If you own or plan to buy a Huawei phone, here’s how to check if it’s certified by Google and likely to receive Android updates in the future.
Own a Huawei smartphone in the United States has never been so complicated thanks to the relationship (or lack thereof) between Google and the phone maker. Here is what you need to know, and especially if you are planning to buy a Huawei phone soon.
The US government recently banned US-based companies from doing business with Huawei. This obviously included Google, which was subsequently barred from working with Huawei on new devices or making its range of Google apps and services available to owners of those products. However, the ban only affects devices released after a certain date, with Google being allowed to continue supporting older Huawei phones and devices.
To help consumers understand the problem and what it means for them and their devices, Google recently published a blog post designed to clear up some of the confusion. The first and most important thing for owners of existing Huawei devices is that Google is legally allowed to continue supporting devices marketed and purchased before the ban. To reassure these owners, Google says it will continue to support them “as long as it is allowed”. When it comes to any recently purchased Huawei device, it all depends on when the device was released, not when it was purchased.
How to check if your Huawei phone is certified by Google
The obvious way to know if your smartphone is certified and supported by Google (and likely to continue to receive updates) is the release date. The rules regarding the ban relate to a deadline of May 16, 2019. Any Huawei phone (or device in general) released after that date would not have gone through Google’s certification and security process. Therefore, these devices will not ship with Google apps and services installed, are not certified or guaranteed to have any Android updates from Google.
An easier way to check whether your Huawei device is certified or not through the Google Play Store. Technically, new Huawei phones are unable to install the Google Play Store and therefore if there is no Google Play app installed on the device, this is a pretty clear indication that the Android phone has not been certified. However, the lack of an app isn’t the only thing to watch out for, as the Google Play Store app can be downloaded unofficially on a device. This is especially important if the device is purchased from a dealer or online. To allay any concerns about this, users can check the validity of the Google Play Store by opening the app, then tapping “Menu” and then “Settings”. Towards the bottom of this submenu there will be a “Play Protect Certification” section which will clearly state “Device is Certified” if so. Any other message will state that the app has been downloaded, along with any other Google apps on the device, such as Gmail, YouTube, and Maps.
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