In all its splendid wonder, the Archos 101 tablet is still missing one critical thing – Google’s Market. Archos does offer their own application library called “AppsLib” that is loaded with a great number of applications. In fact, if you ask me, it’s almost like they built a new front end to Google’s marketplace and filtered out certain titles that Google is restricting access to based on a specific hardware base line. As far as Google is concerned, if your device doesn’t have both front and rear facing cameras along with a GPS, you can’t load their market on the device. Archos decided to leave those features out in order to keep the cost down. As a result, there’s no market, and no GMail app. And for me, the GMail app is one of the primary reasons to do this. Of course, WordPress, Hootsuite, and Facebook are all high up there as well.
The good news is that you can easily add the marketplace back into the device. I was able to install it and download all my favorite applications, including GMail in a matter of minutes. The hardest part was finding the correct installation information.
The first thing you need to do is upgrade your version of Android. The Archos 101 comes with Android 2.1 but as soon as you connect it to the internet it will inform you that a newer version (Android 2.2) is available and ask you if you like to upgrade. Do it.
Now that you’re running the latest version of Android follow these steps to install the marketplace and download the applications of your choice.
- Download gAppsInstaller and copy it to your Archos tablet. The easiest thing is to download it directly on the device.
- Using the “Files” app on the Archos, browse to gAppsInstaller and run it.
- When prompted by the installer, select “Install Core Apps”. The installer shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds.
- Once the installer is finished, press and hold the power button until it prompts you with device options.
- Select Power Off / Reboot and wait while the tablet reboots.
- Once it’s back up and running, launch the Market and login with your Google Account.
At this point, you can wait a short time and the Market will automatically download and upgrade to the newer version of the Market. It’s recommended that you clear out the market cache. It wasn’t an issue for me, but it’s better to spend a minute doing it just in case.
- Tap Settings / Manage Applications / All / Market – then tap on Clear Cache and Force Stop
- Tap Back / Google Services Framework – then tap on Clear Cache and Force Stop
- Press and hold the power button until it prompts you with device options
- Select Power Off / Reboot and wait while the tablet reboots
That’s all there is to it. You’re off and running with Google Market on your Archos 101 – what more could you ask for.