back to article And THIS is how you do it, Apple: Huawei shames Cupertino with under-glass sensor

Huawei previously used its Primark brand, Honor, to bring high-priced tech to a much more affordable package. But this time it's using Honor to introduce a feature the industry insisted it wasn't ready for: an under-glass fingerprint sensor. The new Honor 10 – which like the P20s has an optional, removable Notch – also …

Why is nobody pointing out that millions of Huawei mobiles (most of the range including the new p20) are currently crippled worldwide by a Google Play Services update sometime on or after 27 April?

Many apps that use Maps, Barcodes, Payments or even displaying Ads just get an error stating "Update Google Play Services" even tho the phone and services are updated.

Many attempts to contact Huawei have fallen on deaf ears.

People who use Uber, Deliveroo etc (don't forget some people use them as their work tool) simply cannot use them (or they can with a workaround that last for a few hour, and wipes some information from their phone).

Google have acknowledged the issue: https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/79405933

If this were an Apple or Samsung error, it would be front page!

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Because... I know a few people with Huawei phones and they have Google apps just fine, and update just fine, and install new apps from the store just fine.

I imagine it may only be a particular model/region.

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My boy has an Huawei and my partner has an Honor, both of them are working perfectly fine :)

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If it were an Apple or Samsung error

It would have affected at least an order of magnitude more of El Reg's audience, and therefore be a much bigger story...

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Priority P1 Severity S1 - yep, that's a bug Jim

Yes, because "update just fine, and install new apps from the store just fine" is the same as Google Play *Services* update breaking apps that rely on Google's mapping framework. Google Maps works just fine, but that framework in any other app - including Android Auto simple map on the handset - is broken for many different Huawei handsets worldwide. Read the link in post 1 to the issue: https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/79405933

Clearing your Play Services cache fixes the issue - until the next reboot.

And that's a pain, because you have to reauthorise cards in G Pay etc.

Don't ask me how I know this <sigh>

P9 Plus, A7.0

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Re: Priority P1 Severity S1 - yep, that's a bug Jim

Clearing your Play Services cache fixes the issue - until the next reboot.

How often is a reboot necessary?

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Re: Priority P1 Severity S1 - yep, that's a bug Jim

https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/79405933#comment335

av...@google.com <av...@google.com> #335 May 16, 2018 12:41AM

In collaboration with Huawei, Google engineers have identified the root cause of this issue as an unexpected change to the filesystem permissions. The issue can impact any Android app on a Huawei device which renders a Google map. Our engineers are preparing a new version of Google Play Services which should resolve the problem. It will be targeted to devices running Android 7.0 Nougat, or higher. We will post another update with the status of the rollout.

Thanks for your patience.

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Not seeing it on any of our Hauwei devices (Mate 9 Pro, Mate 10 Pro and P Smart).

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Anonymous Coward

That sort of proves the point of the extreme Google dependency that Android phones have to be usable (and evidently now even then they are not), and Google is far from benign. It's a shame nobody has the clout to start a proper, new and actually free OS that is picked up in volume, because it's the volume that matters.

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Re: Priority P1 Severity S1 - yep, that's a bug Jim

Again... there just aren't enough people affected to care.

If literally Huawei phones couldn't run Google Maps, or some popular app that uses them (everything from OKCupid dating apps to games use that interface in the background!), then it would flag rather heavily with everyone who buys an Huawei phone.

It doesn't. So it hasn't. Nobody is saying "your problem doesn't exist". We're saying that it's not as prevalent or as affecting as you seem to think. There are 200+ notes on that bug report. I'd expect THOUSANDS, tens of thousands, if it was actually impacting app developers to the extent you suggest.

It's a niche issue that has happened to affect you and your uses. Nobody else (here or other places) even realised it was a problem.

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How often is a reboot necessary?

How good is the battery?

I reboot my phone only when I can't plug it in for a while, or it needs to to run an update.

So not too often.

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Trollface

@AC

That sort of proves the point of the extreme Google dependency that Android phones have to be usable (and evidently now even then they are not), and Google is far from benign.

Hmmmmmm... Google starts Android. Google maintains, develops, runs Android. And... you complain about an extreme Google dependency? The mind boggles...

You're welcome to downvote this post. You know you want to, despite knowing I'm just pointing out the obvious. Go on. Click that downvote button. Go on. Do it. :-D

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC

Google starts Android?

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Anonymous Coward

Aww diddums the ikkle snowflakes can't use uber... my heart bleeds for dem...

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Thumb Up

Re: How often is a reboot necessary?

I like to reboot once a week. It's a safe thing to do.

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Re: @AC

" Google starts Android. Google maintains, develops, runs Android. And... you complain about an extreme Google dependency?"

And yet, it's 100% possible to run an Android device that doesn't rely on any Google services, including Google Play services, at all.

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Re: @anothercynic

You're welcome to downvote this post. You know you want to, despite knowing I'm just pointing out the obvious. Go on. Click that downvote button. Go on. Do it. :-D

Actually I didn't give a toss either way. But as you insisted I offered you my solitary downvote.

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Re: @AC

Android is open source, and, by default, doesn't actually use Google services much (if at all). I have a Kindle at home. It runs Android but is an Amazon device, so while it is heavily tied in to Amazon's ecosystem, it does not require Google access.

The requirement for Google access come when you want to add things like the Google play store, which most phone manufacturers do. Amazon chose to use their own app store.

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Trollface

Still works better than any Windows phone.

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A removable notch, that's Genius!

It makes things so much simpler, more magical I'd say. When the notch breaks or malfunctions you just remove it and replace it with new one, no need to buy a new phone. More, you can customize the notch to your heart's content, just imagine the possibilities: colors, patterns, material choices; the aesthetic possibilities are endless.

People pay through the nose for the privilege of owning a notched phone, but this... this is above all else, this takes the game to a whole new level. Congratulations Huawei.

Pure genius. Take that, apple!

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Meh

Re: A removable notch, that's Genius!

Who wants an effin notch in the first place? And can we put them on the B-Ark?

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Re: A removable notch, that's Genius!

Who wants an effin notch in the first place?

No one it's just that suppliers bet on it becoming standard so all the screens are being turned out with one. Remember 3D TVs? I hope it's going to be a like that and we'll have largely forgotten them in a couple of years.

Hope Samsung or someone else goes on the offensive about not having a notch as I think there might be mileage in that.

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Re: A removable notch, that's Genius!

Difference being, a 3D TV usually has little to no change in quality (backlight strobing was better on those using that tech, less colour/brightness but only slightly on those using polarization) compared to the 2d version.

The notch however. :(

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Re: A removable notch, that's Genius!

Most mid to high end TVs sold today are capable of 3D output - it's largely a function of having a high refresh rate (used for 2d output)

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Anonymous Coward

A high priced con-venience

But 3D TVs are actually useful!

So when the glass screen inevitably cracks, the fingerprint sensor will probably lock you out of your phone. Definitely one for the flower children.

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Re: A removable notch, that's Genius!

The notch is a compromise since we can't put cameras underneath a display. Eventually it will be figured out (and it will be cooled the first time you see the display go black for a split second where the camera is when you take a picture) I don't see any way you could ever put a camera underneath an LCD display, but it should be possible with an OLED or microLED display.

Probably the next step on this is a "not a notch, instead there are randomly sized holes where the notch would be" that isn't going to be an improvement - will probably look worse in fact. When it becomes possible to do I'm sure some OEMs will go that way just to separate from the crowd a bit.

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Re: A removable notch, that's Genius!

When the notch breaks or malfunctions you just remove it and replace it with new one, no need to buy a new phone.

I'm 99.9999% certain you're being sarcastic here, but just in case you're not...

The notch isn't physically removable, the UI merely renders the notification icons in white with a black background to hide the notch. I picked up the P20 Pro work bought me the other day and that's how it works there. Surprisingly well, I have to add. (Although I'm never going to use an Android phone for anything other than presenting our awesome video tech and testing.)

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Holmes

Re: A removable notch, that's Genius!

Most mid to high end TVs sold today are capable of 3D output

No shit, Sherlock. But the feature, a bit like the notch was touted before being ignored.

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Re: A high priced con-venience

"So when the glass screen inevitably cracks, the fingerprint sensor will probably lock you out of your phone."

Even I know better, and I've never used the fingerprint sensor. There's a backup unlock method.

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Re: A removable notch, that's Genius!

Notch se stink agterent. Hulle kan dit indruk waar die son nie skyn nie.

I don't need a notch.

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Re: A removable notch, that's Genius!

"How? There are going to be OLEDs or LEDs in the way. Turning them off won't make them miraculously invisible."

I guess you weren't aware that OLED circuitry is actually invisible? The image itself obviously is visible, but if you look at the panel itself without any of the plastic casing they tend to put them it, it just looks like a plain old piece of glass.

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Re: A high priced con-venience

"But 3D TVs are actually useful!"

They are?

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Re: A removable notch, that's Genius!

Liewe Heksie!

It's optional so no need to shove anything anywhere. Not sure why you have been down voted though.

Totsiens.

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Re: A removable notch, that's Genius!

"The notch is a compromise since we can't put cameras underneath a display."

You don't need a notch or the ability to put cameras underneath the display. Just keep the bezel. Or, if you really hate bezels for some reason, just keep the top bezel.

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Holmes

Too good to be true?

Such a low price for such shiny piece of technology seems suspicious. It looks like desperate effort to put spy tool into as many user hands as possible before they get under sanctions as their comrades from ZTE did.

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Re: Too good to be true?

Not really, it's about the same pricepoint as the OnePlus, and broadly similar specs IIRC?

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Re: Too good to be true?

Eh? But Huawei phones dont even come with Facebook installed?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Too good to be true?

No apple idiot tax

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Re: Too good to be true?

Skipping the Leica branding probably saved $100 alone.

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Re: Too good to be true?

I suspect you will find that Google does more 'spying' that ZTE

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Confusing .....

The range of phones and names that Huawei / Honor have out at any time is just so confusing.

They all look similar but there are vast differences in price with no rhyme nor reason to the feature set on the handsets.

The fact they also bring out a new handset literally every week says it all.

Samsung used to do this and have now cleaned up their act a bit.

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Re: Confusing .....

So nothing like "Samsung" "Galaxy" then... I don't know how much they cleaned up their act. At least when they started adding an incremental prefix it got a bit clearer then they came out with the "galaxy" "tab" range of tablets and fablets... though drop the galaxy and just use it's real name things can clear up a bit I still have no idea which one of the galaxies is the latest and greatest though today...

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Unhappy

an under-glass fingerprint sensor.

And there was me expecting to see an under-display fingerprint sensor.

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Re: an under-glass fingerprint sensor.

There is at least one model out with that, Lenovo I think? It might be a patent problem as always?

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Re: an under-glass fingerprint sensor.

Qualcomm are working in an ultrasonic fingerprint t sensor, and likely Apple too.

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Re: an under-glass fingerprint sensor.

Yeah, I don't get what the big deal is about putting it under glass. Lots of phones do that - Apple's are under sapphire in fact.

The trick is putting it underneath the LCD/OLED display, and this phone has not done so. For it to be useful to Apple (or "shame" them) it would also have to be something that 1) works at least as reliably as Touch ID and 2) can be mass manufactured at a scale of 100 million the first year, 200 million the second.

El Reg is hyping something totally meaningless here.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: an under-glass fingerprint sensor.

Oh, there's a bit more: economics.

Perhaps the question we should be asking is why aren't we seeing it in more phones?

Good fingerprint readers cost money - a lot more than your standard part. Multiply that extra cost with the expected volume and it becomes a question if users actually care about its quality, and as far as I can tell, they don't care at all. Hence hanging on to the cheaper solutions.

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Re: an under-glass fingerprint sensor.

Yup, there's one out already. It looks pretty good, too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSl9PfRX7WY

Although I still prefer Face ID, because I have sweaty/dirty hands more often than I wear mirrored sunglasses.

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