October 31, 2020


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Temporary Huawei license expired: is the end of Android updates on older Huawei phones like the P30 Pro?

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When the US ban against Huawei came into force in May 2019, a temporary license ensured that Huawei and Honor phones that were already available, such as the popular P30 Pro or the Mate 20 Pro, continued to receive updates from Google. This license, which has been extended several times, has now expired for the time being and this could have consequences for future Android and EMUI updates on older Huawei or Honor phones.

In recent months, hardly anyone thought of the temporary exemption from the technology ban granted by the US government in May 2019 to grant companies that trade with Huawei a grace period under certain conditions. This temporary general license (TGL, Temporary General License) was actually intended for regional US cellular providers who use Huawei equipment, but also allowed Google to continue to provide updates and support for Huawei and Honor products that were already on the market before the US ban. Equipment to deliver.

The US temporary license has expired

As the Washington Post has now reported, this license, which was extended several times in 2019 and 2020, has now expired for the time being and already on Thursday, August 13, 2020. Whether it will be extended again is currently unclear, and there is still no statement from the US Department of Commerce still from Huawei or Google. However, if it is no longer renewed, users of older Huawei and Honor phones, such as the popular P30 Pro (available from Amazon from around 535 euros) or the Mate 20 Pro, could face unpleasant changes.

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Security updates are well secured

Mishaal Rahman from the XDA-Developers-Forum writes that security updates that become part of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) are still available to Huawei and thus in principle would not be a problem, but Huawei would no longer be informed about the changes ahead of time, there could therefore be delays in the delivery of the updates. However, updates to Android or EMUI, which concern Google Apps or Google Mobile Services (GMS), would be very problematic, because Google could no longer provide support with immediate effect.

Problems with SafetyNet and GMS updates?

Worse still, any changes made by Huawei to Google Apps or Google Services require recertification by Google, even if the smartphone or tablet was already considered a certified device before the US ban, which would freeze the status quo in this regard. A loss of the SafetyNet certification would be potentially even worse for users, because that would at least cripple Google Pay and banking apps. It seems unlikely that Huawei will remove Google apps and services via update, but in any case long-term inconveniences for older Huawei phones are to be expected, unless the temporary US license is renewed.

Effects on EMUI 11 and Android 11?

The topic of Android 11 has not yet been addressed. An update of older Huawei phones to the new Android version, which will probably be in its final form at the end of August, should at least be more difficult if there are no more changes to Google services and Google apps. As a user of affected cell phones, one can only hope that the US government will allow itself to be carried away one more time to extend the temporary license.

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