How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Third-party apps, customisation, mods, development, custom kernels & ROMs

WARNING - Here be dragons!
If you don't entirely understand what you're doing, even following someone else's guide could end up with you bricking your Karoo, or leaving it in an unsupported state with no way to go back. By all means enter, read and learn, but undertake actions on your Karoo at your own risk!
Forum rules
Undertake any procedures at your own risk and make sure you know how to reverse any changes. You could brick your Karoo or at the very least put it into an unsupported configuration.
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Steve
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How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by Steve » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:28 am

Standard disclaimer - DO NOT START MESSING AROUND WITH THIS IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING! Even following a step-by-step guide might not be "safe" because it may assume/require advanced Android knowledge, and you might end up bricking your Karoo to the extent that it becomes useless and you need to buy a new one.


We're aiming to build up some guides like this one. More details to come in time. Contributions would be very welcome!

**************************************************************************************************************

Basic principles for installing third-party apps on your Karoo

Install the APK via adb. And there you go! It's that simple if your app doesn't need Google Play Services, but you need to bear in mind that Karoo doesn't come with Google Play Services out of the box. If your app is dependent on Play Services, which many are, then you'll need to install that first (you'll need to flash OpenGApps - details to come in time).

However, to run the application you're going to need to install a third-party launcher too, otherwise you won't be able to see the app to be able to start it. Well, you can launch the app via adb, but that's not going to be very useful if you want to move away from your computer with the Karoo.

Also bear in mind that Karoo runs Android 6.0, e.g. if your app has extra features that need later releases (latest Android is 8.1).


Remember, installing third-party apps will almost certainly move your Karoo outside the bounds of HH support, so you'll need to do a factory reset and reproduce any issues with the built-in software without the third party apps, if you want any support from HH.

**************************************************************************************************************
Detailed guide, kindly provided by jhazlewd

Note - although this guide assumes the use of Windows, the adb commands will be the same, just that you need a Terminal window up on the Mac rather than the command prompt on Windows.

I. Tools and Terms

a. Applications – Very high level - Applications, including launchers, for Android are called apks.
b. ADB - Android Debug Bridge is needed to allow your computer (Windows) to talk to your Android Device (Karoo). viewtopic.php?f=10&t=91

II. Getting your Karoo ready to install applications

a. Enable Developer Mode – On the Karoo, Go into Settings -> About, scroll down to "Build number" and then tap the Build number box seven times in a row. You’ll see a dialogue pop-up indicating developer options are enabled.
b. Enable USB Debug Mode – Again on the Karoo, go into Settings and you should now see Developer options. In Developer Options enable USB Debugging. Steve did a great write-up here for more info: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=73

III. Getting your computer ready

a. From the above link (ADB) you will need to have available the ADB tools. You’ll be using ADB for App installation.
b. Lastly plug your Karoo into your computer

IV. Installing Applications

a. First let’s perform a test to ensure the computer and Karoo are working together
  1. Open a windows command prompt by typing cmd in the search box and running the command application. You should be rewarded with an old school dos prompt box in black and white.
  2. Go to the folder location you have the adb.exe tool located in (I’m assuming you know how to use DOS commands and can navigate to the directory. If you can’t, read up on those commands (The only real command prompt command you’ll need is the change directory command which you’ll use to navigate to the correct folder).
  3. Type adb devices and hit enter. You should see a result that says List of devices attached with a string of numbers and letters below it followed by device. If it says no devices found you likely have a bad cable or the device drivers are needed. I believe the Google USB drivers are all that are needed, so search for Google USB drivers to help with that.
  4. Assuming you get a device id back from step 3, you are ready to go.
b. Install a launcher
  1. The first application you will probably want to install is a launcher. If you don’t install a second launcher you won’t be able to get to any applications you want to install very easily.
  2. Find an android launcher of your choosing (again personal preference) and download the apk to your computer (in the same folder as the adb tools is easiest).
  3. From a command prompt (cmd from windows search box as mentioned above), type adb install xxx.apk. So it might look something like: adb install Novalauncher.apk
  4. Once installed (you should see a success message), When you click on the bottom right button of the Karoo you will have an option to select what launcher you want to use. As long as you don’t make one of the launchers your default each time you press the home button (bottom right) you’ll get to choose which launcher to use. To make it easy until you get more comfortable, don’t make anything the default launcher, then you can continue using the Hammerhead launcher for rides and the secondary launcher for launching your newly installed applications.
c. Installing Applications
  1. Installing applications uses the same command as used for installing the launcher: adb install xxx.apk
  2. To get to any newly installed applications you’ll need to use the secondary launcher as the Karoo launcher won’t show those applications.
Be forewarned, many of the applications for Android use Google Play Services and Google Framework to work properly (i.e. location services, using an account, etc.). You can’t install the Google Framework and applications (typically called GAPPS) using the steps above. They require a separate install flow (so don’t try!)

24santas
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by 24santas » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:49 am

If you need a launcher to launch the app, how do you launch the launcher?

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Steve
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by Steve » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:18 pm

24santas wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:49 am
If you need a launcher to launch the app, how do you launch the launcher?
I haven't tried it on my Karoo. But you can start an app via adb. So I imagine you can start the new launcher via adb, and then tell it to make itself the default launcher, and then you'll see it instead of the stock Karoo launcher.

Though I'd appreciate input from anyone who has actually done it.

RustedRoot
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by RustedRoot » Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:29 pm

Steve wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:18 pm



I haven't tried it on my Karoo. But you can start an app via adb. So I imagine you can start the new launcher via adb, and then tell it to make itself the default launcher, and then you'll see it instead of the stock Karoo launcher.

Though I'd appreciate input from anyone who has actually done it.
Steve, are you saying you've not sideloaded any apps or just ones that require a launcher?

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Steve
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by Steve » Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:16 am

RustedRoot wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:29 pm
Steve, are you saying you've not sideloaded any apps or just ones that require a launcher?
On my Karoo, no, I havent. Though I've done plenty of this sort of stuff on other Android devices in the past. If I had a second, spare Karoo, then I'd be doing all sorts of stuff to that like installing 3rd party apps, rooting it, and so forth.

cye
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by cye » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:08 am

FYI, the command to launch an app via adb is

Code: Select all

adb shell monkey -p your.app.package.name 1

RustedRoot
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by RustedRoot » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:29 pm

Steve wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:16 am
RustedRoot wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:29 pm
Steve, are you saying you've not sideloaded any apps or just ones that require a launcher?
On my Karoo, no, I havent. Though I've done plenty of this sort of stuff on other Android devices in the past. If I had a second, spare Karoo, then I'd be doing all sorts of stuff to that like installing 3rd party apps, rooting it, and so forth.
Same here. I was hoping you've done it with the Karoo, as in: "You first!!"

Johnboy693
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by Johnboy693 » Thu May 03, 2018 12:45 am

I use kiss launcher

jhazelwd
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by jhazelwd » Tue May 08, 2018 8:08 pm

Sideloading is easy, doesn't screw anything up that you can't get back from. Adding Google Play Services is harder.

jhazelwd
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by jhazelwd » Tue May 22, 2018 9:59 pm

Per requests, I’m going to put together a quick guide on installing 3rd party applications. My goal is to provide the basics on installation, but I will not call out what applications to install or how to get them as that’s personal preference. I will say that I used apkmirror.com to find the apps I’ve installed, but that’s not an endorsement (you need to be able and willing to choose and trust your own source). I'll edit this over time as needed as I quickly put this together.

Again to reiterate you are doing this at your own risk, while it's somewhat safe to install applications you can get yourself into trouble so be forewarned you are doing this at your own risk!

I. Tools and Terms
a. Applications – Very high level - Applications, including launchers, for Android are called apks.
b. ADB - Android Debug Bridge is needed to allow your computer (Windows) to talk to your Android Device (Karoo). viewtopic.php?f=10&t=91
II. Getting your Karoo ready to install applications
a. Enable Developer Mode – On the Karoo, Go into Settings -> About, scroll down to "Build number" and then tap the Build number box seven times in a row. You’ll see a dialogue pop-up indicating developer options are enabled.
b. Enable USB Debug Mode – Again on the Karoo, go into Settings and you should now see Developer options. In Developer Options enable USB Debugging. Steve did a great write-up here for more info: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=73
III. Getting your computer ready
a. From the above link (ADB) you will need to have available the ADB tools. You’ll be using ADB for App installation.
b. Lastly plug your Karoo into your computer
IV. Installing Applications
a. First let’s perform a test to ensure the computer and Karoo are working together
i. Open a windows command prompt by typing cmd in the search box and running the command application. You should be rewarded with an old school dos prompt box in black and white.
ii. Go to the folder location you have the adb.exe tool located in (I’m assuming you know how to use DOS commands and can nagivate to the directory. If you can’t, read up on those commands (The only real command prompt command you’ll need is the change directory command which you’ll use to navigate to the correct folder).
iii. Type adb devices and hit enter. You should see a result that says List of devices attached with a string of numbers and letters below it followed by device. If it says no devices found you likely have a bad cable or the device drivers are needed. I believe the Google USB drivers are all that are needed, so search for Google USB drivers to help with that.
iv. Assuming you get a device id back from step 3, you are ready to go.
b. Install a launcher
i. The first application you will probably want to install is a launcher. If you don’t install a second launcher you won’t be able to get to any applications you want to install very easily.
ii. Find an android launcher of your choosing (again personal preference) and download the apk to your computer (in the same folder as the adb tools is easiest).
iii. From a command prompt (cmd from windows search box as mentioned above), type adb install xxx.apk. So it might look something like: adb install Novalauncher.apk
iv. Once installed (you should see a success message), When you click on the bottom right button of the Karoo you will have an option to select what launcher you want to use. As long as you don’t make one of the launchers your default each time you press the home button (bottom right) you’ll get to choose which launcher to use. To make it easy until you get more comfortable, don’t make anything the default launcher, then you can continue using the Hammerhead launcher for rides and the secondary launcher for launching your newly installed applications.
c. Installing Applications
i. Installing applications uses the same command as used for installing the launcher: adb install xxx.apk
ii. To get to any newly installed applications you’ll need to use the secondary launcher as the Karoo launcher won’t show those applications.

Be forewarned, many of the applications for Android use Google Play Services and Google Framework to work properly (i.e. location services, using an account, etc.). You can’t install the Google Framework and applications (typically called GAPPS) using the steps above. They require a separate install flow (so don’t try!)

kanonengedonner
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by kanonengedonner » Wed May 23, 2018 6:22 pm

Awesome dude ....
Does Nova use GAPPS? If not, are there launchers that do not require GAPPS?

Edit. Nova doesn't need GAPPS. It worked for me.

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Steve
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by Steve » Thu May 24, 2018 9:24 am

Thanks jhazlewd, I've merged your excellent guide into the original post.

jhazelwd
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by jhazelwd » Thu May 24, 2018 1:29 pm

Thanks Steve, not sure it's great (just too much to cover).

As for launcher's, they shouldn't require GAPPS. Really only applications could require GAPPS.

jhazelwd
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by jhazelwd » Sun May 27, 2018 1:55 pm

Here's a link on how to install adb on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Beyond that, the commands to install are identical for all platforms.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.xda-de ... linux/amp/

Ket
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2018 7:46 am

Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by Ket » Mon May 28, 2018 12:10 am

jhazelwd wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 1:55 pm
Here's a link on how to install adb on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Beyond that, the commands to install are identical for all platforms.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.xda-de ... linux/amp/
Just in case those who are not familiar with MacOSX or Linux command, for the executable in OSX and Linux you need the "./" prefix. for eg.

In windows you type: adb install your.app.name
In OSX or Linux you type: ./adb install your.app.name

Also make sure file names contain no spaces, if you must then substitute word spacing with %20

johno
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by johno » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:59 am

Being new to android, if I add third party apps following the great instructions on here and it causes a conflict or I simply dont like them, can I remove by doing a factory reset on the Karoo?

I would love to have 1:25k OS maps so thinking of trying to add my Anquet maps onto it.

Thanks for all the info!

jhazelwd
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by jhazelwd » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:45 pm

You can simply uninstall the app if you no longer want it. If you installed the app via ADB simply type ADB uninstall and the package name.

nnovod
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by nnovod » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:58 pm

But, do you know if a factory reset would uninstall the application, whether you want it to or not?

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Steve
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by Steve » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:35 am

A factory reset on an Android phone will remove all your inatalled apps (other than those that it came with), so it should do the same on Karoo.

planet_coke
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Re: How to install third-party apps on your Karoo

Post by planet_coke » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:56 am

did somebody find out, how to pick and deploy the Google Play Services on the device?

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