Google explains why its apps won't be on Huawei's P40 phones

And don't even think about sideloading apps, Google says.

Daniel Van Boom Senior Writer
Daniel Van Boom is an award-winning Senior Writer based in Sydney, Australia. Daniel Van Boom covers cryptocurrency, NFTs, culture and global issues. When not writing, Daniel Van Boom practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, reads as much as he can, and speaks about himself in the third person.
Expertise Cryptocurrency, Culture, International News
Daniel Van Boom
2 min read
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The Huawei Mate 30 Pro. 

Ian Knighton/CNET

Huawei is expected to launch two new flagship phones , the P40 and P40 Pro, in late March. The devices have brought with them a fresh round of speculation and confusion from customers, who still aren't really sure what the deal is with Huawei and Google . Will Google apps work on the new phones? Can you just sideload apps like Gmail, Youtube and Maps ?
The answer, according to an official Google blog post: No. Because of sanctions against Huawei by the US government, you're discouraged to sideload -- download apps or transfer them to the phone from another device.

The post, written by legal director of Android Tristan Ostrowski, explains how Huawei was added to the US governments Entity List on May 16, 2019. As such, Google is not able to collaborate with Huawei on any phones that were released after that date -- which includes last year's Mate 30 Pro as well as the upcoming P40 phones. (Here's a full timeline of Huawei's spat with the US.)

"Because of the government restrictions described above, new Huawei device models made available to the public after May 16, 2019 have not been able to go through [Google's] security process" Ostrowski wrote. "As a result, they are considered 'uncertified,' and will not be able to utilize Google's apps and services."

The Mate 30 Pro launched late last year without Google support, meaning no Google Play Store or key Google apps like Maps, Gmail or YouTube. In Play Store's place was Huawei's own AppGallery, an app store lacking in apps those of us in western markets would typically want. So no Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and few (if any) apps for podcasting, banking or streaming.

In response to this, many users have gone about buying Huawei phones for their exceptional hardware and sideloading Google apps. Ostrowski discouraged users from doing this.

"Sideloaded Google apps will not work reliably because we do not allow these services to run on uncertified devices where security may be compromised. Sideloading Google's apps also carries a high risk of installing an app that has been altered or tampered with in ways that can compromise user security."

The blog post explains that phones released before May 16, 2019 are still supported by Google with security updates. That's good news for owners of the P30 or P30 Pro , two excellent phones Huawei released last March.

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