31 October 2019
The Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro are the first smartphones from a major brand to come without any Google apps and services support. But last week, a workaround for the situation surfaced online which allowed installing all those Google apps without even rooting the device and that too by using a simple application. This app is called LZPlay and as per fresh reports, the workaround has stopped working as the app has been taken down.
The reason behind LZPlay not working any more seems to be a Medium post from well-known Android security researcher and Magisk creator John Wu. The post offers an in-depth explanation regarding what made LZPlay app work and achieve which is not possible on the Mate 30 devices via official means. And as you might have guessed by now, the situation does seem to be sketchy for the most part.
LZPlay is found to be making use of undocumented Huawei APIs to offer a sort "backdoor" and is able to install Google apps and services on the Mate 30 lineup. It essentially allows non-system apps to work as "system" apps which means they gain access to permissions and privileges which they should not have in the first place. It is worth noting that an app can access those APIs only if Huawei grants it the signing key.
It essentially means it is not possible for anyone to access the APIs and start getting system-level access to the device. But what this means is that when someone uses LZPlay to install Google apps/services, Huawei gets full control over the device through the aforementioned "backdoor". It means it does pose some privacy and security risks even if Huawei does not plan to do anything like that on purpose. You can read about whole in-depth findings in Wu's own words by clicking the source link below.
As soon as Wu's post started to gain attention, the LZPlay website was taken down and even the previously obtained APKs of the app stopped working as they were expected to. It is unknown whether the decision to take it down was of app developer or website host Alibaba or it was Huawei who might have been involved indirectly in all this. But this sudden change does raise some eyebrows, especially from security researchers.
Lastly soon after, Android Central's Alex Dobie noticed that Huawei Mate 30 has started to fail the SafetyNet security test too. It is a test from Google to ensure that a particular device is secure, valid, and not rooted. The smartphone was found to be passing the test as recent as last week. This eventually means that Google Pay will also not work on the Mate 30 anymore which was working when LZPlay used to work as well.
Soooo uhh this is new.— Alex Dobie (@alexdobie) October 1, 2019
Since today's developments, Mate 30 Pro now fails SafetyNet. Last week it passed.
What the what pic.twitter.com/fPeaWUHD2v
All of these developments have happened one after another and that too in less than a day. It is hard to say what one should conclude from all these things but it is safe to say that stay away from any workarounds offering Google apps/services for Mate 30 series for now. We will keep you updated if there are any further details about the situation.