Update on October 2, 2023: You can install it according to this method, it's stable.
I have an old Huawei phone, the P40 Pro, which is over three years old. Recently, it updated to the latest HarmonyOS 4.0, but the Google apps stopped working. So, I decided to reinstall them.
I searched on YouTube and found many bloggers who have made videos explaining the process. One blogger even created a tool with backup files and installation packages, which makes it convenient. The whole process is free, except for the last step of dealing with the "Device Not Certified" notification. I saw that it costs 19.9, which is not unreasonable considering the effort put into it.
Actually, the last step is quite simple. The error page provides instructions. You just need to use the tool to get the Google Service Framework (GSF) and then click the link at the bottom of the notification page to register your device.
Here are the main steps I summarized based on the tutorials of two bloggers and the files they provided:
- Preparation: Disable dual apps, delete private space, disable pure mode. If you have previously installed Google services, uninstall all Google-related software in the app management and log out of your Google account.
- Download the blogger's Huagu Suite and install it. It will open a clear step-by-step interface.
- Open the Huagu Suite and follow the steps one by one. In step 6, you may encounter a situation where you cannot log in to your Google account with a phone verification code. You can uninstall MicroG and wait for half an hour or longer, then retry a few times. Follow the other steps as instructed in the software.
- In step 9, after installing the apps and logging in to your account, you will receive a "Device Not Certified" notification when you open Google apps. This is the paid feature of the Huagu Suite, but you can actually bypass it without paying.
- To resolve the "Device Not Certified" notification, click on the notification and you will enter an explanation page that tells you why you are seeing this warning. At the bottom, there is an option for "Custom ROM users." Visit the link at the bottom, and you will need a software called Device ID (provided by another blogger, download from GoogleDrive or OneDrive, password for extraction is 2333). Install and open it, click on Google Service Framework (GSF), copy the code, and paste it into the website mentioned earlier to register your device.
- If you still receive notifications, go to app management and forcefully stop Google Framework, Play Store, and other related apps. Restart your device a few times, and it should work.
After going through all this trouble, I probably won't consider Huawei next time.
If you still receive the "Device Not Certified" notification after using it for a while, it is highly likely to happen. I encountered it a few days later. You can follow the steps shown in the image below, but there is no guarantee of success. In fact, I also failed a few days later. However, some people have succeeded, so I recorded it based on this YouTube video.
After all the hassle, I felt disheartened and thought it was a waste of time. It would be better to get a new phone. Another option is to use shell applications. After some research, I found these options: GSpace, GBox, and Chujingyi. They are like virtual machines installed on your phone, allowing you to log in to your Google account and install apps that require Google services. Here is a brief introduction to each of them:
- GSpace: Free, with a lot of splash screen ads. You can pay to remove ads permanently, which costs around one hundred. It supports sending app shortcuts to the home screen, but the shortcut icons are not very appealing.
- GBox: Free, currently no ads, but there are plans to remove ads in the future, with a permanent price also around one hundred. It supports sending app shortcuts to the home screen, and the icons are the same as regular apps.
- Chujingyi: Free, no ads, but can only be used within the app and cannot send shortcuts to the home screen.
Based on my overall experience, GBox provides a closer-to-native user experience. After granting permissions, I tested it and found that it supports calendar and Tasks reminders, and Google Photos works normally.