Geek Culture

Back To Square One: Huawei Mate 30 Unable To Install Google Apps Thanks To Backdoor

It’s only been barely a fortnight since the Huawei Mate 30 series was announced at their keynote in Munich. The new flagship smartphone by the Chinese tech giant would undoubtedly be met with a rocky launch, especially since it will come without any Google Android support.

Despite the lack of any official Android OS to power it up, the Huawei Mate 30 would still operate on Huawei’s HarmonyOS, and more importantly, a safe way to install Android apps via Google Installer APK. However, it appears you can’t do the latter anymore.

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Android security researcher John Wu revealed part of his findings on how two known methods of installing Google apps on Mate 30 smartphones – LZPlay and the aforementioned APK – are either unavailable for download, or simply not functioning at all.

Of the two, it appears that LZPlay was the sketchier third-party Google Mobile Service (GMS) installer. Without making it too complex, LZPlay utilises Android installer permissions found exclusively on Huawei devices, which allow a Huawei smartphone user to install apps, including official Google Android ones, as system apps.

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The catch here, Wu reports, is that these permissions would possibly need to be acknowledged by Huawei itself, but, interestingly, these same permissions aren’t documented anywhere.

Not long after Wu posted his findings, LZPlay.net was taken down, along with all functionality of copies of their APK. Furthermore, according to Android Central‘s Alex Dobie, it appears that Huawei Mate 30 Pros are now deemed unable to pass SafetyNet (Google’s program which ensures that its mobile devices are safe and secure) tests.

With this, current users of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro are unable to perform key functions such as Google Pay (a prerequisite to passing SafetyNet tests), which then further calls the legibility of Huawei’s new smartphone into question.

For now, it seems as though the fate Mate 30 series is that of an ill one, unless Huawei has more tricks up its sleeve. Not that they have much more time, though.


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