Software updates for smartphones become a pain if it’s not installed properly and some times devices get bricked with no solutions in hand. In the past, some of our readers also reported us about these kinds of problems in Huawei and Honor devices.
But there’s a solution to install seamless and fast updates without damaging your phone’s main software and it will come with Android 11.
In 2016, Google introduced seamless updates with Android 7.0 but the company made it optional for Android smartphone makers to use it. The outcome of this optional choice is that most of the smartphone makers including Huawei didn’t inherit seamless updates.
According to Google’s recent Vendor Test Suite (VTS), an automated test that devices must pass for Google Mobile Services certificate. All smartphone brands will be required to include A/B partitions to support seamless updates starting with Android 11.
How’s Android 11 gonna force all smartphone makers to include seamless software updates?
Starting Android 11, the VTS will check if the device has virtual A/B partition structures to enable seamless updates. VTS will fail the device’s Google Mobile Services (GMS) certificate (on Android 11 or above) if it doesn’t have a Virtual A/B partition.
What is A/B partition?
The use of A/B partition not only allows seamless software updates but it also saves devices from scenarios such as update failure.
The seamless updates feature requires two virtual partitions (A and B) in the device’s storage as the following:
- Partition A – Active partition for your current uses.
- Partition B – InActive partition used to install software updates on the background without any interruption.
When the phone downloads an update, it’s transferred to the second partition (inactive), allowing the user to keep using the phone while the update is being installed in the background.
After the restart, the phone switches from Partition A to Partition B and marks it as active partition with new software.
The benefit of A/B Partitions:
With this capability, a user can keep using the phone while the system update/installs the update in the background. The A/B partition also reduces the boot screen installation at a speed of regular start.
Moreover, it saves your phone from being corrupted or update failed issues. Meanwhile, the damage will be absorbed by the second partition and the first partition remains unaffected by the issue.
What about Huawei?
Due to the US trade ban, Huawei is not under business with Google and doesn’t require GMS certificate to use the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). This means, it may not require to use this new change but nothing is confirmed at the moment.
However, we would like to see the seamless updates in the next version of EMUI – EMUI 11 based on Android 11. The EMUI 11 will launch at Huawei Developer Conference in the second half of 2020 and debut with the Huawei Mate 40 series.
Huawei should use Android 13?
Huawei and Android have gone hand to hand for years and the Chinese tech firm has made many changes to evolve throughout the time. But after the events of the U.S. entity list, Huawei had to give up on adapting fully to Google Mobile Services (GMS) and Android.
Therefore, Huawei still uses Android 10 as the base of EMUI 12, which first came into action with EMUI 10 in 2019. However, we are looking forward to the consumers and their deeds to get something new.
Although, Huawei is providing plenty of new features with EMUI 12 but what do you think if the company should start using Android 13 as the base of the upcoming EMUI 13.
Android is open-source software, which means anyone can download and modify the project. Although, it may need certification to use Google’s core services such as GMS (which, Huawei cannot obtain) but the Android is still under the reach of the Chinese tech maker.
Also, Huawei is already using Android Open Source Project (AOSP) Android 10 since EMUI 10, so using the Android 13 won’t be a hassle for the firm. However, there are some speculations that might hit our theory into the proceedings.
First, Huawei cannot use the latest Android version as it may bring instability for older smartphones such as Android 13, due to hardware limitations and needs to be optimized heavily. Second, it could cripple the GMS certificate in phones that already have GMS applications.
Another one is that Huawei doesn’t want to use Android 13 because it is switching HarmonyOS as the base of EMUI sooner or later for global users.
From a consumer’s perspective, old devices have been upgrading for a long time, and devices such as Huawei P30 and Mate 20 are still running robust in users’ hands. Therefore, Huawei has seeded EMUI 12 software for them to refresh the user experience and bring them closer to the HarmonyOS user interface.
Currently, we cannot say, what’s coming next from the Chinese tech maker but we’ll have to find out more on this matter.
So, what do you think, should Huawei use Android 13 in the next EMUI version? Let us know in the poll below.
— HC Newsroom (@HCNewsroom) May 18, 2022
Google Android 13 reportedly restricts sideloading of apps
Google is making efforts to break down the path of apps sideloading with the newest Android 13 operating system. By doing so, the company will mark a full stop on all the ways that grant access to some accessibilities services.
According to the reports, Android 13 has initiated a new move for sideloading apps. As a result, it will become difficult for the users to install the applications outside of the official Play Store. However, Google defines a big reason for taking this step.
The reason behind this Restriction:
When a user performs any task out of the legal platform, it gives rise to several risks for the system. Google explains that when an individual installs any application from an APK file, it opens the gate for various phishing attacks and malware to enter the device. Thus, it becomes very easy for spammers to hack the internal system and read confidential matters.
Users can still use Accessibility Services
Although the US manufacturer is trying to shield the privacy of its users, it hadn’t closed the access completely. Individuals still have a choice to sideload the applications. Users can enable or disable the dialog box question for the restricted apps accordingly. Further, users can activate the access in the “allow restricted settings”.
A notable point that appears here is that Google is only making restrictions over the sideloading apps with Andriod 13. However, other fields like F-Droid and Amazon Stores would not show any such prohibition while installing such stuff.
The changes in these regulations might take place in the time ahead with a stable release of Android 13. But for now, the company is strongly denying the allowance of sideloading apps. One can see this ultimate variation with the call recording applications.
Why Huawei phones have no Google apps: Reason
Google apps come with a variety of services and can be found on any Android smartphone. Huawei was also in the same club but everything was changed since the events of May 2019 that lead us towards the removable of Google Mobile Services from phones launched after the above-mentioned timeline.
Time to dive into why you cannot access Google apps pre-built into new Huawei phones.
In May 2019, Huawei was included in the U.S. entity list, a special order from the U.S. commerce department. This order bans top Chinese entities including Huawei from purchasing or selling goods inside the U.S. territory. This results in the lack of access to required components to build new products such as new chipset as well as other important parts of the phone.
The follow-up event has brought in the entrance of Google, which announced to pull Google Mobile Services (GMS) certification eligibility from Huawei phones. Thereafter, new models and including Huawei Mate 30 series haven’t featured Google apps pre-installed coming out of the box.
Old Phones retained GMS:
The entire scenario has created big havoc among consumers, and many concerns generated among the consumers since then. One of them came from existing smartphone users such as P30 and Mate 20 series that were launched with GMS. However, Huawei and Google later clarified the situation that phones launched before May 2019 and packs with Google services will continue to work as usual and receive software updates on time.
Google Mobile Services (GMS):
Google Mobile Services or GMS consist of proprietary applications and application programming interface services from Google that comes pre-installed on Android devices including smartphones, tablets, and other eligible smart devices.
To fill the shoes left empty in the absence of GMS, Huawei introduced Huawei Mobile Services AKA HMS. This suite includes various new applications and empowered its own application distribution platform – AppGallery to increase the number of developers.
Since Google’s app ecosystem is so vast and powerful, Huawei is continuously improving the developer’s support so that they can develop robust apps and bring them to the AppGallery application store.
So, here we are and now you could have a better understanding of why new Huawei phones don’t come with pre-installed Google applications in them.