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Honor's next Android phone will come with Google apps - here's why that matters

Honor 30
The Honor 30 (Image credit: Honor)

Honor's next smartphone may be a genuine alternative to our list of the best Android phones, as the company has seemingly confirmed it will be pre-installing Google apps on its next flagship series.

Previously, Honor had been a part of the same restrictions its parent company Huawei was under that meant it wasn't able to pre-install Google Mobile Services on its smartphones. Those are apps like Gmail, Google Play Store, YouTube, Google Maps and a whole host of other software.

Now, Honor has separated itself from its ex-parent company after a deal was made earlier in 2021 for it to go its own way. Honor's German Twitter account has now confirmed it'll be using Google Mobile Services on future devices.

The tweet has since been deleted, but it was spotted by GizmoChina before it was removed. It was a response to someone asking about whether Google apps will be on its upcoming series, and the translated tweet reads: "Yes, we can confirm that. But pssst, should be another surprise."

TechRadar has contacted Honor for a further statement on this news, and whether there's a clarification on why the tweet was deleted. We'll update this story if we hear more.

We had always speculated Honor switching back to Google services would be the case, but this is the first time we've heard official word from the brand that Honor will be re-embracing the software for its future phones.

Google Mobile Services are an integral part of the Android phone experience for many, which has meant recent Honor and Huawei products have been difficult to recommend compared to other smartphones on the market.

A big boost for Honor

Honor switching back to Google Mobile Services is a big tick in its favor, and it may mean the company is better equipped to compete in markets such as Europe against the likes of OnePlus, Google and Samsung.

Honor will continue using its MagicUI interface, which is a reskinned version of Android with a variety of tweaked features on top of the standard software.

We've only just started hearing details of the Honor 50, and the company confirmed last week that it will be using the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G chipset to power the upcoming phone.

TechRadar has also been told to expect more information in June, so we're hoping to learn more about the upcoming smartphone then, if not every detail on the new device.

Via XDA Developers

James Peckham

James is Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He has also worked on other leading tech brands, such as T3 and Gizmodo UK, as well as appearing as an expert on TV and radio for the BBC and other publications. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all the latest smartphone news.