The NHS Covid-19 app has been submitted to Huawei’s App Gallery, opening the Test and Trace service up to some of Huawei’s older devices. Now, according to a report by the BBC, Huawei is working on adapting the software for its newer phones.
It’s no secret that Huawei users have struggled to access certain services since the US imposed a trade ban on the Chinese company last year. The ban required Google to suspend any business with Huawei.
This left models released in the latter half of 2019 and beyond void of Google services, including the Google Play Store, Google Play Services and the full (not open source) version of its Android software.
Related: Huawei Android ban
While adding the NHS app to Huawei’s own App Gallery would seemingly fix any issues there, the move only makes the app more accessible for Huawei devices running the full version of Android.
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 app relies on an API provided by Google Play Services to run. In short, the app is not compatible with newer Huawei phones.
Luckily, according to the BBC, Huawei is working on a fix for this issue. A spokesperson for Huawei has told the BBC the company is working on its own API to run the tracing app. The API will include a Bluetooth-based notification system to warn users if they have been standing too close to another person for too long.
Huawei has reportedly been in talks with the NHS Test and Trace team for months and is hopeful officials will sign off on the new API. According to the spokesperson, if it is approved, the Huawei app could launch in a matter of weeks.
The Covid-19 Track and Trace app is available to download now for Android users running Android 6.0 or above and iPhone users with iOS 13.5 and above. Follow our guide to download the service.