Can Huawei and Its Users Survive Without Google?

jonas-leupe-fj6IuT2p1hM-unsplash-scaled-e1593396165812-1024x683

The U.S. Government’s blacklisting of Huawei in 2019 has shaken the company, to say the least. As an immediate outcome of this decision, Google ended its business relationship with the Chinese hardware manufacturer, resulting in Huawei being banned from using apps under Google Mobile Services (GMS).

Not only has Google suspended future hardware development collaboration with Huawei, but the ban also limits Huawei’s software to anything outside of Google’s GMS. The apps will not be preloaded onto new Huawei devices, nor will they be made available for manual download. GMS includes such apps as the Google Play Store, Google Search, Google Chrome, and Google Maps.

However, it’s important to debunk the misconception that all American companies are barred from purchasing Huawei devices. The new restrictions are not all-encompassing; Microsoft, Amazon, and Snapchat are still available through Huawei’s new app store, App Gallery (Huawei’s solution to the removal of Google’s Play Store). 

That said, the restricted access of a host of Google apps has left Huawei scrambling for its own software solutions and Google alternatives.

App store

Huawei’s App Gallery offers significantly fewer options than its counterparts. Aside from GMS, the service lacks Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, and many other American platforms that have been blacklisted by China’s Internet censorship policies. 

A workaround for the limited selection is to sync third-party apps when setting up a new Huawei device. Huawei’s setup process provides a useful tool called Phone Clone, where most non-Google apps missing from App Gallery can be transferred from device to device without needing a VPN.

Through this method, users can preserve services such as Instagram and Twitter without downloading them natively.

zana-latif-dQyvZnLSCWs-unsplash-scaled-e1593396364262
The Huawei P40 Pro

Search engine

Huawei’s answer to Google Search is its new engine, Petal Search. With the new interface, Huawei’s users can search for weather updates, news stories, sports, videos, images, and more. It also provides a ‘For You’ page that displays algorithm-curated top news articles to keep users up-to-date.

Most importantly, Petal Search combines itself with Huawei’s App Gallery and other third-party app stores, such as APKPure, in its search function, acting as an app store and a search engine in one. As long as Petal Search can find a download source, apps can be installed directly from Petal Search onto your Huawei device, providing users with a convenient option to download blacklisted apps. Users in Mainland China, however, may need a VPN to access the download sources of these apps. 

Nonetheless, with the assistance of third-party app sources concatenated into one platform, finding apps such as Facebook or Instagram is made much more convenient than previously anticipated. 

Emailv

Gmail users will still be able to access their accounts through Huawei’s EMUI10 email app. Although it may lack the accessibility options and ergonomic finesse typically provided by Google, it remains a viable option.

Ridesharing

Ridesharing platforms such as Uber and Lyft are profoundly affected by the new regulations. While these two ridesharing services have their self-developed platform for booking and payment, Google Maps is foundationally built into both as the navigation system. Hence, ridesharing abilities without GMS are significantly limited.

The Chinese solution to this problem is DiDi Chuxing, a ridesharing app that has long dominated the ride-sharing space in the country. It comes as no surprise that, in employing over 31 million drivers domestically, DiDi’s homeland network is more than extensive. The app is available on Huawei’s App Gallery, so ordering cabs is business-as-usual in China.

Outside of Greater China (DiDi’s operating area), where Google-partnered ride-sharing platforms dominate, Huawei falls short in providing viable solutions.

Is Huawei still worth it?

Ultimately, the answer depends on how much accessibility and platform-interconnectivity users are willing to sacrifice. It is clear that Huawei’s current struggle highly jeopardizes the seamless app linkage that people are so used to with Google.

In China, the changes won’t be as noticeable–if at all. Outside of Asia, where American tech companies dominate the app ecosystem, coping with the sanction will be very difficult. In this market, Huawei will undoubtedly struggle. 

Perhaps its Chinese rival Xiaomi will outshine the company as it clambers to brace its overseas market.

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

Elon Musk Buy Next

What Is Elon Musk Going to Buy Next?

There are moments in our lives—perhaps we are in the shower or struggling to sleep at 2 A.M.—when we think about all the ways we could influence the world. We find solutions to crypto volatility, world hunger and our neighbor’s ultra-dry plants.

5 Technologies

5 Technologies That Are on Stage in Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine So Far

On February 21, 2022, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, declared the independence of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic. Arousing international outcry, this ignited the ultimate invasion of Russia on Ukraine three days later. While Ukrainians are still defying Putin’s covetous ambitions, new technologies have been floating on the surface to take advantage of each other.

Technology Joy Ghose

Technology Pioneers – Interview With Joy Ghose of FreeD Group

Over the past 15 years, the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of FreeD Group Limited, Joy Ghose, has accumulated plenty of experience in the travel and technology industry. Before joining FreeD Group, Ghose was involved in sales, marketing and management roles at companies like Merlin Entertainments and The Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Creamy Mattes and Beyond Reviewing GoPlay Cosmtics’ Custom Lipstick Maker

To Creamy Mattes and Beyond: Reviewing GoPlay Cosmtics’ Custom Lipstick Maker

While researching for our piece on personal color analysis, I came across the LIPSKIT, a custom lipstick-making tool created by GoPlay Cosmetics. GoPlay Cosmetics is a DIY (do-it-yourself) make-up brand that is looking to prioritize sustainability in the make-up industry without compromising the variety of your lipstick collection.

Ledger vs Trezor

Ledger vs Trezor: Where Should You Store Your Crypto Holdings?

As lucrative as the cryptocurrency world is, it comes with a high risk of losing your crypto because of hacks. To make sure that your crypto holdings stay safe with you, you must carefully choose effective storage solutions for them. One of the ways to keep your crypto secure is by holding it in a hardware wallet.

4 best companion robots to consider in 2022

Alone No More: 4 Best Companion Robots to Consider in 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic and the isolation that accompanied it has given many of us a healthy appreciation for good company. Over the long periods of self-isolation and quarantine, we have come to the realization that company can also come in many non-human forms, like pets, plants and… Roombas?