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Thread: Install older Android app

  1. #1
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    Install older Android app

    I just got a phone with Lollipop and hate the Gmail email app that is forced upon me. Is there a way to somehow download the old email app from Kitkat from somewhere and use it instead?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slamtry View Post
    I just got a phone with Lollipop and hate the Gmail email app that is forced upon me. Is there a way to somehow download the old email app from Kitkat from somewhere and use it instead?
    If you have access to a phone with the app version you want, you can use an app like Apk Extractor to extract the app as a file and install it on another phone. You will have to enable install from Untrusted Sources on the target phone.

    I use Apk Extractor to save the current version of important apps before updating them. Sometimes the update is worse that the current version. I started doing this after TV Guide pushed a bum update that did not work at all leaving me without a working TV Guide for a week or so.

    There are also apk repositories with various versions out there.

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    Thank you, Bob. My gen 1 Moto E, which runs Kitkat, does have the app I like as it was built into Kitkat. I am a beginner at this but would like to try what you suggest. Would I need to "root" either my new phone or my old phone to do so? That would be beyond my current skill level so I hope not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slamtry View Post
    Thank you, Bob. My gen 1 Moto E, which runs Kitkat, does have the app I like as it was built into Kitkat. I am a beginner at this but would like to try what you suggest. Would I need to "root" either my new phone or my old phone to do so? That would be beyond my current skill level so I hope not.
    No root necessary. You can install any app from an apk file. The danger in apk repositories is that they are not vetted like the Play Store. This is not a problem with an apk that you extract from your own apps.

    Use Apk Extractor on the Gmail app you like. It will save the apk file somewhere on your phone.

    Find that file and email it to yourself as an attachment.

    On the target phone uninstall the Gmail app if you can.

    On the target phone open the email and download the apk file.

    Use File Manager to find and run the apk file. It will prompt you to enable install from Unknown Sources.

    Tada.

    I use the Gmail app every day and haven't noticed anything I don't like about whatever the current version is. You may find that previous versions won't work. Sometimes they twilight them and won't let you use them until you update. This happened with the YouTube app for me a while ago.

    Good luck

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    Bob, I have done that but cannot find the saved APK file. According to APK extractor it should have been saved to /storage/emulated/0/extracted apks but there is no folder with that name on either the phone's internal storage or the sd card. ANy ideas?

    Also, even if I do find it, will I be unable to use this if Gmail is still installed, i.e. do I absolutely need to be able to uninstall Gmail to use this older app?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slamtry View Post
    Bob, I have done that but cannot find the saved APK file. According to APK extractor it should have been saved to /storage/emulated/0/extracted apks but there is no folder with that name on either the phone's internal storage or the sd card. ANy ideas?

    Also, even if I do find it, will I be unable to use this if Gmail is still installed, i.e. do I absolutely need to be able to uninstall Gmail to use this older app?
    On my phone, a Galaxy S4, when I run the My Files app, touch Device Storage then touch the folder named ExtractedApks. The extracted apks are there. Touch the checkbox at the left of the file name then touch the Share icon. Share via an email program on the phone. That will send it to an email you can access on the target phone to download the file.

    If the Gmail app came with the target phone you may not be able to uninstall it. I would at least use the app manager to Clear Cache, Clear Data, disable Show Notifications, Force Stop, and Uninstall Updates.

    I don't know if you absolutely need to be able to uninstall the Gmail app to install the older version or if it will let you install an older version while the newer version is there. It shouldn't break anything. Trial and error...

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    I had to download a "file manager" for android but got the old email app installed. However it does not seem able to download any email so I suspect it has somehow been prevented from working properly by Google. I also cannot uninstall the Gmail app. I am guessing both of these are because these apps are (or were for "Email") built into the operating system itself. It sucks. I really like the simple clean interface of the old one and I am also not willing to have all my non-gmail emails (and the password settings that go with them) sitting on a Gmail server. And anyone who thinks Google are not sucking them in is simply naive. Many thanks for your help anyway, Bob.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slamtry View Post
    I had to download a "file manager" for android but got the old email app installed. However it does not seem able to download any email so I suspect it has somehow been prevented from working properly by Google. I also cannot uninstall the Gmail app. I am guessing both of these are because these apps are (or were for "Email") built into the operating system itself. It sucks. I really like the simple clean interface of the old one and I am also not willing to have all my non-gmail emails (and the password settings that go with them) sitting on a Gmail server. And anyone who thinks Google are not sucking them in is simply naive. Many thanks for your help anyway, Bob.
    Did you configure the new installation of the old app with your account info?

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    Yep, it all seemed as though it might work but it just hangs when you open it and it says it going to sync. Nothing happens. Think I may just go back to my old phone. Wish I could install Kit Kat on my new one instead of Lollipop, but it seems to be impossible.

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    Sure just uninstall the current Gmail app and install .apk of older version of the app. Cheers!

  11. #11
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    a lot of new software is bloated and the old simply software is better.

    you can look for an alternative email app in the play store. there are many alternative email apps so chances are you can find one you like.

    i thought k9 mail might be good to try because it has no ads and is small 3 mb however i never tried it yet.

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