[APP] APK Downloader Extension - download apks without play store

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jackpf

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2013
117
75
Quick backstory - tired of Google knowing everything about me and seeing targetted adverts everywhere i go, I've bought a little Moto G as a project and decided not to install google play services on it, and use open source alternatives to google's apps.

While alternative stores like F-Droid are great, there are certain apps that are only on the play store, which I can no longer download since I don't have the play store installed. This is where apk downloader comes in. You do still need a google account to authenticate with, and a google services framework ID from a device that has been activated with google play services (you can ignore this if you have play services installed, you can find your gsfid using my app or an app called "Android ID" in the market), but after that you're free from google!

The app adds a "share" button to app pages in browsers, so you can search for apps using your browser and then click share to download, completely bypassing google play.

2jc6h6e.png
23tguw0.png


I've spent a lot of time trying to get requests and responses to work using protobuf (the system the play store uses) but have been unable to do so since it's just guesswork really, so it's constructing requests manually, the same way as the chrome extension which does this very same thing.

It's nowhere near finished, but I just thought I'd share this in case anyone finds it useful. You can also use this app to download apks that the play store may have blocked from your device, for example.

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE PLAY SERVICES INSTALLED:
Use an app like this to get your google services framework ID, and enter it in the settings.

Source: https://github.com/jackpf/ApkDownloader
Download: https://github.com/jackpf/ApkDownloader/blob/release/bin/ApkDownloader.apk?raw=true (Ad free)
Play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jackpf.apkdownloader
 
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pemell

Senior Member
Jan 4, 2012
1,351
1,323
Gothenburg
While I like the idea very much it doesn't work for me.

I'm trying to download an app and I get an error message: "API exception: protocol message contained an invalid tag (zero)"

Sent from my C6833 using Tapatalk
 

jackpf

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2013
117
75
While I like the idea very much it doesn't work for me.

I'm trying to download an app and I get an error message: "API exception: protocol message contained an invalid tag (zero)"

Sent from my C6833 using Tapatalk

Whoops my bad, I committed a test version of the app. It should work fine now.
 

Andrew3k

New member
Dec 12, 2012
3
0
It looks like this can only download apps that are compatible with the device you got the device ID from. I kept getting the "App not found", but only for apps that weren't normally compatible with my HTC One (M7). Once I searched for a regular app like Nova everything went fine. Is there any work around for this?
 

jackpf

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2013
117
75
It looks like this can only download apps that are compatible with the device you got the device ID from. I kept getting the "App not found", but only for apps that weren't normally compatible with my HTC One (M7). Once I searched for a regular app like Nova everything went fine. Is there any work around for this?

Yeah it uses nexus 4 info for its device ID. Hopefully I can add in some options where you can choose different devices to spoof when you download
 
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eneka

Senior Member
Dec 10, 2010
158
32
Hacienda Heights
This is awesome!!! Been trying to get an app that was not available in my country for the longest time now and this worked like a charm! Thank you so much!!
 

charlie95113

Senior Member
Dec 25, 2010
1,182
196
Youre a dawm god tooo bad 95% of xda has no clue what you have avhived thank you

Sent from my LG-LS980 using Tapatalk
 

jackpf

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2013
117
75
I don't really like entering my google account email and password into an app.
Is there a way to replace this with OAuth?

For now I've not got round to implementing oauth, it is something that could potentially be done in the future though.

If you're worried, the full source code is available and you can compile the app yourself.
 

jackpf

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2013
117
75
It looks like this can only download apps that are compatible with the device you got the device ID from. I kept getting the "App not found", but only for apps that weren't normally compatible with my HTC One (M7). Once I searched for a regular app like Nova everything went fine. Is there any work around for this?

I've just added device parameters in settings so you can choose what info is sent with the request for the download. By default it's a Nexus 4, but you should be able to play around and see what settings allow you to download the apps you want.
 

qwerty2653

Member
May 25, 2014
6
0
First i want to say thanks, great idea. But i have problem with app downloading, i get error message: "API exception: Server responded with status code 400". What did i do wrong ?
 

jackpf

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2013
117
75
First i want to say thanks, great idea. But i have problem with app downloading, i get error message: "API exception: Server responded with status code 400". What did i do wrong ?

My fault, I uploaded a test build by accident. It should work now if you download it again or use the link to the one on google play.
 
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  • 52
    Quick backstory - tired of Google knowing everything about me and seeing targetted adverts everywhere i go, I've bought a little Moto G as a project and decided not to install google play services on it, and use open source alternatives to google's apps.

    While alternative stores like F-Droid are great, there are certain apps that are only on the play store, which I can no longer download since I don't have the play store installed. This is where apk downloader comes in. You do still need a google account to authenticate with, and a google services framework ID from a device that has been activated with google play services (you can ignore this if you have play services installed, you can find your gsfid using my app or an app called "Android ID" in the market), but after that you're free from google!

    The app adds a "share" button to app pages in browsers, so you can search for apps using your browser and then click share to download, completely bypassing google play.

    2jc6h6e.png
    23tguw0.png


    I've spent a lot of time trying to get requests and responses to work using protobuf (the system the play store uses) but have been unable to do so since it's just guesswork really, so it's constructing requests manually, the same way as the chrome extension which does this very same thing.

    It's nowhere near finished, but I just thought I'd share this in case anyone finds it useful. You can also use this app to download apks that the play store may have blocked from your device, for example.

    IF YOU DO NOT HAVE PLAY SERVICES INSTALLED:
    Use an app like this to get your google services framework ID, and enter it in the settings.

    Source: https://github.com/jackpf/ApkDownloader
    Download: https://github.com/jackpf/ApkDownloader/blob/release/bin/ApkDownloader.apk?raw=true (Ad free)
    Play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jackpf.apkdownloader
    2
    this is how i do it usually on pc, but works on phone browser too :)
    http://apps.evozi.com/apk-downloader/
    2
    Whoops, I've been away for a while and not keeping up to date on this thread.

    Just updated the app (on github and play store) to fix a few issues, all should be working well again.

    Just to point out, unfortunately you can't download paid apps yet, although I am looking at ways to download them if you've already purchased them.

    I've also updated the main thread with instructions on how to find your google services framework ID if you do not have play services installed.

    Let me know of any more issues!
    1
    It looks like this can only download apps that are compatible with the device you got the device ID from. I kept getting the "App not found", but only for apps that weren't normally compatible with my HTC One (M7). Once I searched for a regular app like Nova everything went fine. Is there any work around for this?

    Yeah it uses nexus 4 info for its device ID. Hopefully I can add in some options where you can choose different devices to spoof when you download
    1
    Very useful app, my new favorite. So many use cases. For instance, I will keep apks I may install later when I don't have an Internet connection or for sharing with those who have no access to Google Services (either from google.com domain being blocked/censored or non-Play Store devices.) Thanks dev and keep up the great work! OAUTH feature is awesome!