What's even on the Huawei App Gallery anyway?

Credit: Huawei

One of the biggest question marks surrounding Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro is app support.

Since it lacks official support for Google apps, Google services and the Google Play Store, you’ll have to rely on the Huawei app store when setting up the device and beyond. 

According to Huawei, their AppGallery boasts over 45,000 apps and has over 390 million monthly active users worldwide. But what does that experience actually look like for a normal user? 

We tried setting up the new Mate 30 Pro to find out. You can read our full review of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro here.

We’re going to grade each category of apps into one of three categories. Those that technically meet our requirements get a pass. Those that go above that minimum and provide great options get a distinction. Those that don’t get a fail.

Email

Credit: Google

Grade: Pass

While the Huawei AppGallery obviously doesn’t feature support for the official Gmail app, you can still use Google’s email client via the web browser. It’s also fairly easy to login to Gmail or Outlook via the official EMUI10 email app, which lacks all the little bells and whistles and sharp-looking material design of Gmail but is otherwise functional enough. 

What alternatives are there?

In addition to the official Huawei option, we found a few other email apps on the Huawei App gallery. The best of these was probably Aquamail. You can find out more info on it here

Calendar

Credit: Google

Grade: Fail

Aside from the super-basic EMUI10 Calendar app, the Mate 30 Pro is sorely lacking when it comes to good calendar apps. 

What alternatives are there?

There’s one popular Calendar app on the Huawei AppGallery - but it’s very clearly pitched at a Chinese audience and doesn’t seem to support English. If you have a particular affinity for your Calendar app of choice and aren’t willing to go to the trouble of sideloading it, this might be a deal-breaker. 

Ridesharing & Transport

Credit: Uber

Grade: Fail

The Huawei App Store is completely devoid of any Australian ridesharing or transport apps you might want to rely on. 

There’s no Uber. There’s no TripView. There are no apps for airlines like Qantas or Virgin. There’s not even a 13Cabs app. For more on the alternatives to Uber in Australia, check out our guide here.

Social Media

Credit: Twitter

Grade: Fail

Out of the box, the Huawei AppGallery might be a great antidote to Instagram addicts. You can’t spend too much time on social media if you can’t install social media, I guess? 

Does the Huawei AppGallery have Facebook? No. Does the Huawei Mate 30 Pro have Twitter? No. Does the Huawei Mate 30 Pro have WhatsApp? No. Does the Huawei Mate 30 Pro have Instagram? Nope. 

It’s got Tik Tok and that’s about it.

What alternatives are there?

Sideload or bust. 

Streaming

Credit: Netflix

Grade: Fail

Somewhat predictably, the Huawei App Gallery features none of the media streaming services you might be familiar with. It does not have Netflix. It does not have Youtube. It does not have Amazon, Spotify or Apple Music. It certainly not have Stan or Disney+. 

What alternatives are there?

Although I found no video streaming apps on the Huawei AppGallery, I did find one music streaming service in the form of Xiami. It looked OK. Unfortunately, the app seemed to only offer Chinese language options - so I have no real idea how usable it might be in practice. 

Time to break out that old MP3 collection, I guess?

Finance

Credit: Google

Grade: Fail

In terms of finance apps, the Huawei AppGallery features ample options in terms of stock trackers and a few budget manager apps. However, if you’re looking to make use of the NFC connectivity inside the Mate 30 Pro, you’re going to be out of luck. Neither Google or Samsung Pay can be found on the AppGallery and no Australian banks have as of yet put their apps on the platform

What alternatives are there?

Very few. You could conceivably use another Android device to set up contactless payments via a platform independent wearable but as far as things on the Huawei AppGallery go, there’s really not a lot here.

Productivity

Credit: Google

Grade: Pass

The Huawei Mate 30 Pro comes with WPS Office pre-installed. This is nowhere near as good as stuff like Google Docs or Microsoft Office but it’s better than nothing I guess. There’s also a dedicated Huawei Notepad app that can be used in a pinch but lacks any of Cloud-based features of stuff like Keep or OneNote. 

What alternatives are there?

OfficeSuite is available on the Huawei AppGallery, which is another OK alternative to the word processing and productivity apps you’d otherwise be familiar with. 

Photography

Credit: Google

Grade: Pass

The Huawei Mate 30 Pro might have some of the sharpest photography hardware ever seen in a smartphone but the software side of the equation is a little more iffy. As mentioned above, there’s no Instagram. There’s also no VSCO or Google Photos. The Huawei Gallery app does offer some basic post-production and editing functions but, for anything more complicated, you’re going to have to hit up the AppGallery.

What alternatives are there?

While stuff like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop is well out of reach here, I was pleasantly surprised to find Canva and LightX were available on the Huawei App Gallery. MIX is another decent alternative I found for basic photo editing.

Credit: Epic Games

Gaming

Grade: Fail

Look, I don’t want to mince words here. The Huawei AppGallery’s game library is abysmal. It’s like you took to the absolute dregs of the iOS and Google Play System and put them center-stage. Sure, there are a few official titles here like Crossy Road, Cut the Rope 2 and The Walking Dead. However, for the most part, this section of the app store is chock full of unpolished knock-offs that look more ready to steal your data than spare time. 

You don’t even get the fun stuff like that mobile Overwatch-clone. It’s honestly a little depressing.

What alternatives are there?

The one thing I could find was an Epic games launcher app, which at this time is essentially just an installer for Fortnite. If you like Fortnite, that’s great. Otherwise, this dire situation leaves it very difficult to recommend the Mate 30 Pro if you’re keen on a great mobile gaming experience. 

What can you do about it?

Look, thus far, the easiest workaround here has come from a surprising source: Amazon.

Amazon run their own app store for the Fire tablets. It takes about five seconds to download and install. It features a lot of what the Huawei App Gallery is currently missing: Twitter, Facebook, popular games like Hearthstone. You can download the Amazon App Store here. 

Any smartphone is only as useful as the apps you can install on it and while the Huawei AppGallery might have 45,000 apps on it, it only takes one thing that it doesn’t have for your experience to hit a wall. 

Credit to Ausdroid for making us aware of this workaround.

You can read our full review of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro here.

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Tags HuaweiHuawei Mate 30 ProHuawei AppGallery

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Fergus Halliday
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