first two can be argued as acceptable, but really are not. If you need to limit support, you aren't ready to Play. If you are testing, you shouldn't be in Play.

        Netflix did this, ffs. Countless others release only to certain devices/versions to limit the pool of users during testing. It's ridiculous, and serves only to support fragmentation-ists.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

        I don't understand how someone would "display to small" or "OS to old" something. Did you mean to use the word "too?" If not, can you explain what that means?

        • Google_is_the_Higgs_Boson

          I kind of understand what he means about the display. If you build you game to be at a certain height and weight in landscape mode, and use it on a device that has a longer weight, and shorter height in landscape mode, you'll get one of two things happen. Either black bars on both sides of the game, or it will fill in that space, and cut the top and bottom part of the game off, in landscape mode. You might even get glitching, where the display of the game is trying to compensate for the extra or less realestate of the screen in landscape mode. As far as a older OS, you target a certain version of Android when you build your app, say 2.2 froyo, becuz Android is backwards compatible, any device running 2.2 froyo and newer, can use the game. But if you are using a device that has something older then 2.2 froyo, you wont be able to use the game, I think it has something to do with API's... Not a expert tho...

          P.S G-MEN!!!

          • Martin Krischik

            Screen: I was thinking of the opposite: My screen design scales fine (See https://plus.google.com/b/112127498414857833804/photos/112127498414857833804/albums) . But on very small screens not everything fits – even after being scaled down.

            API: Again the opposite: My apps work from 2.2 … 4.2 fine. I have no upper limit in place so if 5.0 comes out you can install it right them away. But: they will crash in start with “method not found” on 1.5 and 1.6.

          • Google_is_the_Higgs_Boson

            Like I said not a expert. I've done a little developing, you can look me up in the play store, Dev name " Kodiak 211 "... I'm still learning...

        • Martin Krischik

          Have you ever considered that not everybody speaks English as native language?

  • BrainOfSweden

    This and Market Enabler = Complete life ;) Too bad ME doesn't work on 4.2 :(

  • zorbakun

    This App would be complete if it can also remove country restrictions.

    • Gunsranger

      yup that's the one remaining !

      • Michael Jackiewicz

        use a VPN to download apps?

    • letsplaaay

      and carrier restrictions! (Google Wallet vs VZW)

    • Freak4Dell

      MarketEnabler used to do that very thing, but it doesn't seem to work anymore. I would love to find something that does.

  • Martin Krischik

    Super. More stupid useless bug reports! Just to let you all know: If one of my apps incompatible with your device then it will:

    1) Be unusable because your display is to small.
    2) Crash on start because your devices OS is old.

    Disaster is just one side-load away.

    • br_hermon

      Dude... do you really think anyone smart enough to root their phone and use, let alone even know about, this app would be stupid enough to report bugs for an app that isn't supposed to be compatible with their device in the first place? Don't think you need to worry too much. Settle down there champ.

      • Martin Krischik

        Do you know about http://www.oneclickroot.com

        • br_hermon

          The large majority of average smartphone users don't know about that site or much at all about rooting for that matter. Rooting is and always will be primarily an area of interest for Android enthusiasts and that's it.

      • Floss

        I think you underestimate how stupid and self-righteous most of the people who root (not talking about the modders/tool designers)

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        Speaking as somebody who knows... Absolutely.

        I wrote an app about 4 years ago that was only useful for people who regularly flashed windows mobile roms. There were a few, very well documented restrictions on what devices and roms it would work with. Half of the posts one the XDA thread were from people complaining it wouldn't work and they didn't understand why. Even after adding huge warning dialogs and making the warning the very first thing you'd read on the first post of that thread, people still reported problems from unsupported setups about once a week.

        Here's another incident that still makes me angry. I wrote a utility that specifically managed aspects of IIS (Microsoft's web server) as it was configured for the company's servers. It was distributed to a few sites in the company and everybody was pretty happy with it... Until one issue came in. After trading emails with the guy for nearly 3 days, he finally admitted he was running the app with Mono on his personal laptop...wait for it...running Ubuntu! Seriously, an OS that doesn't have IIS, on a personal laptop!?!?! He was the chief system admin for that site!!! ....ok, calming down now...

        So yes, actually, there will be tons of people who report bugs and give low ratings. Maybe they will forget that they tricked the system or they are just self-entitled types that are pissed that their device wasn't supported (especially people who hate the Tegra exclusives), but it'll happen. Make no mistake, while I am sure this will lead to some stupidity like this, I still think it's a tool that should exist... It just needs some huge reminders that instability should be anticipated and negative reviews are inexcusable.

        • br_hermon

          Well I admit, it's hard to argue with that :-) Though you do make a good point. I could easily see where people install something and forget about the mod / incompatibility.

  • George Fayad

    I wonder if this possibly work with that socketeq android-windows project.. Downloading now to test it out...

    • George Fayad

      Crashes. darn. might have to play around with it some more.

  • rap

    This could be useful. I find some apps limit you because some features won't work (you don't have an autofocus camera for barcode scanning or a cellular radio) but other features of the app could still be used.

  • Jordan Richesin

    Anyone thinking what I am? Let's get Horn!!!!

  • DReppinV2

    I usually go for APKs if I can't get a paid app or it's unavailable in my country. As far as incompatibility issues go, they're incompatible for a reason. I had 4.1 AOKP and couldn't download a widget app made for 4.2 on my phone... that was understandable. All i'm saying is that I'm totally game for getting paid market apps for free and getting around country restrictions, but playing with compatibility constraints is just asking for crashes and freezes. If it's not compatible with your phone, move on or at least the dev log to see if the problem is something your OS can handle. Too many noobs who root their phone don't do any research into anything...

    • DReppinV2

      *check the dev log

  • Martin Krischik

    In some of the comments it was implied that I do not put enough effort into my apps. Well that hurts a lot. But since I regularly make Youtube Videos of my testing efforts I offer to you to judge for yourself:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IimyxuHXGic
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL7S4rE5Y5w
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M1ONsQyNNA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQkGg5tvZ6g
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeeBy8i5Fn8

    If you find those Videos boring just imagine me having to do this day in and day out so you have rock solid Apps which do what is advertised.

  • shirhan

    please help me, i was able to download apps but its force closing the apps
    plz help me

  • shirhan

    please help me, i was able to download apps but its force closing the apps
    plz help me

  • min

    it doesnt get me back to original state lil help?

  • deadmau5

    I got a rooted galaxy ace 2.3.6 i used the appp. Done exactly what it said to, i only wanted ti download bbm but it still says ' inconpatible with device' is thete a bug ,or am i doin somthing wrongg as its not workng

  • http://darkangelights2009.tumblr.com/ darkangelights

    how to root? every download failed