During the unveiling of the Mate 30 series last week, Huawei CEO Richard Yu revealed that — due to the ongoing US trade ban — their newest flagship phone would not come with Google Mobile Services (GMS) like Gmail, Google Chrome and Google Maps.
And while that is crippling enough in itself, another big implication of the ban is that the Mate 30 will not have access to the Google Play Store, which means that you won’t be able to download third-party apps like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp either.
The absence of these apps is likely be a deal breaker for most (can a phone without YouTube really be considered a phone?), but you might not want to give up on the Chinese tech giant just yet — some users who managed to get their hands on the phone have already found a solution that requires just five steps:
1. Download This Android Package (APK)
1. On the Mate 30’s native web browser, go to www.lzplay.net
2. Tap on the blue button to download the file named “app-release.apk”.
2. Install The APK
3. Open the browser’s settings at the bottom right of the screen, and install the file from the “Downloads” folder.
3. Use The APK To Install GMS
4. Open the newly-installed 谷歌服务助手 app
5. Follow the on screen prompts.
The Google Play Store app will then be installed, and from there you’ll be able to download the full GMS suite and any other apps that you’d want.
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, Vulcan Post was fortunate enough to get our hands on a Mate 30 Pro ourselves, and while the process wasn’t completely smooth (we had to restart the phone several times to sign in to our Google account), we can confirm that we managed to get GMS and our favourite apps in the phone in about 10 minutes.
It isn’t a perfect solution, however — certain apps like Netflix couldn’t run on the Mate 30 for some reason, citing that the app “cannot detect a network connection on this device.” In our experience mainstays like Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, Spotify and Grab run fine, and we’re going to have to do further tests to see what does and doesn’t work.
And while this workaround definitely…um works, there’s a certain sense of precariousness surrounding it — the folks at Google could easily clamp down on this if they wanted to, but considering that they’ve openly expressed their disagreement with the trade ban our guess is that they might close one eye when it comes to this.
Nevertheless, the main takeaway here is that the Mate 30 will indeed be able to run GMS after all, if you’re willing to put in a minimal amount of effort. It’s not an ideal situation, but considering the phone’s impressive list of features you might want to consider making that concession.
Feature Image Credit: Vulcan Post