How can I install gmail 4.9 on my Android 5.0 tablet?

I just (ignorantly) upgraded to Android 5.0 on my 2013 Nexus 7. Unfortunately, doing so also upgraded my gmail to version 5.0, which I do NOT want (because the 5.0 layout gives me less information than the 4.9 layout, and there is no way to change it to the more compact and useful screen of 4.9).

I have downloaded to my tablet Gmail 4.9 (1271612) APK Download, but when I try to install it, I only get the message "App not installed". I have disabled gmail (evidently, there is no way to uninstall it), and I "Allow installation of apps from sources other than the Play Store".


There are two ways that I know of. The android package manager won't allow you to install a lower version of the same package.

Solution 1: Root your device, install lucky patcher, open toolbox, choose "patch to android", and install the patch that allows the package manager install older versions of the same app

Solution 2: Using the app ApkEditor, clone the 4.9 apk so that it creates a duplicate app that can be installed in parallel with the default Gmail app. This duplicate app also can't be updated from the Google play store.

If you want, I can provide you with a modified apk to install in parallel, though remember, you shouldn't be trusting a stranger on the Internet. Just comment below.

  • Thank you, saloalv. — Yes, please, I would really appreciate a modified apk. Especially since it "can't be updated …". — After seeing several posts with the words "root" and "brick" in close proximity, adding in the confounding variable "Lollipop", and being myself an Android noob, Solution 1 is out of the question for me. — But I would like to try Solution 2. The "APK Editor" website says, "However, to use it well, we need a little bit professional skills. Don't be afraid, some examples are given in the help page." Well, I definitely don't qualify, and I am certainly afraid. – Rocky Scott Dec 8 '14 at 0:57
  • @RockyScott with the help of logcat I noticed it's not possible to install both gmails in parallel, since the content providers still have the same name. The app I'm using apparently doesn't change that – saloalv Dec 8 '14 at 9:36
  • Thanks again, saloalv. I don't have the reputation to give an up-arrow, but I have marked the question as answered. – Rocky Scott Dec 9 '14 at 11:41

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