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New Huawei and Honor smartphones: Google warns against installing Google services and apps

Google warns against installing Google services (GMS) on Honor and Huawei phones that it has not officially certified. (Image source: Notebookcheck)
Google warns against installing Google services (GMS) on Honor and Huawei phones that it has not officially certified. (Image source: Notebookcheck)
Google is now officially warning against sideloading Google services, the Play Store and other well-known Google apps on newer Honor and Huawei smartphones. While the announcement only affects those handsets that Google has not certified because of ongoing US sanctions, like the Mate 30 Pro, Honor and Huawei are planning to announce new smartphones in the coming days and weeks. Hence, you should be aware that Google is probably not an option on these upcoming handsets.
Alex Alderson,

Google is apparently bombarded by people asking about how to install GMS on newer Honor and Huawei smartphones. If you are unaware, Honor and Huawei smartphones that have been released after May 16, 2019 do not come pre-installed with any Google apps. This applies to all regions. There are some exceptions to this, like the Honor 9X and the refreshed P30 Pro, but these were certified before US sanctions took effect.

We should point out that GMS will continue to work on existing Honor and Huawei smartphones like the View 20 or P30 series, for example. Huawei has confirmed that these devices will still receive OS upgrades, too.

While there have been multiple workarounds to bring Google Play Services, the Google Play Store and Gmail to devices like the Mate 30 Pro in recent months, Google remained quiet on the matter. Now, it has now stated the Android Help Community, and is actively warning against sideloading GMS onto uncertified handsets.

In short, Google stresses that individuals cannot guarantee that sideloaded APKs have not been tampered with in some way. These could have been enriched with malware, for example. Uncertified devices will lack Google Play Protect certification too, which will present problems when installing certain apps. You may encounter SafetyNet issues with services like Pokemon Go and Google Pay, too.

Theoretically, individual handsets can be Google Play Protect certified. However, it remains to be seen whether Google will allow this, or if it will eventually block this method of bringing Google Play Protect certification to devices like the Mate 30 Pro.

Only a few handsets are currently affected by this issue. However, Huawei and Honor are both due to bring new smartphones to Europe in the coming days and weeks. Honor has teased the 9X Pro and View 30 series, for example, while it is already known that Huawei will unveil the P40 and P40 Pro soon. None of these will be certified by Google, so there is no official route to installing GMS. This applies to apps that rely-on GMS or are exclusive to the Google Play Store, too.

Ultimately, the lack of GMS will not make the Honor 9X Pro, View 30 or P40 series bad smartphones. However, it will mean that most people will be limited to installing apps from the Huawei App Gallery and be content with using Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), instead. Huawei may pre-install more popular third-party apps on future handsets though, a move that could go some way to addressing the app gap. The above is still worth considering before you purchase a new Honor or Huawei smartphone any time soon, though.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 02 > New Huawei and Honor smartphones: Google warns against installing Google services and apps
Alex Alderson, 2020-02-23 (Update: 2020-02-23)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.