Huawei smartphones are extremely popular in South Africa, but many users are concerned they will not be able to use popular Google apps like Gmail and YouTube on new devices.
This is not true, and Huawei has confirmed that users can continue to use these services.
This follows Huawei’s announcement that it would no longer use Google Mobile Services (GMS) and the Play Store – instead, it will offer its own Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) and AppGallery ecosystem on its upcoming smartphones.
“Many people are thinking that basic services are not going to be functional – that’s not true,” said Huawei South Africa CTO Akhram Mohamed.
“The difference for consumers is that your app repository, which used to be the Google Play Store, is no longer there.”
How to access Google services
While the Play Store is not available on new Huawei devices, it is still possible to get popular apps that would usually be downloaded from the Play Store.
Users will now download them from the AppGallery or third-party platforms.
These included Facebook-owned apps – Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
Centrain Google-owned apps, such as Chrome, can run using an APK, and services like YouTube can be accessed through a mobile browser shortcut.
Users will be able to log into their Gmail accounts via the Huawei Email app, or they can use their mobile web browser.
Using Google Search is as simple as setting Google as your default search engine in your browser.
Additionally, many popular applications such as Waze work perfectly on Android 10 with HMS.
Huawei’s HMS-powered devices still run Android, and this means that users will still be able to use popular Google services they would usually access through the Play Store.
The success of AppGallery
Huawei smartphone owners will have access to an extensive library of apps through the company’s AppGallery.
AppGallery is already one of the world’s top three application stores, serving over 600 million Huawei device users in over 170 regions.
There are over 1.3 million developers registered to develop apps for Huawei’s platforms, with more joining this group every day.
A large reason for this is that Huawei has made it easy for developers to bring their applications to its AppGallery, including providing assistance with the migration and development of applications.
Huawei has said its goal is to deliver an experience through Huawei Mobile Services and AppGallery that not only replaces Google Mobile Services (GMS), but surpasses it.
This ambition has resulted in unprecedented progress being made by Huawei over the past year, and it is showing no signs of slowing down.
Customer service points
Huawei South Africa CBG vice president Likun Zhao said that while the smartphone user experience will not be identical to previous devices, Huawei plans to scale its service points in South Africa to address any possible issues faced by the owners of new Huawei smartphones.
“We want to expand our service points from six to 150, with a service point in every top mall,” said Zhao.
Customers who buy new Huawei smartphones can take their devices to any of these service points and receive free support for software and application issues.
“We want customers to know we are here for them. We see that if a customer moves onto HMS, the experience is going to be the same – as it’s still Android – but not every application may be on AppGallery, because we are still building the ecosystem,” added Mohamed.
“We have proved that you can trust us before. Now again, trust us when we say, we’ve got you covered.”