Google issues message to Huawei phone owners after Trump decision leads to blocked updates

Key apps and updates are likely to disappear from Huawei phones in the future

Andrew Griffin
Monday 20 May 2019 08:49 BST
Google blocks Huawei phones from Android updates after Trump blacklisting

Google has told users of Huawei smartphones that key apps will keep working on their phones – for now.

The two companies have revealed that a US government order that blacklisted Huawei will mean Google will be forced to stop working with it on its operating system.

For now, Huawei phones are powered by Google's Android, which allows the phones to have key features like email and the ability to download new apps. The new announcement puts that in doubt.

But Google has assured users of the Huawei phones that their apps will continue to work for now.

"For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices," a Google spokesman said.

In the future, however, key security and feature updates might be blocked from appearing on the phones. As well as not receiving future updates to the service, Huawei users might lose out on Google apps such as the Google Play Store, Gmail and Google Maps.

Instead, the Chinese firm would be reliant on the version of Android available through an open source licence, which is vastly more limited in its features.

Google said it was "complying with the order and reviewing the implications" of the decision by Donald Trump signed an executive order effectively banning the Chinese firm from using US technology without government permission.

Huawei also looked to assure users that it would continue to provide updates.

"Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world," it said in a statement. "As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry.

"Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products covering those have been sold or still in stock globally. We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally."

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