Thanks to the complications arising from China’s continuing trade wars with the United States, some of its companies, like Huawei, have had to deal with the consequences. Like having their US partners unable to continue partnering with them and licensing technology like they once did.
This is how Huawei finds itself releasing Android devices that lack Google apps and services that usually come pre-installed when a device maker is licensed to run Google’s version of Android.
Huawei devices, like the Y7p that started selling in Kenya the other day and the P40 series that it will be introducing in the local market soon, as a result, are powered by the open-source version of Android that is devoid of Google apps and, instead, reliant on Huawei’s own services – Huawei Mobile Services.
While this arrangement is the next best thing and cushions users from any immediate loss of the stuff they’re used to from Google, it also means there are some compromises to be had. Need Google Maps? Sure, you can still access it from the browser but you will still probably miss the cushiness and multi-feature handiness of the app.
Huawei is working to remedy the situation with reports last year pointing to a solution in the works courtesy of a partnership between the Chinese device maker and Dutch navigation and digital mapping company TomTom, known for its TomTom Maps and GPS and turn-by-turn navigation solutions.
Before that comes to fruition, however, users of Huawei devices like the Y7p have another option: HERE WeGo.
HERE WeGo, formerly owned by Nokia, has released its app on the Huawei AppGallery, Huawei’s own Play Store equivalent.
For years, HERE WeGo has been a solid alternative to Google Maps with yours truly relying on its handle downloadable/offline maps on trips outside the country at a time when it was impossible to do the same using Google Maps (things have since changed and Maps is reliable now). It also offers robust navigation and transit information.
You can get HERE WeGo on the Huawei AppGallery right away.