I have an old rooted HTC Desire gsm version with custom recovery installed. Presently it is running the stock 2.3.3 android provided by htc, but this rom contains no standard apps like maps or gmail, and it has an old "market" app. The market does not update do the play store because it's too old, and it crashes at startup, so I'm stuck without any app.

I remember that years ago I successfully installed the cyanogenmod rom, but unfortunately the site is down and I cannot download it again.

I just need a very lightweight rom (possibly 2.3.7) with no frills, I don't care about nothing but:

  • Gmail
  • Gmaps
  • Whatsapp
  • A browser

What can I do to bring my old phone back to useful life? Or at least, how can I update to a working play store?

  • You can always seek installer (APK) of older versions of apps (that still can run on 2.3.x) and sideload them onto the device.
    – Andy Yan
    Sep 10, 2018 at 13:39
  • @AndyYan Sweet, can you suggest me one? Sep 11, 2018 at 7:15

2 Answers 2


I resolved the problem installing with an apk installer an updated play store apk. I downloaded from here the first 6.x.y playstore version I could find and then I installed it with apkinstaller from my pc. Then from the store I installed everything else without changing rom.

Keep in mind that my phone was rooted, though.


While doing similar research to upgrade an old HTC Desire I found this article that may help you: Cant add Google account to HTC Desire

It points out that you first need to upgrade Android Market to Google Play. However in other forums I read that you have to have Android 3+ to do so, though I'm not certain that's true. But hope that leads you in the right direction.

Also, if you already figured out and answer, please share back, I'd love to know (it may save me time). Thanks!

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