What to do if you cannot find an app with Raccoon

Android powers a very diverse set of devices, some having capabilities that others don't and Play tries to ensure that you only get apps that are compatible with your hardware.

By default, Raccoon mimics a Samsung smartphone when contacting the Android market. While this should give you access to most apps, you will find that some will not show up in the search results, no matter what you type in as a search query. The two most common causes for this are:

  • Region locking / Geo blocking / Carrier restriction
  • Deliberate exclusion by the developer

Getting around geo blocks is a question of configuring a proxy (see network settings). Be aware that public proxies are generally slow and not very trustworthy.

If Raccoon cannot find an app because the developer excluded the Samsung phone from the compatibility list, then things get a bit technical and you should seriously use a throw away account for experimenting.

In the easiest case, all you need to do is change the user agent string, Raccoon uses to contact play. To do so, open the credentials.cfg file of your desired archive in a text editor and add a like like this:

  useragent=Android-Finsky/3.10.14 (api=3,versionCode=8016014,sdk=17,device=GT-p5110,hardware=aries,product=GT-p5110)

Save it and reopen the archive. This will result in Raccoon telling Play that it is a Samsung tablet. Check this blogpost for information on how to create a custom User Agent string.

In the not so easy case (e.g. if you want a smart TV app), you may additionally need to upload a completely different hardware profile using DummyDroid first.

In case you ever used Raccoon version prior to v3.7, you should also try to reset your archive (v3.7 uses a newer device profile by default, but doesn't modify existing archives).

If it still doesn't work, please contact me. Mind that your request will be ignored if:

  • It doesn't become clear from the subject line that you need help with Raccoon (I have more than one software product to support!)
  • You don't include the packagename or a link to the market page in your support ticket (the app's name alone is not sufficient as it may be ambiguous).