With the announcement of the Huawei Mate 30 series last week, everyone was also surprised about Huawei’s announcement to stick it out with their own mobile platform called Huawei Mobile Services.
This is to replace the de facto Google Mobile Services that most Android devices have been using. For those who are not familiar, Google Mobile Services (GMS) is are services and apps that are provided by Google under license with any Android operating system. This is comprised of Google Play Services, Google Play Store and the suite of apps like GMail, Google Maps, Chrome, YouTube, among others.
On the other hand, Huawei has an equivalent service — the Huawei Mobile Services. This includes the Huawei AppGallery, Huawei Cloud, Huawei Themes, Huawei ID, Huawei Video and other Apps & Services. The AppGallery is basically the counterpart of the Google Play Store. This is already included in all Huawei devices as a complement to the Google Play Store. It’s now a stand-alone service on the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro.
So, what the real deal with this new move? After talking to several Huawei executives and asking a lot of questions during the Q&A series, here are the answers we got.
Is Huawei shunning Google from now on?
Huawei loves to work with Google. Google likewise feels the same. However, the unpredictable trade ban by the US government has forced Huawei to take an independent path, one that does not rely on Google and its services. It’s not closing its doors on Google though.
How about Android?
Android is an open-source mobile operating system (AOSP or Android Open Source Project) so anyone can actually use it. Huawei will continue to develop it and incorporate it into their own EMUI. This is not different from how Xiaomi has been doing their own OS, as well as the likes of OPPO (ColorOS), VIVO (FunTouch OS), RealMe and many others. We expect Emotion 10 Android OS to be developed even further as well as the succeeding versions.
Is Huawei sticking to Huawei Mobile Services as a complete replacement to Google Mobile Services?
In the foreseeable future, yes. As such, Huawei is investing billions of dollars to develop the AppGallery and bringing all 3rd-party apps into the fold.
Can we install Google Play Store ourselves?
Yes, you can. Each individual user has to do this themselves and Huawei will not provide any assistance nor support for this. It’s quite easy though. Here’s a tutorial we made on how to install Google Play Store on your Huawei Mate 30 Pro.
Huawei should not be seen as aiding any users from downloading and installing Google Play Services.
How about the other apps like YouTube, GMail, Maps and Chrome?
Well, if you installed the Google Play Store, then you can download all the apps you want.
Will all these apps be blocked by Google anyway?
Well, we don’t know. However, we don’t think Google will go to that extent in enforcing the ban. It only restricts Google from dealing with Huawei, not Huawei users.
Isn’t it a hassle to go thru all these?
It’s up to the individual users. The potential market of Mate 30 devices is the middle to upper-class segments so they are fairly good at understanding the issues and its implications. They’re also more knowledgeable and open to doing the additional steps to get the Play Store in there.
How about my paid apps?
There are three scenarios here. One is that you are using an app or game that has in-app features — meaning you buy virtual tokens. You will still be able to do so whether you get the app from the Google Play Store or the Huawei App Gallery. The second scenario is that you have a subscription service with an app or game. This will not be affected as well.
The 3rd scenario is you bought an app in the Google Play Store and when you moved to the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, you want to download the same app. If you download it in the Huawei AppGallery, you will have to pay for the app again. This is perhaps the biggest impact a user will experience.
There seem to be some feelings of uncertainty regarding Huawei’s move away from Google Mobile Services and it does seem to have an impact. Regardless, it’s a move that might only strengthen its position. It’s another setback, but seeing how other big names like Xiaomi has endured this ordeal, we are certain Huawei can do the same.