Google Play Store App Download

Some of you (=Huawei customers) might be wondering how to get the Google Play Store APK itself. It must be on Play, right? After all, it does update itself from there…

When you search for “google play” in Raccoon, you won’t have much luck. The app simply isn’t there, no matter how far you scroll down. Wrong keywords maybe? Try searching directly by packagename instead:

pname:com.android.vending

Nope, nada, zilch, nothing! The Playstore APK is not linked to the search catalogue, which actually makes a lot of sense, when considering that you are not suppose to download it manually anyway. So how about downloading it without going through search? In Raccoon, you could do that via Market > Downgrade App (yes, it’s a bit of a misnomer. The tool is suppose to download arbitrary versions of an app, but downgrading one is the most common use case) or the commandline interface.

Download APK
Google Play Store App Download

Only problem here is that you have to know the versioncode, e.g. by looking it up on a device that has already been updated to the latest version. This could be done via ADB:

adb shell dumpsys package com.android.vending | grep version

Don’t bother trying, though. Even if you can figure out the versioncode, it won’t do you any good. Truth be told, com.android.vending is a special case. It doesn’t download like other apps. The network protocol has a separate endpoint for it.

Good news is: I figured out how to talk to that endpoint (and get the APK). Bad news is: the endpoint has it’s own way of filtering for device compatibility. Meaning, a lot code restructuring in Raccoon is needed to feed it the correct data.