Introducing Huawei Mobile Services (HMS)
Huawei’s latest flagship handsets are the first to ship without Google’s mobile services. So, what’s different about Huawei’s own spin on Android?
01 Apr 2020
You’d be forgiven for thinking that an Android phone simply can’t run without being backed up by Google’s services. Most Android phones come with Google apps like the Play Store, Gmail, Maps and Drive right out of the box, so they feel as native and natural to us as our calling, messaging and settings apps. However, Huawei Mobile Services, or HMS, makes it easy to get by without them.
While you may not be able to access some of the apps you’re accustomed to from your old Android phone, the latest Huawei phones offer a seriously enjoyable user experience without Google’s services, by replacing them with their own equally handy apps and functions. So, here are a few pointers about Huawei’s Mobile Services:
At the heart of the Huawei experience is the AppGallery. Where you’d download apps from the Play Store on traditional Android smartphones, or the App Store on iPhones, this is Huawei’s offering. And it’s a pretty great alternative.
The app store is by no means small. It has over 390 million active users and a huge library of apps to choose from, including many you’ll be familiar with. You’ll also find a ton of great games along with a few classics thrown in for good measure. And of course, there’ll be loads more to come.
Don’t panic about losing your existing apps when you make the switch, either. Huawei have made that a notably painless process thanks to Phone Clone. When you set up your new phone, you have the option to move your apps and data over from your old device. Download Phone Clone on your old phone and scan the QR code on your new Huawei handset. You can transfer everything from your saved progress in a racing game, to your scheduled meetings and appointments.
Certain apps can be directly downloaded to phones using HMS via the Huawei Browser, but more on that later.
Of course, to access all your apps and enjoy everything your phone has to offer, you’ll need an account.
Huawei ID is easy to use and no less functional than Google. Plus, you won’t need to create a separate email address if you’ve already got an Android device. Just register your Gmail address on your Huawei ID and enter your details and you’ll be ready to go.
It’s also pretty security conscious. When you turn on account protection, you’ll get a text whenever you log into your Huawei ID from an unrecognised device or browser. So, you can always be sure that your data is personal.
While you may not have access to the Gmail app, but there are plenty of email apps out there that you can access your Gmail messages from. And when you register your Huawei ID account, you’ll automatically get 5GB free Cloud storage. Handy.
So, you won’t be able to use Google Drive. But that’s not a problem because Huawei Cloud is just as efficient. It’s not just for Huawei devices – you can access your files from any PC, Mac, Android or iOS device, which is ideal when there’s a file you really need.
It keeps those treasured photos and videos safe as well. Enabling ‘gallery sync’ means your phone automatically backs up your photo albums and footage, so you can take a look at them anywhere. And with Cloud Backup, Huawei phones regularly update and store your data to the Cloud to make sure nothing gets lost.
As we mentioned earlier, you get a free 5GB of storage space just for signing up, more than enough for all your important documents. And you can always upgrade your Cloud package whenever you need to.
Moving over from Google Chrome to the Huawei Browser, even after years of loyalty is no great leap. The interface looks very similar to Chrome, while the HTML bar also doubles as a search bar.
Huawei have integrated a newsfeed into the Browser with an infinity scroll feature when you open a new tab, which we really like. Now, you can read through all your favourite news outlets in one window, for as long as you like.
The Browser does do something that Chrome can’t, though. You can download certain apps like WhatsApp directly in the Huawei Browser, rather than be directed to the app store. Just search the app you’re looking for, followed by ‘apk for Android’. Check that the site you’re on is the right one and is safe. You’ll be able to get onto your app in moments.
Take a look at our range of Huawei smartphones.