If you’re anything like me, you love testing out custom ROM’s every now and again on your beloved Android device. Whether it be a Galaxy Nexus or a Thunderbolt, a Xoom or a Transformer Prime, there is bound to be a plentiful selection of custom ROMs for you to choose from. One thing that is required for any custom ROM, which there is surprisingly not a huge selection of, is GAPPS (Google apps). GAPPS are the Google created apps that come with any Android phone, and are the backbone of any true Android experience. They consist of apps such as Calendar, Gmail, Google Talk, and Android Market to name a few.
A while back, Gapps used to come prepackaged with custom ROMs but ever since Google issued a cease and desist to the CyanogenMod team, a bundled ROM is hard to find. Nowadays, if you want to flash a custom ROM and still want the original Google apps you are accustomed to, you must flash those also, in addition to the ROM. The standard go-to place to find the Gapps package has always been the website Goo-Inside – unless of course you are running a ICS ROM, in which case you would have to find those elsewhere, typically from a crafty developer found on the XDA forums. While these ad-hoc Gapps packages generally work just fine, users sometimes notice minor glitches or the lack of certain Google-developed features, like face-unlock. I have been using a couple different Gapps packages from different devs and have noticed some are better that others. While I haven’t noticed any missing features, I have experienced a lack of timely Gmail updates and the like.
If your a previous fan of Goo-Inside but haven’t been to the site in a while because your new ICS ROM hasn’t been supported, you’ll be happy to know that you can now return. Goo-Inside now has unofficial Gapps packages for custom ROMs running Android versions 2.3 all the way up through 4.0.4 – you are bound to find what you need. These should work on many custom Android 4.0.3-4.0.4 ROM’s including CyanaogenMod 9. There is even a version with face-unlock in the event your ROM doesn’t support it.
As with most good news there is one downside, though. If you are currently running a custom ROM along with a separate Gapps package (i.e. KEJAR or KOUSH), you will need to do a full wipe of your device in order to get the new package to take. If you don’t do a factory reset, you will most likely get force close’s or apps may not even open at all. I would hope this should’t be a huge deal if you are in the world of ROMing, after all, you probably already did a full wipe once this week already. :-) Hit the source link below for more details and downloads.