Huawei's Android license revoked: What it means for existing Huawei & Honor phone users

Huawei will still be able to use updates available through the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

Google has announced that they will be suspending all business interactions with Huawei which means that Huawei will no longer have access to proprietary hardware and software from Google, and that includes Android.

But there's no reason for you to hit the panic button if you own a Huawei or Honor device, just yet.

Here are answers to some of the burning questions you may have been an existing Huawei/Honor user.

What does this mean for existing Huawei/Honor smartphone owners?

Beginning with the bad news, existing Huawei and Honor branded smartphones will no longer get new Android updates directly from Google. With this pull-out from Google, Huawei also loses technical support for Android. New phones that Huawei makes will also no longer have access to Google Play Services, and would, therefore, lose access to critical apps such as Maps, Play Store and YouTube.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Image: tech2/Omkar Patne

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Image: tech2/Omkar Patne

However, Huawei will still be able to use the Android versions and updates available through the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) since it is, as the name suggests, open source. This means that general Android updates (including security patches) can still be pushed out by Huawei once they're made available for the open source version.

Folks over at Google have also clarified that core features like Google Play and security features offered by Google Play Protect will continue to function as usual. At least for now.

Bad news for those expecting Android Q on their Huawei/ Honor phones

As Android is an open-source operating system, Huawei can theoretically use updates to the public release of the OS – which would include the upcoming Android Q. Access to private beta build though, will be out of bounds.

However, the loss of the Google Play Store and a lack of Google-made security updates could prove a significant drawback for the prospects of future Huawei phones and tablets.

Will Huawei introduce its own OS on phones?

It looks like Huawei has been working a plan B, just in case they got banned from using Android.

Huawei executive Richard Yu in a recent interview was quoted as saying, “We have prepared our own operating system. Should it ever happen that we can no longer use these systems, we would be prepared. That’s our plan B. But of course, we prefer to work with the ecosystems of Google and Microsoft."

Huawei could continue to tinker with Android and use AOSP builds to continue providing EMUI updates. But as per a report by XDADevelopers, Huawei still won't be able to support Google Play Services and other Google apps.

This means that users will be forced to rely on Huawei’s AppGallery for apps. Even if the company manages to rope in app developers and convinces them to have their apps on AppGallery, that wouldn't solve the issue with Google apps.

Read more on the Huawei banning saga:

Huawei's Android license has been revoked: Here's what Huawei has to say about it

Huawei's Android licence revoked: What it means for existing Huawei and Honor phone users

Intel and Qualcomm join Google in cutting off ties with Huawei following Trump ban

After Huawei blacklist, 'Boycott Apple' campaign gaining steam in China: Report

German chipmaker Infineon suspends shipments to Huawei after US trade blacklist

Huawei is reportedly releasing its own Android alternative called IndeoenOS this fall

Huawei accuses US of bullying, says working with Google to respond to ban

Huawei doesn't mention Android at its new Honor 20 series smartphone launch event

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Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei claims the US's 90-day reprieve does not bear 'much impact'

Some Huawei Mobile users are considering a switch after Google suspension

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