Huawei launched the new Mate 30 line yesterday. And although the company’s new flagship phones are pretty amazing, there’s one major problem: the lack of Google apps.
That means the Mate 30 line doesn’t include any of the Google apps like the Google Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube. Huawei actually underplayed the issue at launch and didn’t talk much about the lack of Google apps, or whether they had any alternatives for customers. The company did say it will make it “quite easy” for users to get their hands on the Google apps.
Android Authority is reporting that the company could make that happen by unlocking the bootloader on the Mate 30. Android phones, for those unfamiliar, can allow users to sideload apps (and a lot of other things) by unlocking the bootloader. But due to security concerns, Huawei previously limited the ability to unlock bootloaders on its devices. It’s now taking a step back from that, though.
“We limited [bootloader unlocking] because we wanted to guarantee more security for consumers. But this time we will leave more freedom for the consumers so they can do more customization by themselves. So we are planning to let consumers do that,” Huawei CEO Richard Yu told Android Authority. It’s not clear exactly how users will be able to unlock the bootloaders on the Mate 30, and whether Huawei plans on making it easy to unlock the bootloader, or have the phones ship with an unlocked bootloader out of the box.
Either way, the concept of bootloaders and sideloading apps will be confusing to the average Joe. There’s even a chance most normal consumers buying the Mate 30 won’t be aware of the lack of Google apps on the phones. So yes, this ongoing trade battle between the U.S. and China is not only affecting businesses, but it’s ultimately affecting the regular consumer.