Other News 2 years ago | | 53 Comments

Coles Mobile’s PendoPad can’t even access Google Play Store & core Google apps

PendoPad no GPlay

When Coles Mobile announced that they were selling the PendoPad for $149 we were quite excited by its prospects. Not as a high-end device and a be-all and end-all tablet for everyone, but rather as a cheap ICS running tablet that you could hand to your children without fearing losing hard-earned money.

However, it has come to our attention that the new PendoPads in fact do not come with Google Play installed and are completely unable to ever have it running.

One of our readers went out and purchased a PendoPad, only to then find out (the hard way) that Google Play and most Google apps are simply not supported. Not even that, you can’t even manually install the GPlay apk.

Here’s Pendo support’s official response to the issue:

The new PendoPads do not come with Google Play … To download apps on the PendoPads, they come pre-installed with the GetJar.

Pendo then go on to claim that Google have only licensed Google Play use for their top ‘customers’ (OEMs?). Well, that’s a load of bull. Last time I checked anyone could use Google Play and Google actually preferred that. Oh, and, does that mean my MIPS-based $109 (Delivered) Ainol Novo 7 Paladin that runs Google Play beautifully is one of Google selected ‘top manufacturers?’ Yeah, I didn’t think so either.

Anyway, this is what they had to say about it -

And this gives PendoPad users an alternative to Google Play, which at the moment Google have only licensed to their top customers like Samsung.

So, good job Coles Mobile. This is your first Android tablet and not only is it a budget line model that is running last year’s specs, it can’t even access the most core aspects of an Android device. Google Play is inaccessible and third party markets are the only answer. Google apps such as Gmail and Talk can be downloaded, but not opened. How much does this even constitute as an Android tablet?

Oh, and please. For all retailers, carriers and manufacturers out there – please heed this warning. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is not – not – the latest version of Android. Please stop using it in marketing/advertising campaigns as anyone who knows anything about Android will know that Jelly Bean is the latest Android OS offering.

Thanks: Jade!

Written by : Josh is the founder of Android Australia. He is an adamant vegan, tech enthusiast and psychology student. He is currently a Google Product Specialist so you may see him in Blue at JB Hi Fi. You should probably follow him onGoogle+ or on Twitter.
  • George Constantinopolous

    This is rediculous…it actually makes me angry! Coles should definitely be refunding all those who purchased the tablet under the impression that it would function as a regular Android tablet…how misleading!

    • Cam Charles

      if i had brought one and found this out i would be demanding a refund for sure, the sad thing is many wont know this is not normal android :(

      • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.m.french.1 Ashley Mark French

        it is a normal android, far out. It just doesn’t come with a couple of apps that even a 14 year old can add. Anyone that can’t add the apps shouldn’t be thinking of playing with anydevice!

        • cameron charles

          im not going to reply to all of your comments as they all say the same thing and they are all more wrong then the things your calling wrong, YES you can root this thing and download the g-apps and install them and YES its simple (to those with a basic level of tech knowledge) no one is denying that BUT,

          A, you shouldn’t have to, the core feature of smart device mobile os’s is the app infrastructures and simply by not having the play store and the core g-apps by default this device loses the core of what a smart device is, which also means its not a true licensed android device btw, and of course it doesn’t have to have the core, it can rightfully be a dumb device thats essentially limited to what comes on it but it should advertise itself as such, the price tag goes along way there but there are no hints that this device cant out of the box access the play store or is missing core apps, thats like buying a car that missing all the wiring to all the extra goodies like power windows.

          B, not everyone has the knowledge or the will/want to root their device and sideload the g-apps, especially not those buying a $80 device generally, rooting for its general ease still voids warranties and requires research with just a touch of in depth technical knowledge, not to mention imp should also be backed up by some security knowledge considering how open your device becomes, these things are above and beyond what the average joe wants to do with there device especially those buying them for young ones etc

          bottom line, this device is marketed to the “casual” “non-tech” market as a capable, smart android device ready to go and do things on, when in reality its a dumb static device based on android that requires tech know how to draw out the real power

          • http://www.androidaustralia.com.au/ Josh Berg

            You read my mind. Thinking about it, you generally tend to be able to do that. :P

          • cameron charles

            haha to quote the old saying “great minds think alike” no

          • Ashley Mark French

            Alike, one of you say you can have gapps.zip and root the device, the other says you can’t. Alike, I think not.

          • Carrie Phisher

            I am tech-savvy, I’ve been working with computers longer than this 14-year-old has been alive, and I’ve more or less kept up with the technology learning curve, and I’m having some problems doing the rooting and downloading (and from what I see surfing various tech threads, I’m not alone).

            Some of these devices will root and install first try, others take more effort and messing around, and others won’t do it at all. There is an inconsistency in the model that baffles me, and I suggest it may be a quality control issue (lack of consistency in a single model generally is).

            I have rooted my Pendo Pad 7, I have successfully installed the framework and the store, and I’ve even synced my account. And now I have the irritating issue of constant force-closing. With time and effort I’ll likely get that sorted, but it’s frustrating.

            I’m a high-end user with tech savvy, and it’s driving me up the wall. This is the point; an Android device should be user-friendly and have basic expected Android apps on it, with Marketplace being top of the list. You should have seen how much fun I had getting my calendar to work on it, had to do a workaround using an outlook app because Google Sync was DOA.

            This is not a user-friendly device, and it should state that it does not have Google Play. That, I believe, is the point being made. When selling a device, the seller must consider all potential buyers from the advanced user through to the absolute beginner.

            That, kid, is the part you’re missing in your tirade.

          • Ashley Mark French

            1. My whole point originally in this forum was to point out that Josh’s statement that Google Apps could not be put on this machine was utter bullshit, he just didn’t know how. As others have proved my point, I rest my case. Josh talks shit, simple. 2. Does an Intel Desktop computer, or Apple for that fact, come with every application that the owner is going to want to use. Of course not. The owner has to learn his/her machine and learn how to download and install programs. 4. It comes with two app market places anyway that do exactly the same thing as Google’s Market. How many market places do you need? 4. You think your tech savvy but obviously not if a 14 year old kid can do what you can’t. And that’s pretty sad as although you have lived longer than the 14 year old, your obviously not up to his level of computer savvy. 5. You unzipped the GAPPS I take it and then copied them into their correct place. The apps folder on the system partition. Yes? Were they the IceCream Sandwhich ones? ICS. After copying them into their correct place did you change their permissions? Bet ya didn’t. But you need to, give it full permissions and you should be there. Took me 30 minutes to work it out and I am computer savvy. 5. If you can’t work out the tablet, what ever you do, don’t get an Android phone and leave that desktop computer well alone! Pen and paper’s probably the tools you need!!! OMG computer savvy but can’t work out a simple tablet. Far out. And as others have pointed out above Josh, your statement above saying GAPPS cannot be put on this Pendo tablet is utter bullshit yet you still can’t admit that your wrong, even when your readers show how wrong you are. The original article said nothing about being a beginner or how much experience you need. It just said ‘it can’t be done’. How many need to say they’ve done it before you admit your wrong?

          • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.m.french.1 Ashley Mark French

            I followed the directions of a 14 year old, was easy to add Google Market needing no ‘tech’ experience at all, you just need to be able to follow directions. It is ready and able from the word go as has 2 other android markets pre-installed just not the Google one so is quite capable out of the box. And to get root privelges, which no androids have from the factory, just use Bin4ry from XDA Developers, again, no ‘tech’ knowledge needed, just need to be able to follow directions.

          • cameron charles

            your not thinking about it at a low enough level, i fully admitted that the play store, root access and even the g-apps can be added but, firstly, they simply shouldn’t have to be added, root yes, the others, no, they are advertising this as a fully capable android tablet, which a tablet missing play store access and gapps is not, secondly whilst you think that following the directions of a 14 year old is easy or worse going to xda is easy, your average punter does not, using the internet is not an easy, intuitive, everyday function to a large sector of people, even finding the instructions to do so is a chore to some people, not a “simple google search” and its those people who are going to buy a cheap tablet from the supermarket with words like intuitive in the advertising. Try and get your grandma to go from looking at a blank browser tab to having the play store installed, its not going to happen, and it shouldn’t have to, you can spout on, about facts and rubbish but unless you look at it from the perspective of your dear old nan you wont get it

    • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.m.french.1 Ashley Mark French

      for $89 from Coles you expect it to be a Rolls Royce. If you can’t add 4 app files, turn it off and turn it on you shouldn’t be thinking of playing with any device, really!

  • Cam Charles

    URGH.. you know how people always say the downside of androids openess is fragmentation and all that rubbish well, this right here is the true downside to androids open platform.

    there are going to be people out there that buy this tablet thinking that, not only is this THE android experience but the latest and greatest version off it at that. there should at least be some sort of base rule that says GAPPS most importantly the play store must run on you crappy watered down version.

    unfortunately this is not the first time ive seen this, my little netbook dual boots android and it was a selling point for me, not the most important one so i didnt research it first, it was a bonus really, but it turned out to be a hacky, crappy version by some random company that again has no GAPPS and no play store, it had some crap store from the company that had pretty much no apps, yay, lucky for me it was relatively easy to the play store onto it, of course not much works on the poor x86 hacked thing and sadly for some small percentage of people they will think THAT is android

    • Ashley Mark French

      but it’s so easy to fix that it’s not really a downside. try google, it’ll fix all your problems. gapps.zip are there for the taking. it’s quite easy really, espeacially if a 14 year old kid can.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=609357198 Nathan Elcoate

    Ouch. Stick it to em Josh.

    • Ashley Mark French

      What, his lies. He states one thing in his comments, then can’t recall saying it. Even though it’s displayed a few paragraphs above. Obviously a right wanker. Fancy commenting on things only to be proven wrong by multiple people. Should try things before making false comments.

  • Tyler Saddington

    HAHAHAHAH!!! I know how to fix it, flash the GApps.zip for Cyanogenmod that makes google available on CM roms!!!

    • sheena

      Could you please tell me how

      • Ashley Mark French

        just use Bin4ry from XDA Developers, Google it and you’ll find it. That will ‘Root’ your tablet. Flash the GApps.zip for Cyanogenmod that makes google available on CM roms. Again Google it.

    • Ashley Mark French

      Thats it, (Guest ^ above) easy as to get Google apps. I’d of liked my PC to have come loaded with Office, Nero, Grand Theft Auto III, Visual Pinball, Mame and every other program I like but it doesn’t work that way. Does it Josh? So why would you expect it to be so on Android. Oh, it’s not the latest version of Android, it was the latest when it was released. You said it can’t have Google apps but here is another person that has them running. So it’s about time you retracted your statement ‘One of our readers went out and purchased a PendoPad, only to then find out (the hard way) that Google Play and most Google apps are simply not supported. Not even that, you can’t even manually install the GPlay apk.’ as it simply isn’t true. I wonder how many of your other columns are full of bull shit claims?

  • Tyler Saddington

    I was going to get one, but maybe this turns me off it. I want it to come preloaded and not require me to do anything :(

  • tessalina

    Thanks so much – so for the not up with the tablet world at all kind of person please tell me what is the cheapest tablet that works to buy for my 5yo who loves the ipad @ kindy – just want it as a educational game machine which will last longer in age years than leapfrog, ds etc…..

    • Cam Charles

      its pretty hard to beat the bang for buck value of the nexus7 (the google tablet), there are cheaper options out there (not many) but they wont be as spec’d up as the nexus7 and they certainly wont have jellybean plus if you go too cheap they end up like the pendo pad here

      jelly bean + good hardware will keep the nexus7 a capable device for a good amount of time too, ie it wont be out of date and incapable of running the latest games tomoro

    • http://androidaustralia.com.au Josh Berg

      I’d have to agree with Cam. The Nexus 7 is just the best tablet money can buy at the moment.

    • Tyler Saddington

      Kogan.com.au They have their Agora tablet for $179 and has Google Play store and all the Google apps

  • Paul Snider

    What is the Agora tablet from Kogan like? Any good for playing educational games? Kids love Angry Birds and stuff, but it takes a bit of graphics power to run them on the cheaper tablet variants.

    • http://androidaustralia.com.au Josh Berg

      I’ve heard good things for the price. I haven’t had a hands-on chance yet, but the things look to be pretty good from word of mouth. If you can fork out a bit of extra cash you can’t go past the Nexus 7, but the Kogan tablets should really get the job done.

      • Greg

        Unfortunately I got one of these lemons from my kids for my birthday… about the only thing that works well is the built in e-reader. GetJar (the built in appstore) is poorly designed, has pointless ratings and fails to download about 30% of the time. In short if you want an ereader that can view basic web pages…buy something else.

        • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.m.french.1 Ashley Mark French

          again, it’s not a lemon, use google search for a couple of hours. the world wasn’t made in a day!

  • Kenneth Thorpe

    I am one of the poor bastards who got the stinking pendo 4.0. And let me say I am really shitty about it. Not only do I have one of these useless things. I got locked into a 24 month contract with Dodo for the crap. And not being tech savvy, web sites telling me to root it may as well be explaining quantum physics to a two year old. I am really angry. Looks like I am stuck eh !. What really shits me is I payed for apps on my zte v9 that I now can’t bring accross to pendo. Pendo are arseholes. When I contacted them they feed me the exact same explaination they fed Josh, word for word without changing even a full stop. Their tech people must have the explaination beside them ready to go. Morons !!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.m.french.1 Ashley Mark French

      using a pc you can get your apps that you paid for, can root it and get google android market. Use google search and read, simple.

  • Kautuak

    It is too late for those who got the device.
    We need Android Guru to help us root it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.m.french.1 Ashley Mark French

      simple, use google search engine and read, took all of a couple of hours.

  • isack

    I have a pendo pad and use 1mobile instead of getjar, it has access to almost any app that is on the play store and I’m more than happy

  • Luke Strong

    I rooted my pendo pad with unlock root, downloaded gapps ics zip, extracted it into system/app and then gave the apps full permissions. Restarted it and then I had playstore, gmail, youtube etc…
    If I, a fourteen year old can do it, You guys should be able to.

    • Ashley Mark French

      Josh Berg wouldn’t know how and he can’t admit when he’s wrong. obviously a know it all wanker. my first tablet, rooted and running google apps the first day. with tv out, much better than most cheap tablets. only let down is poor screen quality.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.m.french.1 Ashley Mark French

    I downloaded 4 apk files, installed them, powered off then powered on. Now have Googles Android Market. Rooting the pendopad was also simple. You should use google search a bit more before you rubbish something as it makes you look like you don’t know what your talking about.

    • Bob Downe

      How about posting the info here for us? I can’t seem to find anything on google???

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.m.french.1 Ashley Mark French

    yep, Josh talks crap! Pendopad 4.0 is so easy to give root privellages and install google android market. If I can do it almost immediately along with a 14 year old, why does he say it can’t be done! Because he never tried. You shouldn’t comment on things you don’t know, hey android guru.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bardsidhe Rodger Phillips

    The real reason pendopad 4.0 uses Getjar and locks out Google play is because of this simple fact. China (PRC) has strict internet controls in place via local laws. This means in this case the app store must be PRC approved. Play is not approved. Pendo need to address this for owners/users outside the PRC. As get jar does not have access to localized apps eg real estate apps for Australia or new Zealand

    • tjmarx

      If you notice the 1mobile market (and Getjar) have an ad banner down the bottom. THAT is the real reason, it provides ad revenue which subsidizes the price of the device. Android is open source and all android apps come stock

  • http://www.facebook.com/bardsidhe Rodger Phillips

    Fixing the issue with Play /Getjar would make them more attractive to the end user on a budget

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.m.french.1 Ashley Mark French

    Josh, you can say whatever you like. You now admit that google apps can be installed. That’s the bottom line. Whether a grandma can do it or not has nothing to do with it. Your article states they can not. Well you’ve been proven wrong. It’s as simple as that. So get your facts right before you speak, grow some balls mate!

    • http://www.androidaustralia.com.au/ Josh Berg

      Ashley I’m sorry that you’ve taken this matter to heart. I don’t recall admitting much and maintain that I would not recommend this unit to anyone I know.

      I’m glad to hear how much you’re enjoying your PendoPad, have a great day.

  • http://www.poraora.com/ Mthew Gill

    i think this games is wonderful children education games . so i just want everyone must see this games.

  • Adam Bagnall

    You get what you paid for this tablet has a lot of issues, it is slow, the screen is unresponsive and you get barely any internal memory to play with. However it is quite light and has decent speakers

    • Ashley Mark French

      you must have got a bad one, my screen is quite responsive, just poor picture quality but tv out makes up for this for me.. barely any internal memory, not if you save everything to ext memory card. Plus it can use a usb memory stick which then gives stacks.. but yes, you get what you pay for although really, if you look into it, it wasn’t a bad decision to buy, really.

  • Julie Peterson

    Hi , I’ve just purchased a pendopad 10.1. Its running android 4.2 jelly bean and is using 1 mobile as it’s app store. Does anyone know if this is better than the previous pendo pads?

    • Ashley Mark French

      is good, don’t believe the shit Josh Berg says as he can’t recall his own comments, even if they are only a few paragraphs above.

  • Ashley Mark French

    Adamant vegan says it all! A bullshit speacialist that makes incorrect comments. Also someone that can’t recall his previous comments and is unable to scroll upwards to find them displayed there. You should probably not bother following him on Twitter and find a tech that actually understands how to use computers/tablets properly. Not someone that makes false claims cause they can’t work out how to do it. Even if a young 14 year old kid can.

  • Ashley Mark French

    ok, you didn’t say it could be done, that was cameron but that’s another showing your wrong. jIt’s not that I have taken anything to heart. Facts are facts and you have been shown by more than just myself, to be totally wrong on your claims. About time you admit you are wrong, or aren’t you man enough. Your claim – only to then find out (the hard way) that Google Play and most Google apps are simply not supported. Not even that, you can’t even manually install the GPlay apk. has nothing to do with any readers ability, it states it can’t be done. utter crap!

    • http://www.androidaustralia.com.au/ Josh Berg

      Hey Ashley,

      Anything I wrote in this article was based on my understanding of the issue at the time of writing. I’m sorry that it has offended you and on looking back at my work it was a rather harsh piece that didn’t need to be so. It’s great to hear that you’ve been able to find workarounds and support readers looking further into the devices we talk about. I am primarily concerned with the out of the box experience a device provides, rather than the experience when rooting it.

      • Ashley Mark French

        What offends me is you spoke about what you didn’t know. You could always retract your statement but haven’t. Out of the box the machine ran very well, being able to download apk files from no less than two market places. Google is only one of many and to the first time android user, they wouldn’t have even known about Google Play. Being able to connect it to a 100cm tv through the hdmi socket made it a great out of the box experience. Something a lot of the other tablets miss out on. The only downside was the poor screen quality. Now after reading your above spew that the Pendo doesn’t come with Google Apps, it seems your out of the box experience wasn’t so good because you obviously expected Google Apps, although no where on the box were they mentioned. And as for your ‘proper android’ comment, a Windows 3 machine is still a fully fledged computer. Just because it doesn’t have Window 8.1, it’s still a fully fledged computer. And again, if you hadn’t have been so critical over the Google Apps and used Get Jar and the other one, it wouldn’t have been so bad, especially seeing they have most of the same programs and most are cheaper than Google’s paid apps and have many of Google’s paid apps for free..