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What You Should Know About Huawei Mobile Services (HMS)

Staff Writer / 21-07-2020 / News Tech

By now, you must have heard all the rumblings about HMS, or Huawei Mobile Services, but what exactly is it? Let’s break down the main things you should know about HMS, Huawei’s replacement for Google apps and services.

In May 2019, the US placed an infamous trade ban on Huawei, the Chinese tech company that was well on its way to becoming the second largest smartphone maker in the world. The ban meant that Huawei couldn’t conduct business with certain US firms, including Google, so many of their phones have not been able to ship with Google Mobile Services (GMS) since last year as they run an open source version of Android OS. To solve this problem, they developed Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) and the accompanying AppGallery to replace GMS and the Google Play Store on devices like the new Huawei P40 and Y7p .

Google Mobile Services (GMS) vs Huawei Mobile Services (HMS)

Google Mobile Services (GMS) is the engine that runs most Android smartphones and is required for Google apps like Photos, Chrome, Gmail, Maps, YouTube and other APIs and cloud-based services. Huawei hinted that some of these apps may become available soon, but for now, there are workarounds such as Phone Clone, 3rd party App stores, Findorra app or through the phone’s browser.

Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) offers services that aim to replace GMS, including the Huawei AppGallery, an alternative to Google Play Store, where user will be able to download apps for their new phones, including Snapchat, TikTok, Deezer, Amazon, and Amazon Prime Video. It also includes several popular mobile game titles.

Can HMS replace GMS?

In addition to the AppGallery, HMS offers alternatives for several of Google’s apps:

Huawei ID replaces your Google account and lets you customise your Huawei devices as well as sync your personal data like contacts, messages and passwords.

Huawei Assistant is Huawei’s replacement for the virtual Google Assistant and will be available on all devices running EMUI 10 or above.

Huawei Mobile Cloud, as you can guess, is a cloud storage platform much like Google Drive. It lets you store photos, videos, contacts, notes and more, free for up to 5GB, with higher storage options available for a fee.

Huawei Music and Huawei Video are music and video streaming services developed to replace Google Play Music and Google Play Video.

The Huawei Browser is meant to replace Google Chrome and features an integrated newsfeed as well as other popular settings like Dark Mode.

If you rely on your phone for navigation, there isn’t a solid replacement from Huawei for Google Maps, but a third-party app known as WeGo Maps, backed up by Here Technologies, is now available.

Which Huawei phones have HMS in South Africa?

The following list is subject to change, based on the release of new devices and updates to current devices on the local market:

Huawei P40

Huawei P40 Pro

Huawei P40 Lite

Huawei Y7p

Huawei P Smart S

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