Can HMS perform basic services like GMS?
I see lots of people online saying that Huawei phones can’t use Google Apps.
I am currently using the newer generation of Huawei phones that uses Huawei Mobile Services, and I am using apps like Gmail on my phone.
I do believe that people need to be informed on how to get these apps and that they actually work. It’s actually easier than you might think.
Which popular apps can you find on the AppGallery?
The first thing to look at is where to download apps. Even though Play Store isn’t available, applications can be downloaded from AppGallery and Petal Search, which are conveniently pre-installed.
There is even a TOP APPS section which has many of my favourite applications, and you can search for applications in the search bar, similar to the Play Store.
Some of the apps I use, among others, are Whatsapp, Mr D, Instagram, Zoom, Spotify, Google Chrome, FNB and Google Maps.
I will let my home screen speak for itself:
Yes, even Google Maps. The navigation works and has all the normal features like Places of Interest, Turn-by-turn voice navigation, etc. See below:
The only caveat perhaps is the inability to sign in with your Google account and save historic trips and locations.
I was also interested to see the Huawei alternative to Google Maps, so I downloaded Petal Maps to see how it would compare and I was pleasantly surprised as to how complete and feature-rich it is.
With Petal Maps you have real-time traffic data, it lets you download offline maps to save data, and you can even add multiple stops to your route, and so many more features.
Below for Petal Maps and Petal Search:
Contrary to popular belief I was also able to use Gmail on my Huawei device.
It’s as simple as opening the Huawei Email app, entering my Google login details and I’m able to send and receive emails seamlessly.
I also checked and logged in with my other accounts and enjoyed the fact that the Huawei Email app even supports Outlook, Yahoo and Microsoft Exchange.
Can I get YouTube on the Huawei device?
What about YouTube? You can use YouTube through a third-party app called YouTube Vanced.
You can log in using your Google account and enjoy all your favourite videos and see all your subscriptions.
If the above download options aren’t for you, there’s another way called GSpace that can be downloaded from AppGallery. You can then download all your favourite Google apps from GSpace.
HMS on Huawei phones has really matured since its launch a few years ago. Whilst I may not have considered it 2 years ago, it has really become a viable alternative to traditional android devices.
Huawei has always been a market leader when it comes to hardware and innovation.
The lack of GMS was a hard pill to swallow, however with the ability to now have most of the Google apps and 3rd party apps functional, it now makes sense why so many people are still purchasing Huawei phones in South Africa.
Huawei also has some pretty solid services of their own, some of which are listed below.
- Huawei Cloud is a cloud storage platform, like Google Drive. It allows you to keep and save all multimedia in the cloud, whether its pictures, contacts, songs, vides and more.
- Huawei Music is much like Google Play Music; you can stream all your favourite tunes and create playlists.
- Meetime: This is one of my favourites, it’s a video calling and collaboration feature that allows you to share documents and even share your screen whilst on a video call. The quality is really surprising and even trumps that of facetime.
What if I am struggling with my phone – where can I get support?
Using a Huawei device was not much of a learning curve or limitation as I thought it would be.
However if you are struggling a bit, Huawei has really gone all out to address any concerns and offer support.
Huawei users can get in touch and get assistance from service experts through their Huawei device in Petal search, using WhatsApp support, a live chat option, email or through the Huawei Customer Service Centers.
The effort that Huawei has made to improve user experience and App availability is certainly evident.
It has become easier to now recommend a Huawei device to someone willing to try something different which wasn’t possible just 2 years ago.
I will update this post with more details about my experience over a longer period of time, what is certain though is that Huawei’s HMS is no longer a poorly put together version of Android without GMS, it’s now starting to look more like the iOS of the Android world and that’s exciting!