4 steps to getting any app or service on Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro and future phones
Here’s how Huawei will power Mate 30 Pro and future flagship phones with Huawei Mobile Services
When it first appeared late last year with the Huawei Mate 30 Series, the Huawei Mobile System (HMS) turned out to be more robust and intuitive than expected. Beyond providing a speedy user experience, even with multiple apps turned on, it handles camera and videography work very well, renders enriched graphics and multi-tasks seamlessly, offers great battery management and much more as assessed from our review of the Mate 30 Pro.
What is Huawei Mobile Services?
Huawei Mobile Services offers a suite of personalised experiences which include:
- Huawei AppGallery (Huawei’s very own app marketplace; a Google Play Store equivalent)
- Huawei Browser
- Huawei Mobile Cloud
- Huawei Themes
- Huawei Music
- Huawei Video
- Huawei Assistant and more
Since its launch, Huawei has kept the HMS development momentum going as it works tirelessly to improve and expand its proprietary mobile platform and ecosystem. Critical to this is how Huawei has been working with various developers with a US$1 billion investment to create HMS variants that will perform just as well or better than current market offerings. According to Huawei Consumer Business CEO, Richard Yu, the upcoming flagship – Huawei P40 – will run fully on HMS and come bundled with the latest offerings for HMS and its ecosystem.
It’s still based on Android!
Did you know HMS is still based on the core Android platform known as the Android Open Source Project (AOSP)? That means several integral bits of HMS use key functional modules of an Android platform minus the Google Mobile Services (GMS), which is tied in closely with certain service applications, is no longer supported. This is why Huawei is investing US$1 billion globally to develop HMS with incentives for app developers up to $17,000. HMS is said to have a global base of around one million registered developers, so there’s massive potential for HMS to stand on its own as the ecosystem progresses.
Given the Android backbone of HMS, many existing apps that run natively on Google Android are compatible with HMS-powered devices. This is why when you backup your existing Android phone over to a Mate 30 Pro, many of your existing apps run fairly well (more on that later).
Let’s get your apps!
Where can users of current- and next-gen Huawei devices that run with HMS get apps? The easiest and best way is via the Huawei AppGallery.
While it operates exactly like other app store platforms for Apple and Google, the key difference here is how the Huawei AppGallery is the primary go-to for all official apps made for phones operating on HMS (like the Mate 30 Pro). This includes the ones that are Huawei-made and -sourced, ported over, optimized and made specifically for HMS.
Apart from core services that are built-in to the HMS, Huawei is speedily working with several app developers at the local level to port over apps that are high in demand to its customers in each country. In Singapore, these include optimised apps for government and public utilities (EZ-Link, Singapore Airlines), telco services (Singtel, M1, StarHub), shopping and entertainment (iGV, FairPrice, Chope Restaurant Reservations, Cathay Cineplexes), e-Commerce (Lazada, Qoo10, Carousell, Shopback, Agoda), and news & information (CNA, Today, Stomp, Business Times, Straits Times). And these are just some of the new apps added on the AppGallery in recent months.
Check out our quick speedy 100-second video showing you how easy it is to get apps from the Huawei AppGallery and the other two methods (Huawei Phone Clone and Browser Web Apps) that we've covered more after the break:-
Porting apps over with Huawei Phone Clone!
Some have asked – can the apps from the previous smartphone be transferred over? It’s a relevant and critically relevant query. With Huawei Phone Clone, that is possible. Those who prefer to use this method will need to install this service on both devices (your previous Android phone and it comes pre-installed on HMS phones like the Mate 30 Pro) and let the app do the work.
The Phone Clone transfer is mostly done via Bluetooth and will tap on Wi-Fi for large apps and all necessary updates. Keep in mind that the transfer may not be a 100% copy as some apps utilize GMS, thus may cause these apps not to operate as expected. Other commonly used apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp that do no utilize GMS, works fine on the Mate 30 Pro as tested and reported here and here.
Close the loop with Browser Web Apps!
Still need some of the apps tied into GMS? Not a problem. Most of these apps have a web equivalent service, so head to the browser and the service’s website (e.g. YouTube, Gmail, etc.), and you can then activate “Add to Home Screen” from the browser’s menu options. This will give you a web-app link to the service and you won’t miss out on any action while enjoying the excellent photography functionality offered on the Mate 30 Pro.
Please take note, before reading further: Users who consider the next methods must do their due diligence to ensure they make an informed decision before looking for and using these files. It may be more complicated, require some tinkering, and could pose security risks if the sources aren’t from familiar providers that you’re aware of, or masquerading as legit providers. As such, this is only for advanced users.
For specific apps, there is the option to side-load or use alternate download and install services. Basic apps, like social media apps and popular game titles, would have this option to download the APK file – a data pack that stores the critical installation files and processes – and install onto the device directly. This option can be easily found on the websites of popular apps and mobile services. One such example we've documented is getting the official Facebook app:-
The other method is to download the APK onto the PC and transfer the app onto the HMS-powered device. Just find a reliable source for these APKs, make sure they are legit by reading comments or checking out the users’ profile, then start downloading these apps. While most that are made for GMS can potentially run on HMS, there is the off chance that it could cause errors, so proceed with caution.
An evolutionary ecosystem
As you would have learnt by now, HMS and its AppGallery, since it launched last year, has expanded the platform through various app port-overs and conversions, new developments, and collaborative partnerships. This clearly shows Huawei is serious about establishing an ecosystem that is truly independent and designed for the phone of the future.
With Huawei's next-gen flagship set to launch late in March 2020, Huawei certainly wants to pull out all the stops to prove that it can really go head-to-head with the best in the industry. Question is, are you ready to make the leap and be different?