Android Paid Apps in Non-Supported Countries

I had a bout of insomnia last night so I decided to be productive and finally figure out a workaround for an issue with Android that has been bothering me since I bought my Nexus 10 in April.  That issue is purchasing paid apps in the country where I live.  Whenever I have tried to purchase a paid app, the app is listed as incompatible with my device.  In fact they are compatible, they're just not available for purchase in my country.

I had assumed it was the app developers who were blocking their apps in my country, but after a few seconds of investigating last night I realized my anger at them had been misplaced.  It's Google that is responsible, they only allow app purchases from a limited list of countries.  They claim they are "working hard" at adding more countries, but since I live in one of the smaller countries in the world I don't have any expectation they will support us any time soon.

So onto how to workaround this stupid restriction… it's actually not that difficult once you figure out what Google is checking.  It seems what they're looking for is: 1) The country of your IP address,  2) The country of your Google account, and 3) The country of the billing address of your credit card.  It seems all 3 have to be consistent and from a supported country. 

The credit card might be a stumbling block for many people.  Lucky me, I have a Canadian credit card and Canada is a supported country.  It has to be set up with the correct billing address in Google Wallet.

The country of your google account can be changed, if necessary, by going to your account settings and clicking the little "Edit" link beside the Email heading near the top of the page.

Changing my IP address to a Canadian one was also fairly simple – I used a  free VPN app from the play store.  There are a few that provide a Canadian server and the one I picked worked well enough for my purposes. 

Once the VPN app was installed and working on my Nexus 10 this is what I did:
1) Cleared the data from the Play Store app
2) Stopped the Play Store app
3) Confirmed the VPN is connected to a server in my country (Canada) and verified that it gave me a Canadian IP address (there are many websites that will report your IP address and country)
4) Restarted the Play Store app
5) Accepted some terms or something (I didn't bother reading it)
6) Then I was all good to go.

This all worked for me at least – I was finally able to purchase an app from the Play Store for the first time.  I also saw movies, books and magazines appearing, which I normally don't see – but I didn't try to purchase any so I can't confirm if that works or not.  I can't imagine streaming a movie through a free VPN would be a very rewarding experience anyway.

No Play Music store though.  Canadians aren't allowed to purchase music from Google I guess.  That's OK by me since I only buy music in flac format and Google is mp3 only.

Of course I'm now questioning the wisdom of posting this all on Google+ – but what the heck – if Google wants to take steps to block me more power to them.  It just means I won't be able to buy apps, and I'll save a little money.

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The greatest thing about not having TV is missing out on all the idiotic pop culture…

The greatest thing about not having TV is missing out on all the idiotic pop culture news. I had no idea about the royal baby until I checked facebook this morning.

Anyway, as usual any time there's some news about the royals, I like to jump on any anti-royalty bandwagon that comes along.

http://bornequal.org/

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Home | Born Equal | Shouldn’t every child be #bornEqual?
With the arrival of a new royal baby it is time to ask: shouldn’t every child be #bornEqual?

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This could be big: induced pluripotent stem cells generated by chemical induction…

This could be big: induced pluripotent stem cells generated by chemical induction rather than genetic modification.

Potentially these cells could allay fears that genetically modified iPS cells might harbour mutations that could cause diseases if used therapeutically.  There's still a long way to go to show that these chemically induced pluripotent cells (CiPS) will be useful for cell-based therapies (like getting the technology to work with human cells for starters), but if it works, it could mean getting the therapies to clinical trials faster, and faster approval.

http://www.nature.com/news/stem-cells-reprogrammed-using-chemicals-alone-1.13416

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Stem cells reprogrammed using chemicals alone
Patient-specific cells could be made without genetic manipulation.

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This is a little bit scary.  A possible link between Omega 3 fatty acids and prostate…

This is a little bit scary.  A possible link between Omega 3 fatty acids and prostate cancers.

Normally I don't pay much attention to these types of media reports about harmful compounds in our diets – the vast majority of them are sensationalistic rubbish – but it's starting to look like there might be something to this Omega-3 – Prostate Cancer link.

Why am I paying a little bit more attention to this study than I do most of these stories?
1.  It's published in a high-impact journal
2.  It's a randomized case-control study
3.  The sample size isn't huge but it's reasonably large
4.  It agrees with previously published studies

I think I'm going to stop with the fish oil supplements.

Of course, this story is published in a newspaper and they can't help but being a little bit sensationalistic.  From the article:

"Due to the nature of the study, it was not possible to tell for certain whether the elevated blood levels were due to men taking supplements or eating fish rich in omega-3s."

but what is the headline?
"Men who take omega-3 supplements at 71% higher risk of prostate cancer: study"

Um no.  That's not what the study claims.

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/evidence-prostate-cancer-omega-3-link-article-1.1395853?localLinksEnabled=false

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Men who take omega-3 supplements at 71% higher risk of prostate cancer: study – NY Daily News
U.S. scientists said Wednesday they have confirmed a surprising 2011 study that found a higher risk of prostate cancer among men who consume omega-3 fatty acids, raising new questions about the safety of supplements.

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Oh good, the sun did rise this morning

After Mark Cavendish got caught from behind yesterday, and missed out on winning his 25th stage at the Tour de France, I was beginning to question some of the other certainties in the world.

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I'm still reeling from the Alfredsson news and then this happens

Bobby Ryan is a great talent.  At least I hope so.  But the price they paid to get him… Jakub Silfverberg and Stefan Noesen… Wow.  That hurts.  I'm not even sure what to think.

http://www.silversevensens.com/2013/7/5/4496706/senators-acquire-forward-bobby-ryan-from-ducks

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Senators acquire forward Bobby Ryan from Ducks
This day could not get crazier.

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Today I am sad

http://www.silversevensens.com/2013/7/5/4495782/daniel-alfredsson-leaves-the-ottawa-senators-for-the-detroit-red-wings

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Daniel Alfredsson leaves the Ottawa Senators for the Detroit Red Wings
This is the toughest thing I have ever written on this blog. It was thought unthinkable when Daniel Alfredsson announced last week that is returning for at least one more season. That one season…

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Happy 147th Canada!  Unfortunately it's not a national holiday in St

Kitts and Nevis, but I'm going to wear my team Canada Hockey Jersey to work today anyway.  Sadly I'm not lecturing today.

Man time flies. I remember Canada One-Two-Five like it was yesterday… now it's only a few years until One-Five-Oh.  I guess I should start planning a trip to Ottawa on July 1, 2017 for the big celebrations.

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Goodbye Google Reader.  While I used it for a few years, I'm not going to miss…

Goodbye Google Reader.  While I used it for a few years, I'm not going to miss it much.  I switched to Feedly a couple of weeks ago and other than a few little bugs, I think I like it better.

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