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[APP] microG GmsCore - lightweight free software clone of Google Play Services

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By MaR-V-iN, Senior Member on 4th October 2015, 05:37 PM
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Introduction
microG GmsCore is a FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) framework to allow applications designed for Google Play Services to run on systems, where Play Services is not available. If you use your phone without GAPPS this might become a useful tool for you.
microG GmsCore is one of the two core components of the microG project.
More up-to-date descriptions and instructions might be available on the wiki

Instructions
Preparation:
  1. You need a 4/5/6 ROM that is GAPPS-free. Either don't install them or remove them, if your ROM ships them. Please note that microG GmsCore might run on a cleaned stock ROM, but it might also brick it or cause random bugs. Be aware that only latest Android versions (4.4+) are regularly tested and thus prioritized over older versions when issues occur.
  2. You need a ROM that supports signature faking. Some custom ROMs are patched to support signature faking out of the box, including all OmniROM-based ones. Stock CyanogenMod denied the inclusion, as the possibility of third-party play services implementations is considered a security issue (read here about why it's not). Please ask your ROM developer if unsure. The latest version of signature spoofing for Android < 6.0 has to be enabled at the bottom of the developer settings first. If your ROM does not support signature faking, but you use Xposed, you can grab a Xposed module here.
    If you are a ROM developer or just do custom builds for whatever reason, you can download and include the patch from here and here for Android 5.1 or here for Android 6.0.
  3. Remove UnifiedNlp. In case you installed it before. You can keep your backend modules installed, microG Services will be able to use them later and provide the same feature set (to be precise, microG Services includes UnifiedNlp).

Installation:
The installation does not require any modification of the /system partition. All installations should be done using the default app installer included with Android or using `adb install`. This means you need to enable third-party sources or developer mode first.
  1. Install GmsCore.apk as provided in the download section below.
  2. If you want to use Google Cloud Messaging ("Push-Notifications"), Install GsfProxy.apk as provided in the download section below. The GsfProxy version does not need to match the GmsCore.apk version.
    1. If you have BlankStore installed, continue with the next step.
    2. If you want to be able to access the Play Store, install BlankStore from its thread. It is not a requirement that you set it up correctly and this is not covered by this instructions. If you need help ask in the original thread.
    3. If you don't care about Play Store access, Install FakeStore.apk as provided in the download section below.
  3. Open the microG Settings, which are available in the launcher now. If you want to use any Google services (Log-In, Cloud Messaging), tick both checkboxes for background services. This is the only supported setup, but you are free to disable them if you like playing with fire. You can also open the UnifiedNlp settings to enable the location backends of your choice. If you don't have any yet, check out F-Droid. For further questions and concerns regarding UnifiedNlp, use its corresponding thread.
  4. Reboot your device. If you skip this step, everything unwanted is possible.

Using it:
  • You can test Google Cloud Messaging using this test application. Push notifications do not require account registration.
  • You can add an account through the system settings. Some applications might ask you to do so, if you don't.
  • Use your applications as you like. But note that apps that use Cloud Messaging must be installed after GmsCore, else they will not work. Some hint of applications that can run due to microG GmsCore: TextSecure/Signal, Play Music, YouTube
  • When using AdAway make sure to put mtalk.google.com on your whitelist, else problems are likely to occur when using Google Cloud Messaging. Thanks @benstyle1 for the hint.

Downloads
See this wiki page for Downloads. You can find details on the F-Droid repository on https://microg.org/fdroid/.

Telegram discussion channel
microG and other tools related to NoGapps setups are discussed in the NoGapps Telegram group.

Signing key
The NOGAPPS and microG Project use a shared signing key. Apps and the F-Droid repository are signed using this key. You can verify app signatures using the Checkey app (not when signature spoofing is enabled) and the F-Droid key in F-Droid repository details.
The SHA-256 hash of the key is:
9B D0 67 27 E6 27 96 C0 13 0E B6 DA B3 9B 73 15 74 51 58 2C BD 13 8E 86 C4 68 AC C3 95 D1 41 65

Current implementation progress
Please check this wiki page for up to date implementation progress.

Please report bugs
This project is still rather unstable. Please report bugs as they occur. Whenever you report a bug, please tell us what application caused the bug, including its exact version. If you're the developer, name the play services library you are using. Please do not bother the original app author when it might be related to microG services. If the problem is related to geolocation with UnifiedNlp, report it in the UnifiedNlp thread, even if you're using it through GmsCore.

Thanks
Big thanks to everyone who continuously supported me doing this, by donating, pull-requests or just feedback.

XDA:DevDB Information
microG GmsCore, App for all devices (see above for details)

Contributors
MaR-V-iN
Source Code: https://github.com/microg/android_packages_apps_GmsCore


Version Information
Status: Beta
Current Beta Version: v0.2.4
Beta Release Date: 2016-07-18

Created 2015-10-04
Last Updated 2016-12-07
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4th October 2015, 08:01 PM |#2  
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Nice! Even original Play Store started to work with this! Not fully, but now you can login, search for apps and see already installed ones. Just download doesn't work yet. Keep up good work! Original GMSCore is android cancer.
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4th October 2015, 08:08 PM |#3  
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Thanks for the new thread on this!

I am wondering why the code for GsfProxy, which looks rather simple, is not included as part of GmsCore. . .

Also, there are some older apps that I have that use Maps API v1, so I have installed it from the link at http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1715375 I assume some rework would be needed to fold that into GmsCore but that would be another nice feature. The convenient thing about gapps is that it comes as a single package, having to install multiple items from the microG project makes things a little else friendly.

FWIW, I've been using the downloads from http://files.brnmod.rocks/apps/GmsCore/Latest/ and have been very pleased with GmsCore (and UnifiedNlp before it). Now that there is an official version tag, I wonder if F-Droid will pick this up. That would make it easy to keep it relatively current.
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4th October 2015, 09:30 PM |#4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n76

I am wondering why the code for GsfProxy, which looks rather simple, is not included as part of GmsCore. . .

The whole purpose of GsfProxy is to not be included in GmsCore: For GCM to work properly you need three packages installed: "com.google.android.gms" (GmsCore), "com.android.vending" (FakeStore/BlankStore) and "com.google.android.gsf" (GsfProxy). This is how Google build it up, don't ask me why.
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5th October 2015, 01:41 AM |#5  
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I thought that blank store was going to be replaced with a better play store access app?
5th October 2015, 05:12 AM |#6  
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A good store app requires working play services first. So one step at a time
5th October 2015, 05:29 AM |#7  
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I'm not saying let's rush and have both but I just thought from what I read that blank store will be depreciated in favor of something better but having play services replacement is great.
5th October 2015, 05:48 AM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Could Be Anyone

I'm not saying let's rush and have both but I just thought from what I read that blank store will be depreciated in favor of something better but having play services replacement is great.

I believe you are correct, Blankstore will be replaced by something in a while and it is only being maintained if/when a Google change requires it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by selemine

A good store app requires working play services first. So one step at a time

Exactly! Once Play Services are working well and there is someone to work on it, a successor to Blankstore should appear.

I'd like to help but even though I can get a number of things to compile through either the old Android CLI development system or Android Studio I haven't figured out how to get most of the components in the microG project to compile on my computer. Seems like I've bolloxed something needed to make gradle, etc., to work properly. If/when I get time I guess I should wipe the whole machine and start over on setting up a development environment.

In the meantime, I am amazed by the work @MaR-V-iN had done with the microG project. I don't miss having GAPPs on my phone at all.
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5th October 2015, 07:01 AM |#9  
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Thanks for sharing
5th October 2015, 07:07 AM |#10  
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Thanks, subscribed.

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5th October 2015, 09:12 AM |#11  
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Just wondering if anyone has gotten license errors since I couldn't get Drastic or fpse to work since it keeps giving me an error.
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