Huawei finally announced the Mate30 series last week and Australians are confirmed to be getting the Mate30 Pro model some time this year. (Sadly, not the Mate30 though). One thing that still isn't confirmed is whether it's possible to unofficially load Google's apps and services onto the devices and reports from Huawei are only making it more confusing.
Huawei's Mate 30 is set to be announced this week, despite a series of setbacks caused by the US and China trade wars and bans relating to security concerns. It's expected the models will be released in Australia without access to Google apps - but Huawei might have a workaround for users still needing them.
Due to a ban in place by the US government effectively divorcing Google and Huawei's working relationship, it was confirmed by both companies that upcoming Huawei devices, like the Mate30 series, would be released without access to Google's apps and services.
Richard Yu, Huawei's CEO of the Consumer BG, told guests at Huawei's IFA 2019 presentation that while the devices wouldn't come with Google apps, owners would find the process of putting them on their devices "quite easy". The internet speculated he was referencing the act of sideloading, which allows users to download apps from the internet and load them onto the device without requiring an app store.
After the Huawei Mate30 launch in Germany in mid-September, Yu again told reporters the bootloader would be unlocked on the phone, allowing for a relatively easy installation of Google services and apps.
"We limited [bootloader unlocking] because we wanted to guarantee more security for consumers. But this time we will leave more freedom for the consumers so they can do more customisation by themselves. So we are planning to let consumers do that," Yu said after the launch, according to Android Authority.
But a Huawei spokesperson later confirmed to Android Authority it actually had no plans to unlock the bootloader, contrary to Yu's comments, meaning it's likely to be incredibly complex to get Google apps on the device.
The bootloader is a program that ensures the right operating system opens on a phone's startup. Locking a bootloader means only the manufacturer's chosen OS can load on a device while unlocking it means tech savvy users could put whatever OS they liked on it. If the bootloader was unlocked on Huawei devices, it means those who wanted to load Android 10, for example, could do so much easier.
With the Mate30 Pro's date still unannounced in Australia and conflicting information about whether it's possible to load Google software onto the device, it's looking like a risky purchase right now. Hopefully we'll have a clearer answer before the device goes on sale.
Google announced in August the Android OS would not be available on Huawei's upcoming Mate 30 series. Previous reports already confirmed Google was phasing out Android and hardware support for Huawei devices in response to President Trump's trade bans but this marked the first major phone release to fall under the ban hammer. With the Mate 30 series set to launch in late September, let's take a look at how we got here and what the final release might look like.