Install popular apps without Google Play Store

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As you probably already know, the Huawei P40 and Huawei P40 Pro, as well as other current models like the Huawei P30 Pro, no longer support Google Mobile Services. This means that not only various Google apps are missing, but also many apps from third-party developers who need Google Mobile Services and Google Protect either do not work at all or have problems with notifications or various other features. The workaround for which the HuaweiBlog had a guide at the time and it was possible to use the Google Play Store and other apps without any problems. has either been patched out or blocked from the beginning of new devices, or Before you try out workarounds of dubious websites, you should probably check with your colleagues there from time to time.

Since many Google services are practically online services, you can of course switch to the browser with some restrictions on Youtube, Google Drive etc. However, there are still many other apps that you may not want to do without. Nevertheless, there are some possibilities. Here you can see what it looks like right now on my somewhat messy test device. Everything you see there works (except for the Google Play Store and YT Studio):

Attention: I’ll show you some official methods and unofficial methods to install and run apps. Especially with the latter, there is always a security risk.

Medthode 1: Phone Clone

The first option starts directly when the device is set up. If you already have an Android smartphone, or even better, a Huawei smartphone, you can use the Phone Clone app (pre-installed on Huawei devices, or available in the App Gallery/Play Store) on both devices to migrate data from the old smartphone to the new smartphone. Many apps that are not offered in the App Gallery, for example, are already migrated. Even all your social media apps are transferred and work in the worst case with slight limitations, such as push notifications, but this can be fixed. Some apps may not even work with this method. For me, it was 7 out of 54 apps. From the Google Apps at least Chrome, Maps and the Translator works without any problems.
How to fix these little problems with a small “workaround” or how to help apps that don’t work, but still help you under “Method 5”.

With the Phone Clone method, you should also check for some apps to see if the permissions that the apps require under Settings, Apps, App XY, permissions, they are still active. Sometimes they don’t actively ask for it after migrating, so something may not work properly. Also, be aware that you will no longer receive updates for the non-App Gallery apps in official ways. Either you use Phone Clone again and again to transfer current versions or try the less secure method. More on that later, too.

However, the handling of WhatsApp is important here. If you want to migrate your data here, of course this is no longer possible via the classic method with Google Drive. The nice thing here, however, is that Phone Clone transfers a copy of your account including chat histories, media, etc. to the new smartphone. However, you should then remove the app from the old device, disable it, or disable the Internet connection. Otherwise, it does not work if the same account is active on two devices, because the server sometimes supplies the messages at one smartphone, sometimes on the other smartphone and also logs you off from WhatsApp Web, if the other smartphone queries something. As long as only one device is active, everything works perfectly.

Method 2: App Gallery

I can keep this part relatively short. Currently, Huawei brings many apps to the in-house and pre-installed App Gallery and actively promotes developers with a lot of money to make this platform more attractive together with its own Huawei Mobile Services, and in fact the offer is growing quite fast and will continue to grow unless it is apps of American corporations such as Facebook, Twitter, Uber etc. Apps like Netflix and Disney+ aren’t available either (with Amazon and others still there). However, Huawei is developing alternatives for most apps.

Overall, this is of course the most official way to install apps and you can also get updates here without any problems. There are very few apps that still ask for GMS for push notifications, such as alternative email apps like BlueMail, because there’s probably something stuck in the code and the app hasn’t been ported properly, but that seems to be the exception. If you want to get a taste of it, Huawei also officially offers the App Gallery for Download To.

Method 3: Alternative App Stores

There are many app stores that allow you to get or even update apps. The safest for this is, of course, the Amazon Appstore. You can download it directly from Amazon and find many games and even apps like Facebook. Updates are no problem here either.

Many developers also offer their apps either additionally or exclusively on their own website. An example would be here Fortnite and the Epic Games StoreFun fact: Although Fortnite is not represented in the Google Play Store, you can actually download it directly from the Huawei App Gallery.

The alternative app stores also include sites like APKMirror, APKPure etc. where you can download and install virtually all sorts of free apps as an apk file. Since only free apps are offered here, the download is not illegal here, but you can of course have legitimate security concerns here, as they are not official sources and Google Protect is not active. For example, I have Store by APKPure and was able to download and install virtually anything I need. This includes, for example, the DB Navigator of Deutsche Bahn, which could not be migrated via Phone Clone. However, DB Navigator is an example of an app that doesn’t work immediately without GMS. However, we will solve the problem in Method 5.

Also, the app offers updates directly, should they be available and can also download them automatically if you want. Only when installing you need to manually click “Install”. Your data and login will be preserved. Only the app is updated. But as I said, everything is at your own risk, even if I see it as relatively safe.

Method 4: The “App Search”

Huawei itself officially recommends an unofficial app called “App Search”, which you can download directly from the App Gallery. The app lists popular apps that work on Huawei devices and shows where to download them. You will also have the direct download link to the Amazon Appstore, the developer page, APKMirror, APKPure etc. For apps that don’t work, the online offer is referenced, such as the website of Youtube or Deutsche Bahn, and the app lets you create shortcuts to these websites on the homescreen. This is probably the easiest method for most.

Method 5: Workaround for GMS-dependent apps

There’s a kind of “workaround” that can make your Google Mobile Service dependent apps run and solve problems. Even if the process is very simple and completely unproblematic, I can not give you any information about general security within the apps, just like with the apk pages. If you keep everything up to date, the dangers should be rather low and I have had no problems at all so far, but here also applies: everything at your own risk.

Apps like UPS and DB Navigator don’t start at all? The app of RING, Disney, Netflix etc. won’t let you into the app? Some apps don’t send you push notifications or various features don’t work? For example, with Microsoft’s “Your Smartphone”, which I currently need for Home Office, but what i didn’t allow to make phone calls and receive messages from my notebook? The solution is very simple: Load and install Google Play Services.

I’ve said that Google Play Services itself is blocked and spitout alerts without end, but the fact that you’ve installed it is enough for the apps to launch, unlock features, send push notifications, and so on.

After you install Google Play Services, it will annoy you with endless notifications like this:

For this to stop, you’ll need to turn off notifications under Settings, Apps, Google Play Services, notifications. Now there is peace.

Issue: Google Play Services notices this and as soon as you launch another app that requires Google Play Services, you’ll get the same notification through that app. E.g. on Netflix, Ebay, etc. The same process must be done here, except that this menu now displays the item “Availability of Google Play services”. If you deactivate the notifications within this option, you must, for example, use WhatsApp do not waive all notifications. You’ve got to make that with every app that shows you this error.

Basically, I assume that at least Google Protect also works in a limited way. However, I cannot say that with any certainty here. In the settings under Security, you will find the option “Google Play Protect”, where apps are still checked for malicious behavior. Is it really true? Maybe.

Apps and features that don’t work at all:

In spite of everything, there are still apps that don’t work at all. On the one hand, these are all Google apps except Maps, Translator and Chrome. This includes the WearOS app, which is why there is currently no way to connect the Huawei P40 and Huawei P40 Pro to your WearOS smartwatch.

Almost all German banking apps do not work either. Apps like Sparkasse crash immediately, and their mobile payment apps don’t work either. Here one can only hope that Huawei can also bring the banks into the app gallery, which seems rather unlikely in traditional banks. I hope that, at least on the subject of mobile payment, what comes from Huawei.

Otherwise, of course, you still lack some features in various apps that have to do directly with Google Apps. In WhatsApp, it is not possible to back up your history on Google Drive. In Netflix, Disney+ and other app, you can’t play content on TV via Chromecast, etc. And paying within Google Play apps doesn’t work either. So you can no longer buy jewels in games.

There is nothing you can do about these points at the moment. Nevertheless, in the end it is very possible to survive without Google services. It depends on what you need and what you don’t need. Online banking, as the word suggests, also goes online. Google Drive, Youtube etc. also work online via the browser. With WearOs you can’t do anything except buy a Huawei Watch and at Chromecast maybe a new TV, or the Amazon Fire TV Stick.

That’s it with this article. I can’t help you any more here. Especially if you don’t want free payment apps. But what I can give you is my detailed article about the camera of the Huawei P40 Pro. There are even many pictures in it.

Huawei P40 Pro Test Mobilegeeks

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