It’s one of the biggest questions in mobile at the moment – will the Huawei Mate 30 run Android, and will it have Google Services? Google says it won’t, but Huawei CEO Richard Yu has said that there may be a solution.
Speaking to reporters at IFA, Mr Yu said that Huawei may offer an option to install the apps and services onto an AOSP version of Android.
Google has already advised that the Mate 30 will not be receiving Google Apps and Services, so how a workaround to get those services would be viewed by the Mountain View company – and by extension the US Government is yet to be determined.
Huawei and the US Government have been at loggerheads after the US instigated a ban on US companies doing business with the world’s number 2 smartphone manufacturer back in May over concerns over theft of Intellectual Property, as well as fraud and obstruction of justice related to US sanctions against Iran.
The delivery of Google apps and services to a non-Google smartphone is relatively easy, with modders supplying GApps (bundles containing Google Apps, and Google Play Services) packages for custom ROMs freely for many years, though this is a very grey area for Google and modders..
Even Chinese company Meizu have arranged for their customers to be easily able to install the apps through their custom app store. Though this too is a fairly grey area.
The option to side-load an app package onto a phone is a dicey one from a security perspective. Side-loading apps can possibly open users to infected apps which can do anything from steal data, to using your phone in a bot-net, or worse.
Google does protect against these issues with its Google Play Protect security which constantly scans the phone for malicious code, but if the Google Apps package being side-loaded is modified though, it could give hackers carte blanche to the phone.
It’s a tricky question for Huawei, with their only other option if the US doesn’t lift the ban, to launch the phone with their recently announced HarmonyOS, which reportedly will run Android apps through a compatibility layer.
This question and more will be answered when the Mate 30 is unveiled on September 19th in Munich. You’ll be able to tune into YouTube for the announcement, or we’ll have all the details as soon as the phone is announced.