Ask MTE: Get Google Play Store On Phone, Alternative Gmail Apps And More… (Android, Week 13)

In this installment of the weekly Android question and answer series, we answer some questions about rooting, applications that work well with Gmail and what to do if the Google Play Store doesn’t come on your tablet.

If you missed the article explaining rooting last week, there are some good resources for the beginner to look into. Thank you again for all of the questions. Keep sending them, we love it!

NOTE: Some of the questions will be rephrased and will not appear exactly as they were written in MTE’s inbox, for the sake of simplifying the question and giving as much space as possible to the answer. If you believe your answer was not adequately answered, go ahead and leave a comment at the bottom. We’ll get to you ASAP.

A: We have been getting a lot of rooting questions like this over the last couple of months. The short answer is…. your question is too vague. The long answer is, there are several applications out there letting you gain root access permissions to certain phones but not all phones. A lot of the very old and very new devices may not be supported. Usually the creators of these apps go with what is most popular first, then fill some popular requests.

A: Probably not. All you are really doing when you root your Android is gaining access to every part of your phone’s operating system. Unless you add a new Kernel or ROM like MIUI, you will not see a difference while booting up.

Try and download an application like Titanium Backup or if you don’t see it on your phone, Super User. Both of these will only work on a rooted device and both are free. If they do not work, maybe you can try to root your device again. Sometimes the littlest skipped step can make the root not work.

android-questions-rooted-apps

A: There are some devices you cannot get the Google Play Store on without rooting and/or adding a new ROM. There are however, a bunch of different application markets out there. Amazon, GetJar, Handmark and others. All of these should let you download the application or the APK for the application and use it on your tablet. Make sure you allow the installation of applications from Unknown Sources when prompted.

android-questions-alternate-android-app-market

A: My personal favorite application for email is K9. It offers awesome features like a common inbox (great for Blackberry converts) and better mail widgets than most of the stock email apps. Most of the add-on email apps will handle a bunch of Gmail accounts well.

android-questions-k9-email

If you asked a question and it wasn’t answered here, it could be one of three reasons:

  • Relevance: Your question needs to be totally relevant to the Android operating system.
  • Detail: Try to include as much detail as you can, such as the Android device and version of the Android OS you’re using.
  • Other Reasons: For some unfortunate reason, we couldn’t include your question in this edition. We’ll try our best effort to include the question in the next edition.

If you have questions you think might fit well with MTE’s next edition of “Ask an Android Expert,” send us an email at android-help [at] maketecheasier.com. Leave comments only to discuss the questions presented here. If you want to ask a question, use the aforementioned email address.