Google Apps have a new download location -- GetJar?

They say seeing is believing, but I'm still not sure what to make of this one.  Google's closed applications -- the ones they keep a tight rein on and not allow just anybody to use -- apparently are available through the third-party market GetJar.  Not just Gmail that you see pictured above, but Google TV remote, Maps, Search, Books -- they're all there.  We're assuming that this is legitimate and not a mistake (GetJar is a reputable site), but we're baffled at how this came to be -- especially since Google's apps also need additions to the Android system framework to actually run.  I can tell you that they work (I tested with Google Music and YouTube -- can't afford to wipe out my Gmail app just yet), but I can't tell you why.  Hit the link and give it a try yourself.

Source: GetJar

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • I wonder if this has anything to do with the Kindle Fire. I'm sure they want to be in on anything selling big thats running Android but putting them in the Amazon market might seem a little obvious. Or Amazon could have blocked them.
  • That's what I was thinking. If they Fire does allow legitimate side loading(i.e. no hacks to enable it), this could be pretty huge.
  • I've been using getjar for a few weeks now, they are legit and its a great way to score some quality free apps. I've seen googles apps in there but never thought anything of it until now.
  • Is being able to install Google Apps outside of Android Market really so strange?
  • what wasn't good enough??? Lolololol......
  • Did Jerry get a a taste of the ICS Gmail app?
  • Kindle Fire has its own email app. Note with CM7 you could always get the GApps pack, as shown in the link above. More choices are good.
  • I'm going to bet though that Amazon isn't going to make its own apps publicly available so yeah, go ahead and root and install CM7 but I doubt you'll be getting Amazon's instant video player or Silk to run on that. That may be okay for you but it may make a few people think twice before installing CM7.
  • Wait for the press release that Google has acquired GetJar.
  • No good. I'm in the UK and just tried to download Google Books. It just took me to the Android Market, where I got the usual message about it not being available in my country. So, in summary, this is just a roundabout way to use the standard Market.
  • Google books is useless in the UK anyway man :-) It comes with CM7, but you can't get paid books. Just same free stuff as every where else
  • How legit can GetJar be if every time you hear it mentioned, it goes with the assurance that it's legit?
  • Because there's tons of sites that offer pirated apps, so anytime you hear of a site offering premium apps for free you want to make sure its legit. Plus its basically a web based app, not an app store persay.
  • >> especially since Google's apps also need additions to the Android system framework to actually run Well, I think at this moment, an Android device that doesn't have the Google framework is pretty rare -- may be the stock Nook Color, and basically that's all.
  • This is pretty major news, IMHO. Well, a "stock" Nook Color uses B&N's own little ecosystem/market so that doesn't really count, since you have to hack it to even install outside APKs such as those from GetJar. Off hand, I can still think of plenty of Android devices without "official" GAPPS onboard aside from the NC and the Kindle Fire: -Viewsonic G-Tablet
    -Various Android-based tablets and "eReaders" such as the Velocity Micro Cruz Tablet and Cruz Reader (they have like 6 or 7 models in that family now, actually).
    -The NotionInk Adam and similar tablets (JooJoo etc?)
    -All of those various Sylvania-style no-name Chinese Android "tablets" they sell in drug stores and online for $99
    -Then you have various Android-based smartphones & tablets sold in markets outside the USA that may not have the full set of Google apps on them for various legal or licensing reasons.
  • The only big issue I have come across with GetJar is that they don't have updating working yet, if ever. You can get the free app, but you can't update it via GetJar or the Market.
  • We feel your pain. Auto-updates and version numbers are coming, hopefully in the next few weeks. I'm literally watching the engineering team work on it. Please bear with us :-)
  • Thanks. It will be great when you can get that going. Now, if you could only add Splashtop HD (and maybe start tossing in some other tablet apps) I will love your site for ever and ever, lol.
  • The thing about GetJar is that when you do get apps for free you are actually getting a previous version. I don't mind that since it saves me some money. I'm not sure why its not working for you but I haven't had any problems updating apps that I've downloaded from GetJar. I was also able to update SwiftKey X from GetJar and have it updated from the Marketplace so now I'm using a current version which is pretty cool. The one I have a problem with is Amazon because I keep hearing all these horror stories from developers on how they tend to rip them off so I try to stick with GetJar or the Marketplace because they do treat the developers with a little more respect. I was listening to a podcast the other day and the developer was saying how Amazon wanted to put their app up for "Free App of the Day" and they one, didn't want to pay them anything. In some cases it could be a great way to get your app out there but they get worse. They take total control of everything from how much they want to charge to writing their own description of the app even if the developer doesn't agree with their copy. I'm really starting to dislike Amazon and I am going to try and bite my lip when I see a great "Free App of the day" until they start taking care of the developers if they ever do. For now I think I'll just take the Amazon app off my phone and just stick to the Marketplace and GetJar. Jim
  • Well, here is what happens to me. I downloaded Splashtop via GetJar. It does not show up in my app list, but it does show up if I look up Splashtop. Anytime I click the update button, it sends me to the update page, but has Accept & Buy instead of Accept Permissions, so I can't update it. I haven't tried any of the other apps, but I'm not sure what's wrong with that. Got any suggestions?