Ready this year: Huawei to replace Google apps on its phones soon

Ready this year: Huawei to replace Google apps on its phones soon
Chinese tech giant Huawei has been making headlines all year long—for making great devices, but also for the US trade ban that threatens to cut the company off from a major market. Google has also removed the company’s access to its proprietary services from the latest Huawei phones, leaving them without important apps like Gmail, YouTube, and the Play Store.

Huawei, however, seems undeterred as it closes the year with anticipated sales of 230 million handsets, up from 2018’s 207 million units. But that’s not the only thing Huawei is planning for the end of the year.

According to an executive who interviewed with the Economic Times, the Chinese company is planning to launch Huawei Media Services (HMS), a replacement for Google services, by the end of 2019. Yes, this year, the same one that has less than ten days left.

The representative is quoted as saying, "We have our own HMS and are trying to build a mobile ecosystem. Most of the key apps such as navigation, payments, gaming and messaging will be ready by December [sic] end."

In addition to basic services, Huawei is also planning to make sure the top 150 app in major markets are all supported on its own app store. If it manages to fulfill these ambitious goals, it will mean more than just more successful sales- it could paint the start of a radically different Android landscape.

A new era of Android?


Android and Google services are easily divisible in theory—the former an open-source operating system and the latter proprietary software—but in real life, Android has always, always, been closely tied to the vast suite of Google software, the most notable being the Play Store.

Thus, no major smartphone maker has ever said parted ways with the internet giant (and its software) in this way. If Huawei manages to really set up a viable ecosystem without Google Play Services and still have it succeed, that’s bound to leave an indelible mark in the history of smartphones.

That’s why it’s so surprising to see Huawei apparently finishing its enormous task in such a short timeframe. Of course, the company has yet to actually prove that it’s done what it said it has, but there are a number of variables that are on Huawei’s side. Let’s consider a few.

First of all, of course, we can consider Huawei’s considerable resources. The company has already shown it’s willing to risk a lot on this daring transition, so we can expect the software development to be backed by Huawei’s best efforts.

Secondly, Huawei’s largest market is and always has been China, where Google’s services have never been first pick over domestic alternatives. In fact, the idea of Android without Google is far less foreign in the Chinese market— it’s India and the EU that risk taking the biggest hits.

A third factor is something already mentioned—the inherently open-source nature of Android is on Huawei’s side. Though Android and Google may have been inseparable historically, that’s only on the official, mainstream side of things; just a quick internet search shows that tons of people already distance themselves from Google services out of privacy concerns or other reasons. Android’s public, standalone nature makes it possible, perhaps even easy.

Of course, in that last case, users need to give up some features and resort to side-loading their favorite apps, an option that may or may not be available on future Huawei handsets. However, history shows that the potential is there.

Huawei stands at a very interesting point in its narrative, and the next few months may end up revealing much about Android and the mobile landscape in general. As the second-largest mobile company right now, Huawei has a lot to lose—but also much to gain.

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48 Comments

1. meanestgenius

Posts: 22714; Member since: May 28, 2014

This is something that’s going to be EXTREMELY tough for Huawei to pull off, but if any OEM can....if any OEM has the resources to do so, it’s Huawei. Good luck, Huawei. I, for one, would love to see a version of Android thrive without Google Services. Good luck!

2. Papa_Ji

Posts: 904; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

Finally, we will get phones with no US spy software.

4. domfonusr

Posts: 1101; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

It is all about who you trust (or don't trust, for that matter)… if you are one of those people that doesn't care about being spied on by the US, then you have options with either Google's Android, or Apple's iOS; however, if this bothers you, and being spied on by China doesn't bother you, then Huawei's Harmony OS (or AOSP with HMS, as the case may turn out to be) will be your best option. If you really don't care who is spying on you, then any mobile OS from any OEM is fair game. If you don't want anyone spying on you, then... well, you are probably out of luck when it comes to mobile phones these days.

5. vgking9699

Posts: 227; Member since: Mar 01, 2019

Even more spy software now since it will be 100% Chinese software, now it will be more banned from selling in us markets lol

6. meanestgenius

Posts: 22714; Member since: May 28, 2014

No country has more spyware than the U.S.

8. jaybonline

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 24, 2019

U.S. helped the world from world ward 2, korea and vietnam war from communist leaders. While China is a communist country since 1940s. Ill rather get a U.S. devices than Chinese. If you buy chinese devices it means you like and support communism.

9. meanestgenius

Posts: 22714; Member since: May 28, 2014

Buying a device from a Chinese company does not mean I support the Chines government or it’s actions. You Huawei haters can’t seem to separate Huawei from what the Chinese government does. It’s pure ridiculousness on your part. The U.S. is run by racist and fascist, and for the most part, always has been. They have bombed children and have slaughtered and systematically kept a portion of its citizens down simply because they have darker skin. If you buy devices from the U.S., it means you like and support racism, rape culture, and genocide. See how that sounds?

15. MsPooks

Posts: 295; Member since: Jul 08, 2019

@meanestgenius Tell us about the utopia you're currently residing in, and the device manufactured in that utopia, you're currently using.

22. meanestgenius

Posts: 22714; Member since: May 28, 2014

@MsPooks I live in the U.S. No utopia for me or other people of color here. Any more questions?

31. domfonusr

Posts: 1101; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

I am not part of any racial minority, but I have certainly seen what you describe, MG. It is an unfortunate part of our reality today, and I look forward to the day when all people enjoy true liberty and opportunity equally, and in abundance at that. I have witnessed the struggles of one particular black man in recent months: my supervisor and CEO at the biotech startup that I have been working for since August this year. He is a natural-born leader, and he instinctually knows the best balance for when to drive us hard, and when to be really chill. He is also incredibly smart, and very imaginative and innovative. Best supervisor I've had since finishing my bachelors degree... but only one month into my employment with them, all of our investors backed out in the same week. We had connections with a number of local universities, which were helpful connections, and so we still have our office space, our laboratory access and sharing agreement in place (which we were approved for the very week after our investors backed out), and I have volunteered my time since to go up and do events with him on campus. However, I have seen the struggles he goes through to get funding sources, and the banks are really not his friend, sadly. The banking system is absolutely biased when it comes to race, sadly, and this was made plainly visible to me when he tried for months to get loans to try to keep our business afloat. Sadly, I am no help either: I had to declare bankruptcy back in 2012, and so I can't get any loans in my own name, let alone helping my supervisor get loans for his business. And with all of our investors gone, and only a few remaining outside contracts, the company has no money with which to pay anybody right now. And its been that way for the last three months, so none of us is able to work. My supervisor, the CEO, is nobly volunteering his time, in between classes (as he is finishing his senior year of college), to keep the business afloat, but without any loans or venture capital access, we are iced out of the system, and none of us can make a living. If my supervisor were white, he would probably have stood a much better chance of getting a small business loan when we needed one... which is such a terrible reflection on the financial system here in the US. Granted, we need a financial system in place, but this one needs MAJOR reform if it is to survive into any decent and equitable future. So, I understand your point... not really much of a utopia for minorities, although the structure of our Republic is designed to protect minorities, but this protection has only been afforded, in the recent past, to certain minorities that the "majority" found palatable: this has left an awful stain on the fabric of our society, which I am hoping can be reformed or replaced sooner rather than later.

49. domfonusr

Posts: 1101; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

To be fair, I think that a vast majority of white people just don't even know about this. They may hear a story here or there, and hear rumors going around, but in all likelihood they don't really know. And the unpleasant truth is hard to believe until you see it for yourself. I didn't know about this serious problem of racial bias in the financial system until I saw it for myself, and saw the effects of it on my boss, and the visceral effects on my job and income because of the fact that I work for a minority-owned business. Frankly, it makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it now. White people need to wake up to the inherent biases in the financial system, the criminal justice system, the educational system, and all of the other systems here in the US that we don't get taught about in schools any more because the truth is so, so unpleasant...

19. ScottsoNJ56

Posts: 154; Member since: Oct 01, 2017

And the Chinese kill their own citizens,spy on them and keep them all oppressed

23. meanestgenius

Posts: 22714; Member since: May 28, 2014

Scott, And the U.S. does exactly the same. I don't support either one of their governments, and am not afraid to call either out on their atrocities.

28. ScottsoNJ56

Posts: 154; Member since: Oct 01, 2017

I believe you. The only thing is, in this country we can say the government is corrupt, or the politicians are a bunch of crooks and nothing happens. Unfortunately in China that is forbidden. I think everybody is spying on everybody to be honest lol.

29. meanestgenius

Posts: 22714; Member since: May 28, 2014

So nothing happens to anyone that speaks out against government officials in this country? Epstein says "Hold my beer".

33. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 650; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

"Buying a device from a Chinese company does not mean I support the Chines government or it’s actions" And buying a device from an American company like Apple or Google does not mean I support the American government or it's actions ;) See how that works All those Google hater's cant seem to seperate Google/Apple from what the American government does.

34. meanestgenius

Posts: 22714; Member since: May 28, 2014

Did you actually read and comprehend my comment, or did you just quickly gloss over it in order to respond to it, proving that you didn’t comprehend the message I was conveying? Yeah, you just glossed over it and didn’t comprehend at all.

17. irwan92

Posts: 52; Member since: Feb 12, 2013

Yea.. now us help all Muslims country, iraq,syria, Palestine etc.. help to destroy. With no mercy, no humanity.

43. jiangqiushi

Posts: 43; Member since: May 28, 2019

I get your point, but that's so cold-war thinking. It ended 30 years ago. If you have been to China recently, you will find it anything but the so-called communist in your mind. The biggest difference from the west is it's a one-party country.

45. raky_b

Posts: 438; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

@jeybonline, US has started more wars than any other country in history of the world...and no, not to "help others", but to bring more oil,gas and money to it self. And by the way, those "commie" was also on the same side in WW2 as did your favourite enemie Russia...an they have wan that big war by loosing many, many people.

50. domfonusr

Posts: 1101; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Yeah, they lost millions of people in the wars, but they also slaughtered millions of their own people. Ever heard of the Great Famine of Ukraine in the Winter of 1932-1933? The Soviet Communist regime went as far as to make it illegal for any Ukrainian to grow or possess food of any kind, and when the people came into the leftover farm fields to try to glean for remaining crops, they were mowed down by machine gun fire by the thousands. You want to see what Communism does to people? Just look at the Ukraine... and that was only one of the many famines of the Soviet regions in that general era. Bullets are always cheaper than food, unfortunately, and it was easier and more efficient to kill all of those people than to feed them, sadly. The same goes for China... they slaughtered millions of their own under the cleansing performed by order of Chairman Mao. Now, I sure do understand that the victors in these circumstances are largely responsible for the written histories of these events, and so it is certainly recast as a lesser failing or even an accident to their own people. And, to be fair, the Europeans who came to the Americas exterminated millions of native peoples, but that has not been covered up as much, and a rather-accurate accounting is still largely available in the record of the day. The natives of North America suffered tremendously under the spread of unchecked capitalism in the 1800's, and were also exterminated by the tens of thousands. There needs to be a balance between capitalism and socialism - each one has its fatal flaw (greed in capitalism, and laziness in socialism) when carried out to its extremal end. In the United States, we have a balance that favors capitalism, but is going more towards extremes of capitalism and socialism in the very same nation. China, on the other hand, when they opened up to the West in the 70's and 80's, began incorporating capitalist reforms in order to keep their communist system alive, and so, today, China is a balance of both capitalism and socialism (more skewed toward socialism, but with extremes of both systems present).

51. domfonusr

Posts: 1101; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

And so, China is benefiting from some of the most unfettered capitalism balanced against the strongest communist (a version of socialism) regime in the world. Both systems are thriving right now, for different reasons and in different degrees, but the US and their allies (European Union, old British colonies like Canada and South Africa and Australia, Japan, South Korea, etc.) and China and their allies in Russia, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea, are the elements of the new lopsided bipolar order in the world today... and it is slowly becoming less lopsided over the last couple of decades. If government was about efficiency, sure communism might win out, but it would be absolutely heartless in doing so. Government in the US is about keeping the majority from imposing their absolute will on minorities, allowing those minorities to thrive under the same protections as the majority. Communism is not so much about that: at least in China, their communism is designed around a premise of central harmony and utility that was not so present in the old Soviet system. In any case, government, even a bad or corrupt one, is a gift (my major disagreement with Ronald Reagan), because the absence of government is worse than a bad government. That said, both sides have done terrible things, and have swollen in corruption, but the only hope for humanity is for everyone to find their true humanity, in spite of the difficulties, and to forgive and treat one another with respect, even if they are not afforded the same treatment by others.

14. MsPooks

Posts: 295; Member since: Jul 08, 2019

@meanestgenius Citation needed.

24. meanestgenius

Posts: 22714; Member since: May 28, 2014

@mspooks The information is their for you to research on your own.

27. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3182; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

@MsPooks, if your avatar is who you really are then it makes sense for you to need citations. Being white in 'Murica has its privileges that you're simply not aware of. Meanestgenius knows from whence he speaks, and so does my brown ass.

30. meanestgenius

Posts: 22714; Member since: May 28, 2014

Exactly, Crispin. That privilege affords her to either not knowing what I'm talking about, or to being in denial about it.

18. ScottsoNJ56

Posts: 154; Member since: Oct 01, 2017

I doubt that very much

25. meanestgenius

Posts: 22714; Member since: May 28, 2014

Scott, Doubt what? Everything I've said? What planet do you live on?

46. ScottsoNJ56

Posts: 154; Member since: Oct 01, 2017

Dude calm down. I don't think the comment was for you. I'm trying to find what I was replying to but I don't see it or don't remember.

48. meanestgenius

Posts: 22714; Member since: May 28, 2014

Dude, If you don’t even remember, shouldn’t you be the one that takes your own advice and “calm down”? You could have very well been responding to me.

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