The makers of the NHS Covid-19 app have built a version for Huawei’s app store. The move addresses an anomaly that intends owners of the Chinese firm’s latest smartphones had been unable to install the contact-tracing software.
The app – for users in England and Wales is currently being reviewed by Huawei’s staff and could be published in November. The existing NHS Covid-19 app has been downloaded over 18 million times from Apple and Google’s various app stores.
Huawei’s P40, Mate 30 and Honor 30 series handsets run the Android operating system, but lack Google’s Play Store and among other services from the US tech giant since a trade ban imposed by the Trump administration has affected them at large.
Owners can still install and run many Android apps via other means. But the NHS Covid-19 app was unusual in that it would not work on the devices because it relies on some of Google’s related technologies. The edition that will shortly be published to Huawei’s App Gallery for devices without access to Google Mobile Services.
The app’s developer, Zuhlke Engineering, has already submitted the product to Huawei for review, and the manufacturer said it intended to approve it shortly.
“We need to make sure is that it works fully on all our phones,” Jaime Gonzalo, Huawei’s European Consumer Mobile Services chief, told the BBC.
It is expected to be available within the coming weeks when the NHS Test and Trace team is ready to support it. This means that Huawei’s forthcoming Mate 40 handsets will also have access to the service.