Huawei’s latest budget smartphone in the Kenyan market, the Y7p, is one of the best devices that you can buy right now. It is very stylish – the design is one to die for, not literally, of course – it will last an entire day of usage and then some more, it’s a performance champ and it takes some really dope photos. What more could you want?
Thanks to the limitations placed on Huawei by the American government, the Y7p arrives rocking Huawei Mobile Services.
The Huawei Y7p is an Android device through and through, just like all smartphones that Huawei has availed in the market before. It comes running Android 9 Pie, right out of the box. This, alone, means that, like every other device powered by our favourite mobile platform, the possibilities are endless.
On the Huawei Y7p, just like on other Huawei devices, it’s actually easy to get most, if not all, of the stuff you need from alternatives to the Google Play Store most of us know and use.
Heck, you can still use the same Google services you’re used to.
Need Google Maps? You can access that from the Huawei Browser that comes pre-installed on the device. Need YouTube? You can still turn to the browser to watch all the content from your favourite channels and creators. You can even use any of the means listed below to download and install apps like YouTube Vanced that will still do the same for you, albeit with a lot more features than the traditional app provides. Gmail? You can set that up using Huawei’s own email application. It will still work. Or, you can sign in using the mobile browser. When it comes to choices, you are spoilt.
1. Huawei AppGallery
Huawei AppGallery is Huawei’s own app store. Its alternative to the Google Play Store.
Here is where you will turn to any time you need to install an app.
Since the Huawei AppGallery app comes pre-installed on the Huawei Y7p (and any new Huawei device, for that matter), it’s just a matter of letting it update after you unbox the device and then, in a couple of minutes, you’re on your way to access as many apps, games and other services as you can.
While the Huawei AppGallery is still relatively young compared to other mobile app stores that have been around for ages, it is not lacking app-wise. Here, you will find apps from the heavy-hitters like Microsoft, for instance. Most of Microsoft’s main mobile apps that you can find on other app stores can be found on Huawei’s AppGallery, too.
Popular social apps, too, can be found here. Snapchat is here. TikTok is there.
For those that are not there because of the circumstances highlighted above, you don’t need to leave the Huawei AppGallery in order to find them. You can just search for them on the Huawei AppGallery and you will get links to download them. This works for Facebook, for instance. It won’t work for Twitter, Telegram and WhatsApp but that is what the other means highlighted in this article are for.
If you are looking for entertainment apps, there is no shortage of them. Not only will you find Showmax and DStv Now there, you can also just unwind by playing popular games like Asphalt 9: Legends or the new Game of Thrones game which are also available. If the Huawei Music app is not enough for you, one of our favourites, Poweramp, is easily downloadable via the Huawei AppGallery for your continued listening pleasure. If you need to go a step higher and watch videos too using something other than the pre-installed Huawei Video app then VLC for Android is readily available on the Huawei AppGallery.
See where I am going with this?
The Huawei AppGallery is probably the most important app on the Huawei Y7p as it is the gateway to other apps, just like the Play Store has been over the years. This is even more important because as it grows, lots and lots more app developers will be having their apps on the platform in coming days. Also, it is the one place where one can update their installed apps so that they are always up to date.
Even better, Huawei also has Quick apps, its own take on Instant apps which, when available, can only be accessed via the Huawei AppGallery.
Huawei has been working with various app developers not only around the world but also locally so that users get ready access to the apps they are used to. So, for instance, upon setting up the Huawei AppGallery, one will quickly notice that they can get to ordering items on Jumia, or access services from Safaricom, or start making mobile banking transactions, all while using the official apps from the respective providers.
2. Phone Clone
Available on Huawei smartphones since 2016, Phone Clone is a very handy utility.
Like its name insinuates, what Phone Clone does is, basically, clone your phone. Make a copy of all your current device’s contents – apps, user data, etc – and transfer them to another.
Ideally, that is how it operates.
However, the app lets you choose what you want transferred and what you don’t want on the other device you are setting up.
On the Huawei Y7p, it is one of the best means of ensuring that you have peace of mind as it will simply get all your apps from your old phone to the Y7p. Should there be any apps it is not able to transfer, it will list them up for you and you can use the other highlighted means to get the same.
The advantage with using Phone Clone is that not only does it save you the hustle of having to find all the apps you have on your old device but it also saves you from having to sign in, again, to each and every one of them.
Getting started with Phone Clone is very easy. You will be prompted to do this during the initial setting up of the phone.
Even if you skip this process, you can always do it any time later by opening the Phone Clone app on the Y7p and installing and opening it up on the device you are migrating your phone data from.
Then you will need to connect the two devices. This can be done easily by scanning the QR code displayed on the new phone from the Phone Clone app on the old phone.
The app will then take you step by step on-screen on everything you have to do. All that you need is patience as the transfer process can take a while, depending on the volume of the content you are transferring between the two devices.
At the end of it all, you will have all your stuff on the new device. All your messages, all your contacts (so, there is no reason to worry if, say, all your contacts had been backed up with Google), all your call history, all your apps and games…
3. Third-party app stores
If you can’t find something on the Huawei AppGallery, or didn’t bother to go through with the cloning process, then worry not. You can still find all of those apps on third-party apps stores.
Such stores have always existed and they’ve been avenues that we here at Android Kenya often refer our readers to for apps that are geo-restricted.
APK Mirror offers a large selection of Android applications on its platform. However, as the heavy users will be quick notice, not everything will be available there. For ordinary users, APK Mirror will have most of what you are looking for – as long as they are not local applications.
APK Pure is the more complete offering among the third-party app stores and I have used it to complement the Play Store for years now. Not only does it have a robust site (like APK Mirror does), it also has a very good application that we recommend that you download and install.
Given recent changes that have affected how app developers present apps and games to users, downloading and installing the APK Pure app is the best way to just get whatever it is that you need without breaking a sweat figuring out what files to install and whatnot. Honestly, who has the time, anyway? APK Mirror is also testing a similar app but until it exits its testing phase, APK Pure it is.
Also, unlike apps you download from sites, like a web developer’s own site (like, for instance, those that go to Epic Games’ website to download Fortnite), that will need you to go back there in order to download any updates, APK Pure has a central updates section that allows you to update all your apps easily, just like you would on the Play Store or on AppGallery.
Xender is one of the best sharing apps that you can use today. Xender is readily available from the AppGallery.
An easy hack, if you want to avoid the Phone Clone process, is to just have Xender running on both devices and use it to transfer any apps and files you may need from one device to the other. That has worked for me on the Huawei Y7p especially for those apps that I couldn’t find on the alternative app stores too.