Could Huawei Phones Lose Their Google Apps? What You Need To Know
Huawei users across the globe have been given some serious cause for concern, with Google barring the smartphone maker from accessing some of their apps, according to BBC.
This has come with the US imposing strict limitations on its technology trade with China, with Chinese-based Huawei at the forefront of the repercussions. The move comes after the Trump administration added Huawei to a list of companies that American firms cannot trade with, unless they have a license to do so.
As a result of this ‘trade war’, Google has announced that it has cut off Huawei’s Android license – which will result in serious implications for the world’s second biggest smartphone maker. Google said in a statement that they are complying with the official order and are currently “reviewing the implications.”
According to Reuters, Huawei will continue to have access to Google’s free version of the android operating system, known as Android Open Source Project. Still, Google will stop providing any technical support and will not collaborate with Huawei when it comes to its proprietary apps and services going forward.
But in a statement released by Huawei, the company has assured users that “Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally.”
Huawei also stated that it had a significant hand to play in the growth of android across the globe, and that it has become one of Android’s key global partners, which has benefitted both users and the industry.
“We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally,” the statement said. Huawei has also alluded to the fact that they are not completely unprepared for the challenge. The phone maker has reportedly its own operating system since 2012, which is said to be its ‘substitute for android on a rainy day’.
But what will the implications be for South African Huawei users?
For now, Google have stated that although they are complying with government actions, they “assure [users that] services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on [their] existing Huawei device.”
For now at least, as long as Google Play continues to function normally, users will see no impact at all across Google applications. The understanding is that for Google users in SA, the legal relationship for Google Play users on a Huawei device is between the user and Google – so Google will not be breaking the ban by updating your apps.
For Huawei users’ questions regarding our steps to comply w/ the recent US government actions: We assure you while we are complying with all US gov’t requirements, services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on your existing Huawei device.
— Android (@Android) May 20, 2019
However, your phone may not be as safe as it used to be – as there will be a lack of security updates on the actual device. This is because security updates were delivered via a partnership between Huawei and Google for all of their devices outside of China – and these updates can no longer happen. Which means that upcoming security fixes from Google won’t be availble on all current devices.
Whether Huawei will leave the Android OS is unclear, but for now – phones such as the much-acclaimed P30 are unlikely to experience the latest and Android updates. This includes Android Q, which is expected to add live captions, a feature that would subtitle videos even without a data connection.