Which version of GApps to install for Lineage OS?

Due to licensing restrictions, LineageOS cannot come pre-installed with GApps. Navigating through the 10 available GApps versions for flashing can be challenging. To assist you in selecting the appropriate GApps version for your device, we’ve crafted a comprehensive and precisely detailed guide. This guide aims to provide clarity as you embark on the process of flashing Lineage onto your device.

Which version of GApps to install for Lineage?

Choosing the right version of GApps depends on three key factors: your device’s processor, the Android OS it runs on, and the desired variant. Let’s break down each aspect to guide you through the selection process.

Device’s Processor

The platform is a crucial category requiring careful consideration of your device’s processor type. The available options under ‘Platform’ for GApps are:

  • ARM
  • ARM64
  • X86
  • x86_64

Selecting the correct platform is paramount, and it’s essential to have a comprehensive understanding of your phone’s processor for optimal performance.

Android OS

Choosing the right GApps version also involves identifying the Android OS your system operates on. Fortunately, this is straightforward as most users are aware of their Android OS version. GApps versions are available for installations on Android versions, including:

  • 11.0
  • 10.0
  • 8.3
  • 8.1
  • 8.0
  • 7.1
  • 7.0
  • 6.0
  • 5.1
  • 5.0

Notably, GApp versions nano and Pico are currently the only ones compatible with Android 11. Keep in mind that GApps often require a patched ROM for proper webview support.

Variants

GApps are bundled into different variants based on the phone’s OS version and processor. The ten available GApp variants are:

  1. Aroma
    • A graphic installer for the super package, allowing you to choose installed applications.
  2. Nano
    • Designed for users preferring a minimal footprint with essential Google applications.
  3. Micro
    • Contains a limited set of applications with extra functions not available on the Play Store.
  4. Pico
    • A minimal package including essential Google applications.
  5. TVStock
    • Designed for Android OS-powered TV devices, containing all Play Store applications.
  6. TVMini
    • A smaller version of TVStock suitable for smaller GApps installations on Android TVs.
  7. Mini
    • Tailored for users who want to install their apps or use a limited number of Google applications.
  8. Super
    • The all-inclusive variant, featuring every GApp shipped on a Google device.
  9. Stock
    • Recommended for most current-generation devices, includes standard Nexus features.
  10. Full
    • Lacks the company’s camera or keyboard but retains stock/AOSP browser, email, gallery, keyboard, SMS app, Pico TTS, or web view.

What happens if you don’t install GApps after flashing Lineage?

Many users opt to install GApps on their devices for easy access to the Play Store and other applications reliant on Play Services. Notably, it’s not mandatory to install GApps after flashing a custom ROM onto your device.

While basic operations like calls, text messages, and internet usage can function without GApps, it’s essential to consider the limitations. Without flashing GApps on LineageOS, you won’t gain access to the framework and applications integral to the GApps program. This means missing out on the ability to download applications from the Play Store and log into your Google account for data access.

If concerns about the security of app downloaders arise, consider sideloading them on your LineageOS device without GApps. Trusted platforms like APKMirror provide a reliable option for downloading applications.

For users who prefer to avoid unnecessary features from Google, especially when running on a stock ROM, the sentiment is understandable. If you don’t want the additional features that certain GApps versions bring, it’s perfectly fine.

However, it’s crucial to recognize that fully maximizing the potential of a Custom ROM often involves the inclusion of GApps. To mitigate concerns about GApps acting as bloatware and consuming resources on your device, consider installing one of the basic GApps versions for a streamlined experience.

Read About: enable Selective Call Forwarding

How to Install LineageOS on Android?

If you’re contemplating rejuvenating your phone with a custom ROM, LineageOS stands out as one of the most widely used options. To guide you through the process of flashing LineageOS onto your device, here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide.

Step One: Gather your Downloads and Enable Developer Mode

Before delving into the flashing process, ensure you have the necessary tools and files ready. Here’s a checklist of essential items:

  1. TWRP (Team Win Recovery Project):

    • TWRP is a vital custom recovery tool for flashing operating systems like LineageOS.
    • Download TWRP from the official homepage, selecting the version compatible with your device.
    • On the homepage, navigate to the “Devices” link, enter your model number, and download the appropriate TWRP version.
    • Confirm that you’re downloading the correct version for your device, considering similar device names. Choose the right region before initiating the download.
  2. GApps (optional):

    • Some users prefer having Google Apps (GApps) on their LineageOS device for access to the Play Store and other Google apps.
    • Visit the GApps download page and select the package based on Lineage version 15.1 or 14.1.
    • Choose the Platform, Android, and Variant. Pay particular attention to the Platform to match your device.
    • Confirm the pre-selected version and choose the desired Variant (nano, Micro, or Larger) for a customized experience.
    • Click the download button after making your selections.
  3. SU File (optional):

    • If you desire root access, download the SU File from its official page, ensuring compatibility with your device specs and Lineage version.
    • Note that there is no SU File available for Lineage 15.1 at the moment.

Organize your Files:

  • Keep all downloaded tools, packages, and files in a specific folder for easy access during the flashing process.

By following these preparatory steps, you set the stage for a smooth LineageOS installation on your device.

Enable Developer Mode and USB Debugging

USB Debugging serves as a communication bridge between your device and a desktop with SDK or Android Studio, facilitating various operations like receiving commands, files, and access to log files.

After downloading all required files, the next step involves enabling USB Debugging on your Android device. If Developer Options are not visible, initiate Developer Mode by navigating to Settings

  1. About phone
  2. tapping seven times on the Build Number option.
  3. Once Developer Mode is enabled, go to Settings
  4. System
  5. Advanced
  6. Developer Options
  7. USB Debugging.

Step Two: Unlock the Bootloader

With downloads and device settings in place, proceed to unlock the bootloader. Before proceeding, it’s advisable to create a backup of all essential files and data.

Connect your device to your computer using a USB cable, navigate to the folder containing ADB and Fastboot files, and open a Command Prompt or PowerShell window. Ensure proper device connection, type ‘ADB devices’ in the command prompt, and press Enter to see your device in the list.

Grant ADB access on your phone if prompted. Type ‘adb reboot bootloader’ and press Enter to reboot into the bootloader. After the reboot, type ‘fastboot oem unlock’ and follow on-screen prompts on your phone to confirm.

Step Three: Flash TWRP

Once the bootloader is unlocked, it’s time to flash TWRP. Navigate to the folder with the saved TWRP via a command prompt or PowerShell window and use the command ‘fastboot flash recovery <nameofrecovery.img>’ (replace ‘nameofrecovery’ with the actual recovery name).

Step Four: Reset/Wipe Partitions

Launch the flashed recovery, enter Recovery Mode, and initiate a wipe of partitions by selecting ‘Wipe’ and then ‘Advanced Wipe.’ Tick the System, Data, and Cache options, wipe data, and reboot the system.

Step Five: Flash Lineage, GApps, and SU

After rebooting into recovery, use the Command Prompt or PowerShell window to push Lineage, GApps, and SU files to the device’s internal storage using ‘adb push’ commands.

adb push <nameoflineagebuild.zip> /sdcard
adb push <gapps.zip> /sdcard
adb push <su.zip> /sdcard

In recovery, tap ‘Install,’ select Lineage, tap ‘Add more zips’ for GApps and SU, and swipe to flash.

Step Six: Boot and Set-Up

Upon completion of the flash, reboot your device. The initial boot may take some time. Once booted, complete the setup as you would on any Android device.

Congratulations, your device is now running Lineage OS with GApps.

Conclusion

Understanding the differences between these GApps variants is crucial in choosing the one that best suits your needs. Whether you prioritize customization, minimalism, or comprehensive functionality, making an informed decision ensures a seamless experience on LineageOS or any other custom ROM.

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