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Difficult to get Android apps to Jolla Store [answered]

asked 2014-11-28 16:01:15 +0200

Wizah gravatar image

updated 2014-11-28 16:07:39 +0200

I sent an email to the developer of the Helsinki Airport app for Android and asked if they could send this app to Harbour for testing. I have given up asking devs for native ones because the answers haven't been that positive but I usually mention that anyway.

Looks like a pretty simple app that one would think it would work but they answered:

Translated summary: "Jolla doesn't support Google Services...This app crashes on Jolla"

"Valitettavasti Jolla ei tue Google Servicejä, joita Android sovelluksessa on mm. GPS-paikannus, jota käytämme sovelluksessamme. Tällaisen appsin käyttäminen Jolla-puhelimessa kaataa sovelluksen. Tämä kaatuminen hyvin todennäköisesti aiheuttaa sen, että sovellusta ei hyväksytä Jolla Storeen. Toistaiseksi emme siis ole laittamassa Android-versiota Jolla Storeen. Kiitos kuitenkin hyvästä ehdotuksesta!"

Sad but true. Hoping the next release will add support for basic apps like this. Then again a more complicated app like Collector for ArcGIS works perfectly including positioning.

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The question has been closed for the following reason "the question is answered, an answer was accepted" by eric
close date 2014-12-01 10:41:48.103707

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answered 2014-11-28 16:47:10 +0200

ossi1967 gravatar image

It's not really clear what your question is (because you provided the answer yourself), but I'll try to add some background information:

You can think of Android as the basic layer, an open source operating system that everyone's free to use. Google cannot do anything about it because of the licensing. The magic of free software.

On top of Android, Google added the Google Play Services. Those are not free software and must not be distributed by companies, except of course Google gives them permission to do so. However, it's not just a matter of licensing fees Jolla would have to pay; there are other strings attached. Basically Jolla would have to stop producing SailfishOS powered phones in order to be allowed to distribute Google Play Services. They'd become just another Android handset manufacturer.

(To make things even worse, Google tries to shift development from the free part to the proprietary part. We'll both live long enough to see Android end up as a 100% closed source OS - except for the kernel maybe.)

There are ways around this; you'll find documentation on the web (even here on on how to install Google Play Services on your phone yourself. But that's what you do as an end user. Jolla won't be able to provide them. It's a legal issue, not a technical one.

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Has anyone tried installing Play Services using Aptoide instead? It seems to be available there.

arinan ( 2014-11-28 16:55:44 +0200 )edit

Thanks, this was the kind of answer I wanted :) I didn't know that this was the case because Jolla is being advertised as Android compatible so thought that this could be improved in some way. Are devs now making their Android apps dependent of Google services?

Wizah ( 2014-11-28 20:02:26 +0200 )edit

@Wizah: glad I could make things clearer. ;)

Of course more and more devs use Google services, simply because they're convenient. It's a matter of definition, though, if "Android compatibility" requires those services. I'd say no: Android is an open source project, the Google services are not. Android without Google services is used by Amazon on their smartphones, was even used by Nokia for Nokia X, powers a number of ebook readers and tablets.... so the situation we have on Jolla isn't uncommon at all.

ossi1967 ( 2014-11-28 20:27:25 +0200 )edit

Typically the apps found in third-party android stores shouldn't require google play services, which is only available through the google play store, but reality may differ.

However with enough resources, you can go down the amazon route of writing their own 'google play services' alike that handles all the API calls. But that's a constantly moving target and prone to issues.

r0kk3rz ( 2014-11-28 20:33:50 +0200 )edit

arinan i have installed but not working... i had to uninstalled at once.

elgeo ( 2014-11-29 21:29:30 +0200 )edit

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Asked: 2014-11-28 16:01:15 +0200

Seen: 5,354 times

Last updated: Nov 28 '14