Andriod Market work in China?


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  1. wtfj1n

    wtfj1n Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hi All

    Im an ex-pat living abroad in China and thinking about upgrading to a Samsung Galaxy S. Can someone confirm to me whether Market/Google Voice/etc work abroad here in China so that I can buy my phone in peace.

    Best
    Jin
     

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  2. amlothi

    amlothi Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it works. Free apps only.

    I have been able to install paid apps if I purchase them directly from a developer's website, but you cannot view or search for paid apps on the market from PRC.
     
  3. idasein

    idasein New Member

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    I live in China and use an HTC Desire. My experience has been that you can get Android Market to work, but you have to be willing to put in the time and effort to hack your phone, by rooting it.

    Currently Android Market is not officially supported in China, so you don't get access to everything in the market, until you root your phone and install something called Market Enabler.

    When you first get your phone, you'll be able to access a lot of the Android Market apps, but not all of them. I'm not sure what the criteria is for deciding what you have access to here (none of the paid ones are accessible, and also some of the free ones)

    You can check whether you have full access by opening the "Market" application on the phone and searching for the application "google maps" or the music player "doubletwist". If you don't have full market access, neither of them even show up in a search until you use Market Enabler to trick the system to label your phone as a phone from the US or EU.

    You can download an app called App Installer from the market (even the gimped China version of the market). Then you can download the file for Market Enabler here: Downloads - market-enabler - Project Hosting on Google Code

    Put the file for Market Enabler on your phone's SD card and run App Installer to install it. Go into Market Enabler, choose a phone you want to copy from the list (I copied the US T-Mobile Desire) by pressing and holding on the entry till you get the option to "fake this carrier".

    I'm pretty sure you'll have to root your phone first to do this, because often you can't install non-market applications without rooting.

    You can check whether or not you'll need to root before you buy the phone though. On the phone, go to Settings/Applications. If there's an entry in there that says "Unknown Sources" with a checkbox next to it, you're in luck and you can get market access by following the above instructions without rooting. If it's not there, you'll have to figure out how to root. If that's the case, meet your new best friend xda developers forums, in particular, this page [HOWTO] [REF] [FAQ] [Guides] [Tutorials] Flash/Root/ADB/ROM [MUST READ!] - xda-developers

    Bottom line is, if you're not very technically inclined, don't get an Android phone in China because you basically have to hack it, which ends up being a pretty time-consuming process. I've written such a long post about this because it's pretty annoying to buy your phone without any carrier subsidies and still find the phone has been gimped. I'm very happy with my android phone now, but it took a long time to get there.

    Personally, I'd recommend waiting till Google launches it's own version of the Galaxy S, called the Nexus S in a few weeks, which won't have Samsung's crap Touchwiz UI and will get all the Android updates as soon as they're released. Either that, or pick up an iPhone 4.
     
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  4. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra= VIP Member

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    Welcome to Android Forums.

    This thread has been moved from the News area to the Android Lounge.
     
  5. amlothi

    amlothi Well-Known Member

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    Not true. It is simple and easy to install apps from an .apk file. No need to root the phone.

    I have an unlocked Desire though. If you buy one tied to a carrier, it's possible they may prevent side loading of apps.

    I love my phone, even in China, and there are lots of .apk files available online for apps that aren't in the market.
     
  6. wtfj1n

    wtfj1n Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    @amlothi: Thanks for your reply, do you think you can give me a few of those websites where you have purchased apps from so that I can take a look?

    @idasein: Thanks for that in depth read up. Basically it was a toss up between the galaxy S or the Iphone4, but the way I look at it is I already have a touch which is basically the same thing as the Iphone. Im a big multimedia fan and if I went with the iphone4 i would only have 16gbs (cant afford the 32gb), where as with the Galaxy I can upgrade up to 40gb with an external card which is alot cheaper. Plus the Iphone4 suffers the most in terms of accidental damage such as drops that will lead to cracked glass on the front/back. The screen on my current fone has gone to hell on me and I am very tempted to make a move ASAP. The best deal I have found for the Galaxy S around my area is 3600rmb for the Hong Kong version and with a free SD card. Supposedly there were info leaks saying that the Nexus S would be out by 11/14 but nothing has surfaced yet, if they had a solid release date and a price tag to go along with that I would happily wait it out. Whats your speculations about the Nexus S, do you think it will have the same price tag as its predecessor? Will it be released by the end of Nov?

    @amlothi: Thanks for your reply, I dont think the fone I buy will be tied down to any specific carriers. It would be the HK version of the phone which is an unlocked version unbranded by any carrier. You said you there are alot of .apk app files that are available online, maybe you can point me to the rite directions so I can take a look myself.

    Thanks for all of your replies, it was most helpful. Btw which part of China do yall stay in if you dont mind me asking. I my self am residing in the city of Fuzhou, Fujian province. Have been here for the past 2.5 years now.

    Regards
    Jin
     
  7. amlothi

    amlothi Well-Known Member

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    Find the name of the app you want (using App Brain or AndroLib - I think App Brain might be blocked in China though as it always times out for me).

    Then, google the name of the app plus "APK". There are many people who upload the apk files to forums, etc. (Some of these may be pirated copies, so be careful that you are only looking for free apps when you do this.)

    As for websites, there are lots of developers on this forum who advertise or post about their apps (other forums online too). If they have an app you want, many of them have a payment system where you can buy it directly from their individual website.

    For example, Tasker: tasker.dinglisch.net
     
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  8. Guamguy

    Guamguy Well-Known Member

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    Android Market, free apps only.

    In China, many apps are downloaded directly from the web. That's why all those cheap Android tablets without the Android Market thrive.

    In the Android Market, I see many Chinese apps, like QQZone, Kaixin01, and RenRen. Even Baidu apps are on the Android Market. Mainland Chinese outside of China can't live without their own social network crack, and would gobble a smartphone, now preferably an Android or iPhone, that have these apps.

    From what I know, Androids carried by China Mobile have their own app store too, and soon China Unicom also has their own app store.

    Google Voice is US Continent only. Don't expect your Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter apps to work either as they are blocked by the GFW. FourSquare might work, GTalk and GMail too, unless the censors get itchy fingers.

    Consider using a VPN instead you want unadulterated access to the outside world.
     
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  9. wtfj1n

    wtfj1n Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hehe funny how you would recommend me using a VPN, as I just made a post about it in the Apps forums asking if there was such an app that would let me access the WorldWideWeb with unrestricted access, as I dont feel like fiddling with the settings everytime i wont to turn it on/off. I'm not going to buy a phone tethered down by the provider, am looking to grab the Hong Kong version of the Galaxy I9000 S but will be using the China Mobile network. One of the posters mentioned the Samsung Nexus S and thats actually kind of appealing to me but without a solid release date or price!! Gosh just when I thought I had made up my mind between the Rotten Apple or an Android, now I have more thinking to do...:p
     
  10. Guamguy

    Guamguy Well-Known Member

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    If you use the HK version of the Galaxy S (i9000), you will only get EDGE on the China Mobile network. Their 3G network is based on TD-SCDMA. Samsung however, is planning to release or has already released 3 Galaxy S variants for China, one for China Mobile (TD-SCDMA), China Unicom (W-CDMA/UMTS), and China Telecom (CDMA/EV-DO). I'm not sure how the numbers go, but they should be like i9008, i9088 or i9080. Note the Chinese lucky number 8s.

    If you buy the HK Galaxy S, you might as well use it on China Unicom. In any case, the international version is close to having an Android 2.2 update.

    China has many Androids that you don't find anywhere in the world. Why not try them out, like the LePhone?
     
  11. wtfj1n

    wtfj1n Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    @guamguy

    There was a choice for the chinese "T" version of the galaxy that I can acquire for just 2800rmb, but I dont want a gimped version of a proper fone without all the proper features. Thats what they do, they take a properly functioning thing, put their own twist on it, take away everything useful and put in a bunch of crap like QQ/Kaixin Wang etc. I'll be home bound to the States next year so I have to be sure the fone I purchase is compatible with the networks back from home. From what it seems the Galaxy has a 3g frequency of 900/1900/2100 which is compatible with the Tmobile 3g networks back in the states. Thanks for your recommendations, Im still very torn between getting the Galaxy now or waiting for the Nexus S which is also by Samsung. Hehe if you can't tell Im a bit of a Samsung fanboy.
     
  12. Guamguy

    Guamguy Well-Known Member

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    The T version you mean the one for China Mobile. It runs on OMS, which is in fact a Google approved fork of Android for China Mobile, also known as Open Mobile System. Basically just one of the Chinese modded Androids.

    If you buy the Hong Kong Galaxy S, you will only get EDGE in China Mobile but you will get full 3G with China Unicom. However, if you bring the phone to the US, you will only get EDGE. Unicom uses the 2100 3G frequency which is standard in Asia and Europe. However, the US uses 850, 1700 and 1900.

    T-Mobile in the US uses 1700 frequency. not 900 and 2100. ATT uses 850 and 1900.

    Its very unlikely you will get a Galaxy S to work on T-Mobile US frequency unless its labeled as a Samsung Vibrant. Its identified by having four buttons in the front instead of three. The Vibrant has the optional 2100 frequency that will make work 3G in Europe and Asia. In China, it should work 3G with China Unicom, but you will only get EDGE with China Mobile.

    For AT&T frequency of 850 and 1900, you will either need a Samsung Captivate, or the Galaxy S called i9000T. That's right, it must have the T suffix. T as in Telstra and Latin America. These also come in unlocked versions. But I don't think the chances of finding one in Hong Kong is good. Both of these phones also have 2100 which means 3G with China Unicom, but EDGE only with China Mobile.

    So if you get a standard i9000 from Hong Kong or China black markets, its EDGE with China Mobile, 3G with China Unicom, 3G in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and all of Asia and Europe, but EDGE only in the US.
     
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  13. wtfj1n

    wtfj1n Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    @guamguy

    Galaxy S 3g frequencies HSDPA 900 / 1900 / 2100(from Gsmarena)

    Tmobile 3g Network: 1700/2100 MHz UMTS/WCDMA/HSPA/HSPA+ (wikipedia)

    AT&T 3g Network: 850/1900 MHz UMTS/WCDMA/HSPA (wikipedia)

    It seems that the 3g network for Tmobile operates on the 1700/2100 frequency, will I not be able to connect to it even tho the Galaxy S has the 2100 frequency? If I can't connect to the Tmobile 3g, will I be able to go with AT&T since their 3g network operates on the 1900 frequency which the Galaxy also has, or do I have to have both of the frequency bands that the provider has in order for 3g to work on my fone? Seems like your very experienced overall with all of this, makes me feel ashamed of my self cus i've actually have worked for 3 years at an authourized tmobile dealer prior to moving to China :p. But in my defense the 3g net work came out AFTER I moved to China and this is the first time I've considered buying a smartphone. All this tech stuff is making my technophobe mind explode!! Glad your giving me input, its really helping me choose the rite place to place my investement ;).

    Regards
    Jin
     
  14. Guamguy

    Guamguy Well-Known Member

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    Don't you believe it. The T-Mobile 1700/2100 is Band 4 AWS network which is NOT the same as Band 1 2100. DONT GET CONFUSED. Band 4 is not the same as Band 1. Any international phone Band 1 3G will not work on US T-Mobile Band 4 3G. In Band 1, both uplink and downlink is in 2100 but in Band 4, the uplink is in 1700 and downlink is 2100.

    I repeat. International Band 1 3G phones will not work on 3G with US T-Mobile 3G network. Trust me. I know what I am talking about.

    But NOTE again. Many US T-Mobile 3G smartphones will work on Band 1 international 3G 2100 because these phones do have the optional 2100 band 1 for roaming support. This is so because US T-Mobile is owned by Europe's Deutsch Telecom aka T-Mobile in Europe.

    To clarify

    International 3G Band 1 2100 phones -> US T-Mobile 1700 Band 4 - You only get EDGE (They lack Band 4 support)

    US T-Mobile 3G smartphones -> Europe and Asia 2100 3G - You do get 3G. (These phones do have Band 1 support)

    As for AT&T, 1900 is only supported in some areas. You get an international phone tha has 1900 support, you are making a gamble that your area has this 1900, which you may not. AT&T is also gradually phasing this out too, so this is not a wise long term investment decision.

    If you want a GSM Samsung Galaxy that will work 3G in the US, its wise you buy it in the US, then unlock it so you can use it with SIMs in Asia. Both Captivate and Vibrant has the optional 2100 band support for Euro/Asia roaming. If the phone is unlocked you can use it with carrier SIMs there. If you happen to be in Australia or Latin America, an unlocked i9000T is fine too, these have 850/1900/2100 support.

    To enable 3G data, please note if the phone or SIM does not automatically setup the APN station settings for you, you need to get that information from the card the SIM comes with it, or a booklet or whatever the carrier service will provide you. Or maybe they can help you set up the APN station settings.
     
  15. Guamguy

    Guamguy Well-Known Member

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    I think the Dell Streak has a 3G 850, 1900 and 2100 3G band configuration regardless where it is sold. I am not sure but I have not seen any mention to the contrary. An unlocked one regardless where you buy it, would get you 3G in Asia, Europe, Latin America, Australia (Telstra), Canada and US (ATT).
     
  16. snapper.fishes

    snapper.fishes Well-Known Member

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    This thread is surprisingly sophisticated.... Good job guys.
     
  17. wtfj1n

    wtfj1n Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Guam is very good at in depth analyzation. So good in fact I'm back on the fence again on which phone I want to buy =P. I actually talked to some guy by chance about the Samsung I9000, and he clarified that the "T" version was actually the T-Mobile version. But after some more in depth reading and digging on the Galaxy, I have found that ppl are complaining about their GPS, choppy UI from the Touch Wiz etc etc. At least now I know of some work a arounds to access pay apps instead of just having to stick with the free Apps that China limits me to. For now I'll be speculating on what to invest my money into.
     
  18. Guamguy

    Guamguy Well-Known Member

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    No. The T-Mobile version in the US is the Vibrant. In Canada, the Canadian Bell Vibrant, which is the same model as the US Vibrant, is called i9000M. Whoever told you the T-Mobile version is i9000T is flat wrong. The real i9000T, which is T for Telstra, not T-Mobile, will work with ATT frequencies but not T-Mobile.
     
  19. wtfj1n

    wtfj1n Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Just happen to be some guy I met on the bus on the way to the airport, he was quoting the price of the Galaxy to someone over the fone and then I heard the term "T" version come up again. So when he hung up I asked him about the "T" version, he said it was the overseas carrier specific version and has the four touch buttons on the bottom instead of having a physical home key like the the i9000 S. So I asked him if it was the "T-mobile" version, so I'm thinking he answered yes because he didnt know any better. When I get over my current episode of gout attack I'll truck in to a store and check out the damn thing for my self to see what the deal is.
     
  20. Guamguy

    Guamguy Well-Known Member

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    The i9000T has a boot up screen that will say i9000T right in the screen. It only has three buttons. Only US and Canadian Galaxy S phones have four buttons like the T-Mobile and Bell Canada Vibrant.
     
  21. widnix

    widnix New Member

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    I just bought a HTC Desire (so called official version "HANG HUO")in China. It came with Android 2.2 on it. But I could not find Android Market on it. It only has a HTC Market instead. Do you know how to get the Android Market onto the phone? Thanks
     
  22. wtfj1n

    wtfj1n Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Dont quote me on this cause Im not 100% sure, but if you did indeed buy the HTC "Hang huo" Desire then it was meant to be used here in China and may have been stripped of some of its original components such as Market Place. And since learning from this post, you only get to download FREE apps from the market place and that none of the paid apps are available. You should have definitely gone with the "Shui huo" the one that is from overseas that has all the original components and programs on there. Maybe the HTC Market Place is the limited version of Market Place and only has the free apps. Hopefully you get this sorted out soon, as I'm making a move on an Android fone soon my self also. Sucks that we are limited on what we can do with our fones just cus we're stuck in the wrong region.
     
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  23. Guamguy

    Guamguy Well-Known Member

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    I think there is a way to shoe horn the Android Market .apk into a device without the Android Market. Check up XDA Developers for it.

    In China though, you can probably get many apps downloaded from webpages though.
     
  24. widnix

    widnix New Member

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    I was thinking to buy "Shui huo", they are cheap. But when I went to ZhongGuanCuan, they are all old handsets, filthy, dirty ones. Guess i am stuck with HTC market. The HTC hotline guy told me it was because Google exited out the China market. That's BS too. I want Google Sky Map... and other better stuff. Thanks anyway.
     
  25. rayfang.89

    rayfang.89 New Member

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    hello i am in the market for a new phone and I live in Shantou, China. I will be here for 90% of the year and the other 10% in the states. I was about to purchase an unlocked Samsung Vibrant until I read this thread and noticed the suggestion for the Nexus S.

    Will the Nexus S, if purchased unlocked at best buy in the US in about 1 week, allow me to have full access to every feature of the phone as well as 3g coverage with China Mobile?

    I am also curious how Skype mobile will work on the new phone. I know you can't download skype from the android market in China, but what if it was downloaded in the States beforehand?

    Thanks,

    ray
     

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