The Huawei Mate 30 Pro shipped without any pre-installed Google apps, thanks to the Android ban. But here’s how you can install them yourself.
UPDATE: According to Reuters, the method outlined below no longer allows users to manually download and install Google’s apps. This story is still developing, and we will provide updates as we receive them.
Apps such as Google Maps, YouTube, Google Photos and more, are so integral to using our smartphones every day that it’s hard to even imagine going without them. So it was a major blow to Huawei that its latest and greatest flagship did not have any of these apps, despite running on an open source version of the Android 10 operating system. Fortunately, there’s an easy way round it: in this guide, we explain how you can get the best of Google on your new Huawei Mate 30 Pro.
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How to install Google apps on a Huawei Mate 30 Pro
- Firstly, open the browser on your device and enter the following web address: https://www.lzplay.net/#/ By clicking through the blue buttons, you can download a program known as Google Service Assistant (which — despite its name — is not created or authorised by Google).
- Once you agree on permissions and access, it installs Google’s core software — including the Play Store, which allows you to download the familiar apps you’d previously been missing.
- Unfortunately, this still doesn’t seem to be an entirely fail-safe solution as some apps don’t appear to work with this operating system: Google Pay for instance, is not compatible and you’ll have to sideload some apps like Netflix. (This is apparently due to DRM restrictions.)
- We will update this page if we discover further apps that are incompatible with the device. Note that in our experience, some apps might take longer to load than usual on first start-up (like YouTube).
- Once installed, the display will look far more familiar. The handset we have under review is a Chinese model (so may differ from the European version upon its release), but once we downloaded our favourite apps from the Play store it resembled a standard Android smartphone once again:
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Without Google apps, this phone would be more or less unusable for Western customers who are immersed in the Google ecosystem. Huawei CEO Richard Yu demonstrated that he was well aware of the difficulties of this prospect at a press conference following the launch. He hinted that customers would be able to find a way to install Google apps, describing this as their “right”, although he stopped short of actually endorsing a method to do so.
In its bid to live on without Google, Huawei has earmarked $1 billion of investment to develop programs for its own App Gallery and has promised that developers will be able to keep an 85:15 split of the profits — significantly more generous than the current rules for iOS or Android. But for now, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro is not on sale in the UK or any other European countries, and no official release date has yet been announced.