The recently-released Googlefier app allows for the installation of Google Mobile Services (GMS) on Huawei smartphones but comes with significant limitations and drawbacks that users should be aware of.
The app was created by XDA Developer bender_007, and offers a more user-friendly approach to side-loading Google’s apps and GMS on newer Huawei smartphones.
As part of the US trade ban on dealings with Chinese technology firms, Google is not allowed to officially support its ecosystem on Huawei smartphones released after around mid-2019 – including the Mate 30, P40, and Mate 40 ranges.
Although Huawei has been working hard to bring more apps to its own AppGallery store and to develop its own Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) ecosystem, many smartphone users rely heavily on the features of Google apps and mobile account services to make the best use of their devices.
To address this need, the last few months have seen a number of methods surface which successfully managed to get Google apps and GMS to work on recent Huawei smartphones.
However, many of these involved a series of complicated steps that could require the user to connect to a PC, root their device, and download several tools, something which was likely beyond the capabilities of the average smartphone user.
All of these gaps were eventually plugged by Google, until Googlefier was released.
Googlefier promises to help reduce the complexity of sideloading Google apps and GMS by deploying all the necessary installation files from a single package.
We decided to test this latest workaround to see how easy the process would be and, critically, if it worked.
It should be noted that while users have reported success with using this workaround, the method offers no guaranteed protection from malware or dangerous modification of software.
How it works
The app is currently supported on Huawei and Honor smartphones running Android/EMUI 10, but won’t work on devices released from April 2020 onwards.
It also doesn’t support EMUI firmware versions later than 10.1.0.150, which means a downgrade will be needed if you have an older device, but more recent software.
The developer notes that the workaround may in certain instances work on unsupported smartphones, although we had no success using Googlefier on a Huawei P40 Lite.
To start off, users must first download Googlefier from the official link and complete the initial app installation, which takes only a few seconds.
After this is done, you can open the app, which will provide a series of meticulously-detailed steps to install/uninstall LZplay, the required GMS app packages, and the Play Store.
It is critical to follow these instructions down to the finest detail, as failure to do so will likely result in the Play Store and GMS not working and require you to go back to square one.
We decided to put the Googlefier method to the test using a Huawei P40 Pro 5G smartphone and were left a bit dismayed with the ultimate results.
YouTube channel FoneTech provides a play-by-play walkthrough of the app’s workflow, which helped us make sure we did not miss anything.
Our smartphone, which was released in February 2020, and was running EMUI version 10.1.0.131, met the requirements of the workaround.
Recognition must be given for the app’s instructions – which were clear, in-depth and well-organised, with immense efforts from the developer’s side to make the process as user-friendly as possible.
Examples of hint messages throughout the process can be seen below.
While still requiring several manual tasks and tweaks, the methodology is superior to previous attempts, which would require more substantial technical know-how.
In the end, we finished the GMS installation process and got Play Store to run normally on the P40 Pro.
We proceeded to download and install 20 Google apps from the store to see if they would run without issues and be able to integrate well with the phone and account features.
While the majority of the apps functioned as normal, however, quite a few would not start up, crashed, or did not allow us to log into or link a Google account.
The latter included key apps like Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Photos.
The table below summarises the apps which were working and those which did not.
|Google apps on Huawei using Googlefier|
There is another major caveat to this workaround – the presence of constant push and in-app notifications that we could not disable.
This issue stemmed from Google Play Services warning us that the P40 Pro was not “Google Play Certified”.
We disabled notifications for all of the apps, the Play Store, and Google Play Services, but the notifications kept popping up.
While not a complete deal-breaker, these messages were annoying to the point where we would actually recommend living without Google on your new Huawei smartphone – rather than having some of its apps working.
In any event, it is likely that Google will roll out updates which cause Googlefier to stop working or have done so already, so this is not the optimal long-term solution.
Below are examples of the notifications we kept receiving after installing and using the Google apps.