If you own an older Huawei smartphone which still offers GMS, you may no longer be served with updates from Google which offer new features and critical security fixes for its apps. 

According to reports, the temporary license, which allowed for certain exceptions to a ban on US companies dealing with Huawei, expired on 13 August 2020. As a result, older Huawei smartphones and other devices will no longer receive official Android and Google updates. 

US President Donald Trump originally issued an order which barred software and hardware makers in the country from conducting business with certain Chinese companies back in May 2019.

The ban came amidst an ongoing rift between the countries regarding trade policies and concerns over Huawei’s equipment, which the US has claimed could be used to conduct surveillance on its citizens and undermine its national security.

This meant companies like Google could not provide Huawei’s new devices with its apps or software, including Google Mobile Services (GMS).

GMS is the platform which allows for the integration of Google accounts on Android that users with access to the Google Play Store, and apps like Gmail, YouTube, and Google Photos.

Exceptions for older smartphones

Due to the ban, Huawei’s latest smartphones – including the Mate 30 and P40 range – have shipped with an open-source version of Android without GMS.

These phones run the company’s own EMUI interface with its AppGallery store for downloading and installing apps.

Owners of older Huawei smartphones and Android-based devices, however, have been able to continue using GMS and its accompanying apps thanks to a temporary license which the US government has repeatedly extended since the ban was originally announced.

This license was primarily intended to allow rural communities in the country which rely on the company’s network equipment to continue receiving support and updates while they seek alternative suppliers.

This could possibly lead to the withdrawal of support for the Google Play Store, as well as apps like Gmail and YouTube on older Huawei devices.

Meanwhile, the Huawei has partnered with various companies in South Africa to expand the apps available on its AppGallery store.

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