Huawei without Google Play: don’t just download apps

It’s no secret that Huawei is not currently allowed to do business with US companies. For Android users, this means that they can count on less support for new Android smartphones. Not only do those phones not have licensed Android software, they also have to do without Google Play and other Google services.

That means that as a Huawei user, as far as new devices are concerned, you will not be able to access well-known Google apps, such as Gmail, YouTube, Maps and much more. Of course, what you can do is sideload such apps: install via a detour, separate from the official download store where they normally come from. However, Google does not recommend doing things like this, and the company recently explained why exactly. This is not to bother Huawei just like that.

Google Play

Huawei without Google apps

Before you can sideload apps, you must first indicate on your Huawei smartphone that, for example, your browser application may download and install files. Sideloading apps therefore presents various risks. Because if you don’t pay attention and you visit the wrong page, it is possible that a website or service downloads something in the background and puts it on your device. And that can be harmful. Not only for your phone, but also for your privacy, for example.

If you still want to sideload applications via such a browser on your Huawei phone, you also let Google know that the company is no longer responsible for your experience and your security. Google can guarantee that apps you want to sideload are actually safe (this also applies to all apps, not just Google’s). Normally, Google apps go through a rigorous security test, so the company can be sure that there is nothing wrong with it.

But after May 16, 2019 (the day that Huawei is no longer allowed to do business with American companies), that no longer applies to the smartphones of the Chinese manufacturer. Also, smartphones from the Chinese brand do not have access to Google Play Protect: if something happens, your device can not rely on the extra security built into many Android smartphones – with a valid Android license (which is not is present on your new Huawei device).

Therefore, Google does not recommend downloading its own apps or third-party apps outside of Google Play. Of course, you can always try something like this if you know what you’re doing (or trust the source, think of APK Mirror). But you are responsible for the risks yourself.


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