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Google Officially Warns Huawei Device Owners Not To Sideload Its Apps 'LINK'

The Honor Magic 2, a device made by Huawei sub-brand Honor, is only available in a Chinese market model and hence does not ship with the Google Play Store. As noted in Huawei's Amazon listing for the device, however, you can sideload Google Play apps without issue. This is because, as shown in the screenshot to the left from an Honor Magic 2 firmware dump, the necessary "Core Services" are pre-installed. Furthermore, as shown in the screenshot to the right, the Core Services apps have been granted the necessary permissions to operate.

Google officially warns Huawei device owners not to sideload its apps

The Mate 30 has no Android license. As such it has no underlying Google Mobile Services (GMS) on which its apps can be installed. And that means users will not be able to sideload the main software or services after purchase. This lack of GMS, the lack of an Android license, means the core underlying Play Services are not hidden away on the device. If this system layer was in place, after-market installed Google apps would be able to function properly. But without that underlying framework, they will not work. The apps cannot access the system-level permissions needed. And to replace the underlying framework requires users accessing the core system that is currently locked out of reach for their own cybersecurity.

Of course, there are hacks available which allow users to get the Google Play Store on new Huawei handsets, however, Google itself has officially warned Huawei device owners not to sideload its apps for security reasons.

Some users have resorted to sideloading Google Services on Huawei devices, but Google has warned against it as that opens up a door for potential hackers to create fake Google apps and compromise users' devices.

It should be noted that Google's Legal Director for Android and Google Play warned users days ago against sideloading Google's apps on Huawei's latest devices (including those introduced today at the event in Beijing).

Root access is sometimes compared to jailbreaking devices running the Apple iOS operating system. However, these are different concepts: Jailbreaking is the bypass of several types of Apple prohibitions for the end user, including modifying the operating system (enforced by a "locked bootloader"), installing non-officially approved (not available on the App Store) applications via sideloading, and granting the user elevated administration-level privileges (rooting). Many vendors such as HTC, Sony, OnePlus, Asus, Xiaomi and Google explicitly provide the ability to unlock devices, and even replace the operating system entirely.[1][2][3][4] Similarly, the ability to sideload applications is typically permissible on Android devices without root permissions. Thus, it is primarily the third aspect of iOS jailbreaking (giving users administrative privileges) that most directly correlates to Android rooting.

As of 2011[update], the Amazon Kindle Fire defaults to the Amazon Appstore instead of Google Play, though like most other Android devices, Kindle Fire allows sideloading of applications from unknown sources,[9] and the "easy installer" application on the Amazon Appstore makes this easy. Other vendors of Android devices may look to other sources in the future. Access to alternate apps may require rooting but rooting is not always necessary.

Until 2010, tablet and smartphone manufacturers, as well as mobile carriers, were mainly unsupportive of third-party firmware development. Manufacturers had expressed concern about improper functioning of devices running unofficial software[53] and related support costs. Moreover, firmware such as OmniROM and CyanogenMod sometimes offer features for which carriers would otherwise charge a premium, such as tethering. Due to that, technical obstacles such as locked bootloaders and restricted access to root permissions have commonly been introduced in many devices. For example, in late December 2011, Barnes & Noble and, Inc. began pushing automatic, over-the-air firmware updates, 1.4.1 to Nook Tablets and 6.2.1 to Kindle Fires, that removed one method to gain root access to the devices. The Nook Tablet 1.4.1 update also removed users' ability to sideload apps from sources other than the official Barnes & Noble app store (without modding).[54][55]


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