Because the U.S. Commerce Department placed Huawei on the Entity List last year, Huawei cannot sign new Mobile Application Distribution Agreements (MADAs) with Google, which prevents Huawei from distributing new mobile devices with Google Mobile Services (GMS). This means that all new Huawei smartphones and tablets, at least ones that aren’t rebranded models of existing, already-certified devices, can’t ship with Google apps on board.
Now, huawei is testing AppSearch. It is a new software the company has developed and will seek to aid users in finding popular smartphone applications without using Google’s Play Store service.
In order to make it easier for users to download popular applications without having to download additional app stores or sideload APKs from different websites, Huawei is developing an app called “AppSearch.” The app is currently being tested in Germany, and the APK is publicly accessible on the German website for the Huawei AppGallery. (The website’s name, “zukunftsversprechen,” roughly translates to “promise of the future,” which Huawei has used to market its commitment to its devices following the U.S. trade ban.) The landing page for AppSearch states that the app is intended to help users install their favorite apps on Huawei smartphones equipped with Huawei Mobile Services. Huawei lists Facebook and WhatsApp as examples of applications that can be downloaded by searching in AppSearch, and the description lists the “Mate30 series, P40 series, and Mate Xs” as examples of devices that this app is intended to be used on.