I own an HTC Salsa with Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread).

The problem is that I can't download apps like Subway Surfers, Temple Run, Candy Crush, etc. The market reports, "your device is incompatible".

Does it mean hardware requirements?

Is there any way I can upgrade my phone to play the above popular games?


Very useful information from Mr. Buster. But since there is an update on GOOGLE play now, which doesn't allow you to see the incompatible information.

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  • 3
    If you check the app in the web version of the Play Store it'll tell you, at least, if your version of Android is good enough. If it is, then the developer has decided that the hardware your device has isn't good enough.
    – ale
    Oct 7, 2013 at 13:07
  • @Luv This XDA thread maybe of interest forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2392504
    – Simon
    Dec 28, 2013 at 14:20

7 Answers 7


Application developers can set their own requirements in the play store for what must be present before a game or application will be available.

For example, it is possible to require a device has a camera, or has a screen larger than a given size, or has support for a particular version of OpenGL.

The HTC Salsa is equipped with an ARMv6 CPU (MSM7227), and has an Adreno 200 GPU, which supports OpenGL ES 1.0 and OpenGL ES 1.1.

From experience, the limitation here is most likely your ARMv6 CPU, as the vast majority of sofware nowadays is written for ARMv7 capable CPUs. Googling for the names of these games, along with "armv6" shows some hits, although I would be very cautious about running third party unofficial apps that have unspecified and unverifiable modifications.

If you do manage to get the games to run, you may find they lack OpenGL support (modern games are usually using OpenGL ES 2.0 or above), considering the fact that OpenGL 2.0 is required for programmable 3D graphics (source: http://www.khronos.org/opengles/2_X/)

  • Thanks for your valuable inputs. Right now i am trying to install custom rom on my mobile as Zig-Zag suggested, if that didn't work, i will surely accept your answer for the Bounty. Oct 27, 2013 at 3:39

It could mean that your phone does not meet either software or hardware requirements, or both. You could probably spoof the identity of your phone (so that it could be recognized as Samsung Galaxy S4 for example, instead of HTC Salsa), but you can't expect the app to work properly in this case.

So, I would suggest to get an updated / higher-end phone instead.

UPDATE 2013-10-30: If you're really looking into spoofing the model of your phone, check out Market Helper (needs root).

  • @Luv See my updated answer. :)
    – geffchang
    Oct 30, 2013 at 9:58
  • Thanks for this information. Once i get some time will try your solution. And i have already rooted my device. So its not going to take time. Oct 30, 2013 at 10:03
  • Ok, i did the procedure as describe and was successful in installing candy crush. But whenever i try to open candy crush it force close. So it the problem with hardware as @Pulser suggested. I think he deserves the bounty and Answer tick. Oct 31, 2013 at 11:35
  • @Luv Sure, whatever works for you. :)
    – geffchang
    Oct 31, 2013 at 13:59

Google Play lets app developers restrict which devices their apps can be installed on. Developers target specific device characteristics (screen size, keyboard configuration, software version, hardware specs, geographic location, carrier, etc) by specifying them in the app's manifest. Google Play then filters which users can install the app given their device configuration. Here's what Google has written to developers about filtering applications on Google Play:

How Filters Work on Google Play

Google Play uses the filter restrictions to determine whether to show your application to a user who is browsing or searching for applications from the Google Play app.

When determining whether to display your app, Google Play checks the device's hardware and software requirement, as well as it's carrier, location, and other characteristics. It then compares those against the restrictions and dependencies expressed by the application's manifest file and publishing details.

If the application is compatible with the device according to the filter rules, Google Play displays the application to the user. Otherwise, Google Play hides your application from search results and category browsing, even if a user specifically requests the app by clicking a deep link that points directly to the app's ID within Google Play.

Filtering on the Google Play web site

When users browse the Google Play web site, they can see all published applications. The Google Play web site compares the application requirements to each of the user's registered devices for compatibility, though, and only allows them to install the application if it's compatible with their device.

There could be any number of reasons, then, that your device is not allowed to download the apps you mentioned. You can gain a little more insight, however, expanding the incompatibility message to view the details. Here's what ghacks.net's Martin Brinkmann has written on the topic:

Google displays compatibility information right underneath's the install button on that page. If your device is not compatible, you will receive the following information:

This app is incompatible

Incompatible does not necessarily mean that your device's technical capabilities are incompatible with the app. While that may often be the case, it can also refer to geo-restrictions that the creator of the app has set. Apps can be released only to select countries, and if you happen to live in a country that the app is not (yet) released in, you too will receive the incompatibility message.

Now, to find out why your device has been deemed incompatible click on the small plus icon in the bottom right corner of the message.

Incompatibility message expanded

Here you find the reason why you cannot install the app to your device.

As a last resort, consider contacting the app developers to ask for a better understanding of what makes your device incompatible.

  • Thanks for this very useful information. You are at top for bounty reward. Oct 30, 2013 at 3:28
  • please have a look to updated Question Oct 30, 2013 at 3:37
  • @Luv: Good update, it's disappointing that the incompatibility messages are so much less clear now. You might have to just investigate each app individually to see why you're disallowed. As for Candy Crush Saga, per the app's FAQ it requires a ARMv7 processor. Pulser's answer is correct, then, as your phone has a ARMv6 processor. This is likely the restriction you're running into with the other apps as well.
    – Mr. Buster
    Oct 30, 2013 at 18:23

It could be for many reasons. Probably since the Salsa is relatively low end hardware wise and 2.3.3 is slowly becoming less supported.

I'd contact the developers and if it's an issue with the firmware, root your phone and install Android 4.0 +

  • It doesn't look like it's an issue with firmware. I checked the three apps mentioned and they all claim to run on Gingerbread.
    – ale
    Oct 7, 2013 at 13:06
  • @akkatracker i have rooted my phone. But can' t find a link to Android 4.0 +. Can u help me? Oct 28, 2013 at 12:32

you could try side loading the app. just download the .apk to your phone or transfer it from your comouter and install. no guarantee it will run but it will let you install the apk.

  • 1
    That would require a source to download the .apk from. Preferably a safe and legitimate source. You can't download apps from Google Play "just so".
    – Izzy
    Oct 28, 2013 at 0:41
  • you could try the amazon store and I know there is an extension for Firefox or chrome that allows you to download apks from the play store
    – Nade
    Oct 28, 2013 at 1:37
  • @Nade i tried but it Force Close Oct 28, 2013 at 5:13
  • You may have luck using a 3rd party Play download service like apps.evozi.com/apk-downloader I'm not sure how shady this service is however, use at your own risk.
    – ce4
    Oct 28, 2013 at 8:59
  • @ce4 , the apk downloader fetch the apk file directly from google server, so no worry. you can always double check the md5. Ask someone who able to download the apps from play store and extract/export the apk out and compare the md5 from the apk downloader (or any others method you can think of).
    – xDragonZ
    Oct 30, 2013 at 5:12

You should upgrade your phone. subway surfers and all these games you mentioned need higher GPU than salsa. and as someone said you could spoof your phone. The app doesnt work as expected and may slow down your phone.


HTC Salsa hardware is not that poor! I have nearly similar config phone but i can play all of those games the only big deference is my phone has android 4. i suggest upgrade your rom to android 4. i searched a little and find out it have new Roms from 2.3.3 to 4.1.2 JB.

  • Can you help me in how to gain S-OFF in HTC Salsa as i think to update ROM i need to gain S-OFF. Oct 26, 2013 at 10:57
  • S-OFF is for rooting your phone! do you want to upgrade your android version or just root your phone?
    – dev-masih
    Oct 26, 2013 at 11:07
  • I did root my Phone successfully. Can you give me a link for HTC Salsa Flash Roms 4.1.2 JB ? Oct 27, 2013 at 21:19

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