Huawei just announced the Mate 40, but like any other recent phone from the company, it's crippled by the lack of Google apps. It's possible to install these applications and the corresponding services on Huawei and Honor phones, but until now, the process was tedious and involved dozens of steps. The aptly called app Googlefieris looking to change that — it doesn't offer a one-step solution, but it makes the process much more approachable with limited automation and step-by-step guidance.
Incognito mode for Google Maps has been around since late last year, but if you haven't gone looking for it in recent months, you likely haven't noticed it was even there. For whatever reasons you may want to duck under the cloak of privacy, we'll show you exactly how to go incognito within Google Maps.
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Understandably, some people want to live their digital lives with as little Google as possible, and are willing to go to fairly extensive efforts to get the advertising juggernaut off all of their various devices. On Android, this can prove difficult: almost no smartphone on sale right ships Google-free, and of those that do, there are serious feature gaps to consider, among other things. Enter microG, a way to reduce your reliance on Google's apps, advertising, and tracking by using a de-Googled custom ROM. We'll show you what you need, how to get it set up, and what you need to know about using it.
There are dozens of apps in the Google Play Store that purport to do the job when it comes to digitizing tangible, paper photos. But after poring through the reviews of different apps in the store, we concluded that Google's PhotoScan app remains one of the best and easiest to use for this tedious process. It also syncs up with Google Photos, so it's an ace choice if you're already deep into the ecosystem.
The Fairphone 3 is the perfect choice for somebody who values a repairable, environment-friendly phone, but just like most other handsets, it runs an Android version with Google apps out of the box — not ideal for someone who is additionally looking to take the Californian company out of the equation. That's where a new cooperation with /e/OS, the de-Googlefied Android version based on LineageOS and microG, comes in. The foundation behind it will start selling the Fairphone 3 equipped with its Android fork on May 6.
A month ago, Austrian Huawei manager Fred Wangfei said the company wouldn't return to Google's apps and services even if the US trade ban lifted. The Chinese conglomerate tried to backtrack on that statement, but it would still make sense for it to work on its independence in case it finds itself caught in the middle of another trade skirmish. For Google, this isn't the best situation as it could lose a lot of revenue if Huawei succeeds. That's why it has made a formal application to the US government seeking permission to trade with Huawei, as reported by the dpa via Heise.
Google will no longer "work with" Turkish business partners on the release of future Android-powered phones, according to a report by Reuters. This change in policy follows a fine and judgment imposed against Google by the Turkish government as a result of perceived anti-competitive behavior. This won't affect any currently-released Android devices, but it may prevent domestic Turkish device makers and companies explicitly targeting the market from including Google's apps and services on future phones.
The facial recognition software built directly into Google Photos is already fantastically accurate, distinguishing your friends and family from even the blurriest of pixels. However, like any AI-driven tool, it's not perfect, and sometimes it just doesn't know who's actually in your pictures. Thanks to our friends over at XDA Developers, we now have our first look at an upcoming manual facial tagging feature that's currently hidden away within Google Photos 4.32.
Earlier today, well-known developer John Wu — the name behind Android's current go-to root solution Magisk — penned an explanation over on Medium for precisely how the Mate 30's Google apps workaround worked. It was a pretty interesting read for folks interested in the minutiae of Android, as parts of it are a bit concerning from a security perspective. Based on the timing, it seems like it may have also worried some other folks as well, as the site hosting the installer APK for the Play Store workaround has been taken down.