Huawei phones are known for their powerful hardware and excellent price/performance ratio. In spring 2020, Huawei became number one in sales of mobile phones and when we look at the statistics of the use of mobile applications, we can see that it regularly ranks in the top three, together with Apple and Samsung.
Nevertheless, there has been a serious change. As a result of US trade sanctions, new phones, starting with the P40, do not have Google Play Services. This does not only mean a missing Play Store icon for downloading applications, but mainly a limitation of some functions that are essential for the mobile world:
While it is possible to get around the missing Google Play Store in various ways, the consequence of the limitation of Google Play Services functions is that some applications on the new Huawei phones work with limitations or not at all. It is no longer possible to use the features offered by Google as part of the Google Play Services libraries.
For Huawei, this means building its own ecosystem and for application developers, it means connecting to this new ecosystem.
This means developing a separate version for Huawei, in addition to Android and iPhone versions. And not only developing, but also testing (= purchase another device), publishing and supporting. Although the phones continue to run Android and majority of the programmed can therefore be used, for the issues listed above, kits from the HMS platform must be used instead of Google libraries.
Link to HMS kits: https://developer.huawei.com/consumer/en/community/codelabs
This means creating a developer account in the Huawei App Gallery and going through additional approval when publishing. Huawei promises that this work will definitely pay off because it has decided to turn the App Gallery into the primary distribution point for the Asian region. And anyone who knows what it means when an app is installed by a “few Chinese” knows, that it’s worth it.
Link to the Huawei App Gallery: https://huaweimobileservices.com/appgallery/
Modifying an app for Huawei doesn’t necessarily have to mean radical modifications. In some cases, it is possible to upload the same APK to the App Gallery as is uploaded to Google Play. However, this is only possible, when the functions listed above are not used. For example, logging in via Facebook is not dependent on Google Play Services and therefore works well without change.
A video showing what it looks like when apps that are not optimised are launched on the Huawei P40: https://youtu.be/KDZAuUnN5bM
When the application starts, a message appears: The version of the Google Play Services installed on this device is not authentic. Please update the Google Play Services from Google Play Store.
INITED Solutions offer the creation of new applications, as well as modification of existing applications for the Huawei platform. We will be happy to advise you on your application.
Where to go next: Instructions for publishing a mobile application to the Huawei App Gallery.