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Are missing Google apps really a deal-breaker for you?

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AppGallery instead of the Google Play Store, TomTom instead of Google Maps... Huawei and Honor are moving beyond Google services and are cultivating their own ecosystem in a hurry. The Huawei P40 Pro is proof that the Chinese will be confident even without Google. But how does this self-confidence come across to you? Would you still spend your money on this unusual user experience?

Huawei has officially unveiled this year's top models P40 and P40 Pro. They offer exactly as much high-end hardware as one would expect for a purchase price of €799 or €999. The big, though expected, catch: Google apps and services are missing on Huawei's new Android phones.

But it's not like with iPhones that you would just go to the App Store (for Huawei, this means the AppGallery) and download and use Google Calendar or Maps. If only it were that simple. The amputation is profound, after all, many apps known from the Google Play Store are deeply intertwined with Google services and developer interfaces. Even the notification system runs entirely via Google Cloud Services (Firebase, for professionals).

emmy boundaries
Ride-sharing apps like Emmy will not work (for the time being) without the Google Maps API. / © NextPit

So it will probably be weeks, if not months, before developers have adapted their apps for the new Huawei Mobile Services. After all, Huawei is luring app developers with...

  1. A large user base
  2. Welcome money
  3. A greater share of app sales

Enter, the AppGallery. The gap should, therefore, close quickly as well as attract new players. Of course, the whole thing depends on a very significant factor.

Huawei must maintain its market share

Huawei does not offer too much hope itself in this respect. Looking at yesterday's news about allegedly declining smartphone parts orders, Huawei has little ambition for smartphones:

And if Huawei's userbase should actually shrink in the face of reduced production, an important incentive for app developers would fall away - and the problem would get worse. To anticipate exactly this danger today, we are asking you a very simple question...

Suppose you are a Huawei fan. Do you now buy...
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Go to comment (8)
Eric Ferrari-Herrmann

Eric Ferrari-Herrmann
Senior Editor

Eric has been with AndroidPIT since 2014. He’s writing articles and reviews for the German website. Topics are mostly privacy and new technology but there's also the occasional piece on environmental sustainability.

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  • marco sarli 39
    marco sarli
    • Admin
    Mar 29, 2020 Link to comment

    I can live perfectly well without Google. There are alternatives. I am just afraid that a bigger evil than Google will take its place

  • 20
    Reg Joo Mar 29, 2020 Link to comment

    You get hooked into gapps when you started using android(in my case, over a decade ago), and can't imagine change. Slowly, you go astray, and experiment with other platforms, and apps, just to realize, you have to keep "something" from Google on there.

  • 49
    storm Mar 28, 2020 Link to comment

    In regards to the tom tom collaboration, its fine for street use i guess. I mostly use Google maps for traffic conditions and off road trails where I download a section of map offline. I don't use it for driving directions much. I don't think TomTom meets my needs in mapping.

  • Simone Costi 21
    Simone Costi Mar 28, 2020 Link to comment

    Except for Google Maps, I think that I could perfectly live without Google Apps and I won 't miss Google Play Music


  • yotzmach 8
    yotzmach Mar 28, 2020 Link to comment

    The problem is not Google apps - it is the Play Services, mainly notification. Without GCM/Firebase notifications, many app would be cripled.
    As long as you can sideload the play services from GApps and similar, then it's not a real problem.


    • yotzmach 8
      yotzmach Mar 28, 2020 Link to comment

      BTW, the problem with the P40 is not that it comes without Google (which you can also look at as a kind of advantage...), It's its VERY high price.

    • 49
      storm Mar 28, 2020 Link to comment

      microG services anonymously spoof the google notification sublayer and some related services for a de-googled phone. As long as you never log in to Google on that phone....

      You can see more on Youtube, the video is "De-Googling an Android 10 phone" on the Rob Braxman Tech channel.

  • 49
    storm Mar 28, 2020 Link to comment

    I can do without google apps. But Huawei wouldn't be my hardware choice either.

    Motorola usually has good AOSP ROM support. Because the hardware is Plain Jane, it works well.

    Samsung usually clutters up their system with enough junk hardware that you need a more specialized ROM to support it and may also need some google subservices. Not sure though on the details. Same for many other "flagships".

    Nokia, Huawei/Honor lock down the bootloader, removing that choice. Xiaomi, as I recall, you have to write explaining your need and get approval to unlock the bootloader. Oppo, I don't know their policy. One Plus has allowed bootloader unlock quite easily so far.

    Deactivated Accountmarco sarli

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