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Now that Nokia has introduced itself to the world of Android, the company will have to become familiar with a few of the ground rules. The first thing to remember about running Google’s mobile OS is that nothing is sacred, and any attempt to release a feature or app exclusively for one device family will only result in the hack/mod-minded Android community extracting and sharing said treasure with those running other Android-based devices. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that the Nokia X Store APK has already been made freely available, and perhaps even less of a turn-up for the books, is that it has arrived courtesy of the folks at XDA-Developers.

The purpose of Nokia’s forked version of Android is to serve as a gateway to Windows Phone. By dropping the Nokia X, X+, and XL into the crowded, lower-end emerging markets, users will be served up the likes of HERE Maps, Mix Radio and Skype. Then, when upgrade time comes around, their familiarity with Windows Phone-like devices and Windows Phone-esque interface – as well as their use of Microsoft and Nokia’s app ranges – will certainly increase the likelihood that they’ll go out and grab an actual Windows Phone.

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For this plan to work, it’s going to take Microsoft and Nokia some time, and in the meantime, we’re going to be seeing a lot of this so-called ‘Nokia X OS.’ If you’re looking to discover a little more about Nokia’s very own flavor of Android, then the APK of the Nokia X Store is something you’ll want to be checking out.

Here, we run through the steps to get you started. And also, before you even begin, make sure side-loading of apps is enabled on your device. Go to Settings > Security and check the Unknown sources box to enable side-loading of apps.

Step 1: Download the NStore APK from here.

Step 2: Install the APK on your device using your favorite file browsing utility. Please note, you will need to visit settings and allow installations from unknown sources as we mentioned at the start of this guide.

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Step 3: Once the installation is complete, you should have the icon on your home screen, and from there, you can get to browsing.

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Because it’s a straight port, it is rather buggy, as you can see from the screenshots above, and at present, the Nokia X Store is lacking in apps outside of HERE Maps and Mix Radio. Still, it’s useful if you’re looking to have a little snoop, so download, install and enjoy!

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