Huawei's long-standing spat with the US government has resulted in the company being unable to ship devices with Google Play services. It is a major inconvenience as Google apps and services are an integral part of the Android experience.
Huawei is reportedly working on alternatives for Google apps and has invested over $1 billion globally towards its HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) developer program. Huawei India chief Charles Peng told Economic Times in a statement:
We have our own HMS and are trying to build a mobile ecosystem. We are focusing on how to work with developers to offer a good customer experience. It is a challenge that we are trying to address.
Huawei Mobile Services will try and replace most corresponding Google apps
Huawei says that they're working on alternatives for most Google services ranging from navigation, payments, gaming and messaging. The company also claims that users won't be able to tell the difference between the two.
The claims are rather lofty, and it'll be an uphill task convincing users to ditch Google services. It'll be interesting to see what Huawei has in store for us. Developing the apps isn't as much as a problem as incentivizing users to make the switch.
The main problem will be with services such as YouTube and the Google Play Store. Yes, Huawei has it's App Gallery as an alternative, but it doesn't host a lot of essentials such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Lastly, there's the issue of trust in Huawei made apps. Given the company's reputation, a lot of users will be skeptical to trust Huawei with their personal data.
Unlike regular apps, Google Play Services require root-like permissions to operate, so one can't simply sideload it via third-party sources. It has to be sideloaded onto the device, much like a custom ROM. To make matters worse, Huawei doesn't allow users to unlock the device's bootloader, making it impossible for users to install a custom recovery which is integral to the process of sideloading GApps.