Well that didn’t take long. A member of the ArchosFans community has launched a new app that lets you install the Android Market and the full suite of Google apps on the new Archos tablets including the Archos 28, Archos 32, and Archos 43.

People have been installing a hacked version of the Google suite of Android apps on the Archos 5 Internet Tablet for a while, but since the new Archos tablets run Android 2.1 (and will soon be updated to Android 2.2), the original hack doesn’t work. The new app, on the other hand, seems to work quite nicely.

Not only does it install the Android Market, making it much easier to download and install apps on the new Archos tablets, but you also get Google’s Gmail app, Google Maps, Google Talk, and Google Calendar. Some users have reported a few minor problems. For instance, a strange symbol on the top of the Calendar app, and at least one user somehow managed to end up with an Archos tablet that won’t boot after installing the update — although it appears that may be because he didn’t have enough free storage space on his device to properly install all the packages.

In order to install the new hack, download the gApps4Archos.apk file from one of the links at the ArchosFans Forum thread, plug your device into your computer and mount it as a mass storage device, copy the apk file to your Archos device, unmount, and then use the Archos file explorer to locate the file and tap on it to start the installation process.

Just keep in mind, this is an unofficial update that’s not supported by Archos or Google, so if you run into any problems don’t expect any help from them. On the other hand, now that the hack is in the wild, I suspect there will be a lot of discussion in the Archos user community.

ArchosFans editor Charbax has put together a demo video which you can check out after the break. Only the first portion actually deals with the gApps4Archos file, while the rest looks at gaming and Skype on the Archos 43.

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24 replies on “Google Marketplace hack for the new Archos tablets”

  1. Another naive question….. I have been considering getting the Archos 70, but the marketplace issue was holding me back.
    The techie at the local PC World said that it’s about ease of access to apps rather than whether you can or cannot get them. He said that you can download them to your desktop PC then drag them onto your tablet then install from there. Is he speaking through a…..? I assume he is from the dialogue above.

  2. Could someone explain to me (naive user) the reasoning behind the restriction? In short words, how does Google benefit from the restriction? (I’d think they’d gain a lot by having the Android marketplace ever more pervasive … but since they employ smart people, I’m sure they’ve considered this possibility and come to the opposite conclusion.)

    Insight appreciated,


    1. Google says that 2.2 Froyo is not optimized for tablets, but next version 3.0 Gingerbread is

    2. Simplified it’s a matter of compatibility. Android was designed for Smartphones and the vast majority of apps made for it are made to run on Smartphones and not tablets.

      For example one of the reasons you don’t see higher resolution on Android devices is because Android doesn’t really support them. HD resolution is not really something you’ll find on most phones.

      So Google would have a tech support nightmare if they just opened up the Market to all devices. But the hope is they can either eventually configure the market to be adaptive to the needs of each device and simply block off what apps won’t work or create a separate market for these devices.

      Hopefully Android 3.0 will change things as it is suspected to be actually made for tablets and provide a standard for app development to support tablets in the future.

    3. HTC, Samsung, Motorola are investing billions in Android, they get exclusivity in Google Marketplace and how next versions of Android are being developed. Sure other companies also get the Marketplace, but usually, so far, only companies making more than 5 billion dollars in yearly revenues have the muscles to negociate access to those hardware requirements that Google says are needed. Things like 3G, compass, a-gps, back and front cameras all these augmented reality stuff.

      It’s also partly because Google thinks they can make more money giving people location based advertising and also with augmented reality based advertising. But that is not proven yet and Google is making plenty enough money on showing people ads on the web not knowing exactly where people are and in what direction they are looking. So I don’t believe augmented reality hardware to be a valid hardware requirement.

      Anyways, Google will most likely open up Marketplace to more types of devices like the Archos, devices to compete with iPod Touch, iPad and such, without required augmented reality on all those, with upcoming Gingerbread release which they should announce in the next weeks.

      Consider there are about a dozen augmented reality apps in the Google Marketplace, and very few apps that absolutely require compass, 3g, specific resolutions and the like. 99% of apps in the Marketplace work fine on Archos devices and on any of the other cheap chinese Android tablets.

  3. Too bad the hack comes from a member with only 5 posts. Kind of hard to trust the source. Who knows, he may be monitoring/capturing your information like your Google account log in.

      1. Maybe or maybe not. I’m not taking the risk of identity theft because of a pure guess.

        1. It’s doesn’t have to be a maybe if you scan the file for malware first. Just get a few such apps, like “Lookout,” and have each scan the file in turn and/or wait and see what others report as such an app will be thoroughly tested before you know it.

          If it’s malicious then it’ll be reported and you can just sit on the file until you feel comfortable trying it.

          1. Right, something like Lookout is going to find something. It scans and compares to a database of all known Android viruses and malware which is umm not many. If the hack does send your information somewhere it’ll be too late by the time it’s registered as malware on Lookout’s database or when someone finds out they have a bunch of unpaid loans. Could be days, months, years, etc.

          2. Don’t be obtuse, I said use a few apps. Not just one apps to scan the file and I didn’t say install it first. And as pointed out this is not some app that will take a long time for people to check out. Besides Lookout doesn’t just look for known viruses and malware. One tester even had it catch a new one that Symantec missed.

            An app that gives access to Google Market is an app that will get a lot of attention and it will be identified one way or other pretty quickly. Those that take a long time to identify are apps that not many people use and thus get little attention.

            Really, you can be suspicious of every single app ever made. It doesn’t matter if you trust whoever posted it as someone else could have hacked it and reposted it. So eventually you’ll either have to take a risk or don’t use Google at all!

    1. Google generally doesn’t yet allow the Marketplace on non-smartphone devices… So risky for anyone to post a hack…

      Google really has to fix this and make a way for all Android devices get access to the Market.

    2. I hope it has malware. It serves these software pirates for releasing/using illegal software.

      1. There’s a chance that this “m4rk3t” member is actually an Archos employee. Kind of makes sense considering how fast it was released. If it really is an Archos employee providing Market access to the unlicensed Archos tablets then Archos could get into big trouble with Google.

        1. To fuel the conspiracy theorists out there. Some one posted that the hack was from Archos as a joke. Some time later when I went back to the forum thread, the post got edited and the statement that Archos created the hack was gone. There were no edit notes saying the post was edited either. Only the forum admin could probably do that. I guess the user noticed that his post got edited and put the statement back in, haha.

      2. Funny how you TRY to take the high road but still wish ill upon people. geez

      3. What rubbish are you talking, this has nothing to do with pirate software, its to do with downloading freely available software that should work on your device, but because somone puts a prefeed list of hard ware for the software, you can not download.
        What and idiot.

    3. jack i wanted to ask you a question? can the archos 28 download media files from the internet such as free mp3s

  4. ah yes the infamous MarketPlace app….now if we could only get some of the promised ARCHOS tablets rather than PMP sized 28/32/43

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