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So I understand that I need to flash the gapps package after installing a custom Android distro (ROM). In that case, is there an official google apps package? If so, why should I rely on competing distributions of the Google apps package, rather than get it straight from Google? If not, do device manufacturers get it through a different, private route?

If not, is there any way I can extract the Google Apps platform whole from my own device's stock Android OS image? As I understand, that is in fact the exception which Google allowed, which everyone seems to be abusing by simply distributing APKs extracted from other devices. I have not seen a single guide for this.

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Official GApps package is never available publicly. Google only provides it to authenticated OEMs like Samsung and HTC. It'll be installed only on Google Play Verified devices, in their stock ROMs.

That's why individuals can only download and flash unofficial GApps packages.

You can, of course, extract Google Apps from an authenticated phone and install it elsewhere, but you'll surely do extra job in comparison to flashing well-prepared packages.

  • But is it easier to extract Google Apps from an authenticated phone and install it on the same phone? Is there a guide or a short description for it? – Milind R Nov 5 '17 at 16:17
  • Why would you want to do it? Software (ROM) updates are always pushed out at a slow rate from manufacturers, and by the time they get to your phone, some components in it that are published on Play Store (most are) already have more updated versions available for download. Unofficial ones like OpenGAPPS update their offerings independent of that "push update" layer and thus are much faster; their installation script can also be very sophisticated, helping you avoid mistakes and sometimes allowing you to configure what to be installed. TL;DR: not worth the trouble. – Andy Yan Nov 6 '17 at 1:26
  • @AndyYan : Thanks, it clarifies. However, from a slightly purist point of view, it's kinda more legal to extract and flash on the same phone, than to flash a custom collection of gapps right? Also, lots of phone-specific and manufcturer-specific elements will/can be captured if I extract from a stock image right? – Milind R Nov 14 '17 at 20:46

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