Huawei is dropping Android of all upcoming smartphones, starting in April, as the US trade ban continues to prevent the Chinese company from doing business with US companies, including California-based Google – the mastermind behind Android , the Google Play Store, and a myriad of popular apps including YouTube, Google Maps, and Gmail.
Instead of running Android 11, which is available (albeit with slightly changed visuals and exclusive features) on devices from Samsung, OnePlus, Googe, LG, Motorola, Sony, and others, Huawei’s new devices will now be fed by his own. Harmony OS brand software.
This is a huge change from the company, which has clearly felt it had to go its own way since the ban on using Google apps and services was introduced in 2019. Huawei has been able to use a version Android on devices like the P40 Pro and Mate 40 Pro but, since it’s unlicensed, users won’t find any signs of apps like Gmail, Maps or the all-important Play Store.
Now, it looks like it won’t matter anymore, with Google’s operating system completely wiping out of Huawei phones in a matter of weeks.
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News of this update was revealed during the launch of the latest Mate X2 foldable phone which was announced earlier this week.
While this high-end device – which looks almost identical to Samsung’s Galaxy Fold – will be powered by Android at launch, Hauwei says owners will be able to switch HarmonyOS when it officially launches in April.
Additional information on HarmonyOS remains scarce, and there are no details of any new features or differences that will appear when owners of Hauwei phones turn them on in the future.
Huawei is no stranger to the fight against Google, with the company already launching its own Play Store rival called the App Gallery. This market has grown rapidly since its launch with millions of popular and fully official apps now available through the service, including TikTok, Snapchat, and Amazon. Of course, you won’t find any of Google’s apps like Gmail, Maps, or Docs in this store, but Huawei is even trying to overcome this problem by releasing its own versions of some of these apps.
The new Petal Maps app includes essential features such as route planning for walking, cycling and public transport, which will work alongside the existing route planner.
Users can also view multiple routes at a glance along with expected time and distance, so they can make informed decisions about their trip.
We’ll have to wait and see how HarmonyOS works and if it can really match the power of Google. But with the rumor of the P50 launching soon, we might get a good idea of the feature list sooner rather than later.