The Mate 30 Pro is one of the best Android phones of the year… at least on paper. The problem is that Huawei’s phone can’t run any of the Google apps you expect to find on Android devices: Google Play, Gmail, Search, Maps, and YouTube. The US ban forced Huawei to think outside the box and install a different version of Android that runs the company’s own apps, which is a nightmare for anyone using Android phones in Western markets.
From the moment Huawei unveiled the phone last week, hardcore Android users may have assumed it would be easy to port all of Google’s apps over and turn the Mate 30 Pro into a standard Android phone. It turns out that that is indeed the case, in spite of Huawei’s expected flip-flop on the bootloader status.
“We limited [bootloader unlocking] because we wanted to guarantee more security for consumers,” Huawei’s Richard Yu said in a statement (via 9to5Google). “But this time we will leave more freedom for the consumers so they can do more customization by themselves. So we are planning to let consumers do that.”
The top Huawei exec may have spoken too soon, as Huawei reached out over the weekend to the blog to inform them that Huawei has “no current plans” to allow bootloader unlocking on the Mate 30 series. That means Android power users lost an easy way to install Google’s Android on the handset.
Then again, what else could Huawei do? Providing an easy way for buyers to bypass the restrictions and install Google’s own version of Android might not be perceived all that well by authorities.
However, as 9to5Google explains, it only takes 10 minutes to install a full suite of Google apps on your phone, starting with the Google Play store. That also means you can bring all the apps you’ve downloaded or purchased from Google’s app store to the Mate 30 Pro and forget all about Huawei’s alternatives.
While the process seems simple, involving the installation of the Google Service Framework installer from a web browser, remember that you’re still installing unauthorized software on a new device. If things don’t work out, it’s on you. Plus, you have to trust what appears to be a site made by a Chinese developer to download Google Play on a device made in China by a company that US intelligence officials fear might be spying on you with the help of its Android phones that already run Google’s Android. If you own the Mate 30 Pro, it also means you have to trust an operating system which isn’t protected by Google Play’s built-in security, at least until you install Google’s apps. Then again, it’s your money and your choice.
On the other hand, the last thing Huawei would want is for anyone to prove that its OS isn’t secure, especially given all that talk on stage about user security and privacy. The company may be ready to pour billions in HMS and HarmonyOS, but it wants the ban to be reversed as soon as possible so it can keep selling Android devices in Western markets. Finally, here’s a video showing you how to get Google apps on the Mate 30 Pro: