Dec 15 2014

Howto: Install Gapps on Lenovo K910 VIBE UI 2.0

Google Apps

My Lenovo VIBE Z K910 test unit was shipped with a 1.x version of Lenovo’s custom Android, VIBE UI. Google Apps (gapps) were also pre-installed and everything worked like a charm. Problems began when I updated to the VIBE 2.0. Suddenly all Google apps (Gmail, Play Store, Maps, Google account sync) stopped working. Installing gapps on VIBE UI 1.x is a well documented process and there are many great tutorials available. However, the procedure does not work with 2.0. Here is how I was able to install them anyway.

Pre-Requisites

Screenshot_2014-12-08-05-57-06-181

  • Lenovo VIBE Z K910 with VIBE UI 2.0
  • Windows PC
  • Micro-USB cable
  • Open mind and courage to do some changes to your phone

Do not try the adb reboot-reloader method as described in a YouTube tutorial. The command fastboot boot recovery.img fails and says that the boot loader is locked.

This howto tutorial is based on a magnificent guide by Crowds in XDA-Developers forum.

Enable USB Debugging

First you need to enable USB debugging mode in your Lenovo K910. Go to Settings → About phone → Device Information. Now tap Internal version number seven times to reveal Developer Options in the Settings menu. Now go back to the Settings and you will see a new section Developer Options right above About Phone. Go ahead and tick USB Debugging on in the Developer Options.

Rooting

Root_Genius

Rooting could be done with Root Genius. It is a Windows software that does its magic to a connected phone. Please note that Chrome warned me that it could be infected. I took my chances and downloaded it anyway. If you are as brave as I was, go ahead and start the program and follow the instructions on screen and connect your phone to the computer when prompted. It takes a while for it to crack the phone.

Unlock Bootloader

Leave the phone connected. Download a batch file from NeedROM. Open the command prompt (cmd) and run:

c:\work\Android\Lenovo_K910\Bootloader_Unlocker 4.4>stack.bat

It will list many lines of text as it is executing:

...
(bootloader) Device tampered: false
(bootloader) Device unlocked: false
OKAY [ 0.000s]
finished. total time: 0.000s
...
OKAY [ -0.000s]
finished. total time: 0.016s
...
(bootloader) Device tampered: false
(bootloader) Device unlocked: true
OKAY [ 0.000s]
finished. total time: 0.000s

THe important part in this message is Device unlocked: true.

Install Team Win Recovery Project (TWRP)

Screenshot_2014-12-14-14-05-57-031
Team Win Recovery Project (TWRP) is similar to its more famous counterpart, ClockWorkMod (CWM). It enables installing custom ROMs and apps that need to be written to the read-only memory and cannot be installed when Android is running. TWRP has a nicer touch-enabled UI compared to a rather antiquated looking CWM where navigation is done using volume and power buttons.

Leave the phone again connected and download flashrec.exe. Once downloaded, execute it and it will place the TWRP in the right place on the phone.

I was not able to boot into the recovery mode by conventional volume up/down + power button so I installed GooManager. You can also install it via Mobogenie which is pre-installed Chinese Play Store alternative. There is an option “Reboot recovery” and use that to get to TWRP. But before this, please download and transfer Google Apps ZIP package to the root of your phone memory, as instructed below.

Install Gapps

Again leave your phone connected and download GApps_4.4.2.zip (21 MB) from XDA-Developers and copy it to the root of your phone memory. Now disconnect the USB cable and reboot into TWRP recovery mode using GooManager as described above.

Once the phone boots into the TWRP recovery mode, select Wipe → Advanced Wipe and tick Dalvik Cache and cache. Then at the bottom “Swipe to Wipe”. Once done, go back to main menu and select Install and browse to your GApps_4.4.2.zip, click it and then “Swipe to Confirm Flash”. Then Reboot → System and you are done.

Conclusion

Installing Google Apps turned out to be quite a task, involving multiple steps and using multiple programs and batches. It is unnecessarily burdensome procedure where as in my opinion it should be a one-click install.

11 Responses to “Howto: Install Gapps on Lenovo K910 VIBE UI 2.0”

  • Izhar Ibrahim Says:

    Greetings from Malaysia!

    You are absolutely brilliant! Out of this world! For so many months I have not been able to use my Lenovo K910 and million thanks to you, i will be able to enjoy the brilliance of a high end handphone again … God Bless!

  • Adolfo Says:

    Excellent! Works fine for me. Thanks a lot for this tutorial.

  • Ahmed Atia - Cairo Says:

    It worked for me too. Thank you so much, Ari.
    Since I updated this K910 phone three months ago, I couldn’t get Play Store (or GApps) installed on KitKat 4.4.2; until I found this article by you.

    The only thing I encountered, there was a packaged installed by default on the phone called Lenovo Security which prevented the Root Genius from completing. I disabled it from the Settings>Apps and the “root” completed successfully.

    For the Recovery Mode, I powered off the phone, then held down both Volume Up and Volume Down while also holding the the Power button. when the phone vibrated, I released only the Power button, and the TWRP ran.

    Again, thank you “Arinium” for your useful article.

  • Tamás Says:

    Hello.i have a lenovo s860 and unfortunately i updated it to vibe ui… Your guide will help my phone too?

  • bonnie Says:

    a very thanks for me to you admin…finally my lenovo k910 can root…after a long time trying…but i still have problem about overheat and bootloader,if i restart my phone it cant boot like normal,i have to connect my phone using power charger everytime my phone suddenly turn off..do you have any solution for the problem?i cant wait to see your reply adimn…btw thanks again and keep up the good work…

  • jean carlos Says:

    I did and now my k910 does not care, does not come out of the screen written lenovo

  • arinium Says:

    I am sorry, I don’t have any knowledge of installing Gapps to other Lenovo phones. Also, I am afraid I cannot help with any problems, all I can say the method I described worked for me.

  • frhmh Says:

    So complicated ,dont you have any easier way?

  • suxan Says:

    dear i am unable to root my vibe z dual sim k910.
    tried vroot and root genius. plz help me bro

  • Sazzad Dipto Says:

    my lenovo vibe z k910 is android 4.4.2 nd this tutorial u have shown us.. it is not working with mine i have tried so many times but everytime it fails. what should i do plz suggest 🙂

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