This Is What The Android Blockade Means For Your Huawei Phone

Trump’s trade war with China is causing a whole load of ruckus for Huawei phone-users…

woman using phone

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

The escalating trade war between the US and China has entered hostile territory: it’s impacting our phone usage. Thanks to a new blockade by Donald Trump, Google is now forbidden from supplying technology to Huawei, one of the world’s biggest smartphone providers. With the phone using a Google-owned operating software, Android, it means that millions of users are now questioning how their phone will continue to run. Here’s what you need to know…

What happened?

Trump has slowly been blacklisting certain Chinese-owned companies from working with US businesses. The latest is Huawei, which means that not only can Google not work with them, but Intel and Microsoft too, whom also provide software for their other devices. As Google owns Android, which Huawei phones use for their operating software, it means that Google can no longer continue to supply their services that make-up multiple layers of software on the phone.

How will it affect my Huawei phone?

Put simply, the biggest impact will be software updates in the future. Android phones use various Google apps, including the Play Store, Gmail, and Google Files. Since software updates for those apps, which are the heart and soul of the phone, often come directly from Google, it means Huawei will have to update the software themselves, which could be later than user Android-operating phones like Samsung.

Will Android still work on Huawei phones?

Yes. Android is open source, so it can technically be used by anyone. However, the Android Open Source Project (AOS), which is the underlying operating system, is updated in step with Google’s version of Android, on which it is built. It sounds very complicated, but it just means that Huawei can technically supply its own updates from AOSP instead of Google doing it automatically across all Android phones.

Does this mean Huawei updates will be slower?

Possibly. But, Huawei already updates AOSP itself in China as they do not have Google’s services, so it just means rolling that out globally. Since Huawei already has a middling track record for delivering security updates, it’s likely you’ll get a similar level of service however for non-security related updates it may take longer.

Will Huawei get the new Google apps?

Essentially. All the new services Google has been working on for Android via Google Play will no longer be available.

So, will my Huawei phone lose access to Google altogether?

No. The Google apps will still operate on existing smartphones. It remains to be seen about future phones.

But will my Huawei phone receive app updates?

Yes, according to Google, app updates delivered by Google Play will still continue on existing smartphones. They tweeted:

So, can I still use my Huawei phone?

Absolutely, it will continue operating as before according to the company. There’s no need to panic about security issues. ‘Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products,’ Huawei said in a statement, ‘covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally.’

Will I get Android updates?

While Huawei can still deliver Android updates via AOSP, it will lose early access to the versions that Google specifically provide. However, you may get them a few months later as is current with other software updates because Google usually gives them to the Pixel smartphones first. There may be a delay, but it’s yet to be known just how long.

What will happen to Huawei?

Given that all of their smartphones run Android, it is a huge complication for their company. Shipping over 59m phones the first quarter of this year, 45.1% of the firm’s revenue is in consumer business according to 2018 figures. With various other US companies also banned from working with them, including Microsoft and Intel, their computer business could also be in tatters as all of their laptops run on Microsoft’s Windows and use Intel chips. Given that no material part of Windows 10 is open source, it’s a big loss for the company.

How have Huawei responded?

They’ve been working on their own operating system for a long time now, whether or not users will take to it without the Google services being available is another story. However, it is already in use on its smartwatches

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