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Huawei phones without Google apps won’t support coronavirus contact tracing API

In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, tech is playing a role in how we can prevent the spread. However, if you own a recently-released Huawei smartphone that lacks Google apps, you also won’t get access to the powerful coronavirus contact tracing API that Google and Apple have been working on.

TechRadar confirmed with Huawei that the company’s Android smartphones will support Google’s contact tracing during the coronavirus outbreak, but only if they shipped with Google apps. If the device was launched before May of 2019, it will see the Google Play Services update which delivers support for the crucial new API.

As an easy rule of thumb: if you have the Play Store, you’ll get the update.

However, that leaves newer Huawei smartphones left out to dry. Even if you live in a region such as Europe, the Huawei P40 series, Mate 30 series, and other devices launched during the ban won’t see support for the coronavirus contact-tracing API. Luckily, given the software limitations on those devices, they weren’t too popular outside of the Chinese market. That means not a ton of people will actually be affected by this loss.

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