HUAWEI HANDSET owners can once again download popular media player VLC after it was blocked by its developers last summer.
VideoLAN stopped Huawei users from downloading the app after a flurry of negative reviews. The problems were not caused by VLC itself, but by the method Huawei handles battery management, causing VLC to be shut down at inopportune moments, which is a bit rubbish for a video player with a reputation of being able to handle anything.
Now, it appears that the Huawei P30 range has access to download VLC from the Play Store, which either suggests that VideoLAN is working towards reinstating the app, or that it just hasn't got round to updating the Play Store block to cover the new phone yet. It's still blocked on older models.
The issue of Huawei's battery management is something that we repeatedly come up against when reviewing their devices. It has got better in recent iterations, but the overriding issue remains - it's just too damn trigger happy.
Whilst VLC is the only app that has gone so far as to ban Huawei users, most apps that rely on being kept alive in the background are affected, often meaning that notifications don't work properly or video/audio streams just cut out because they're misinterpreted as non-active.
There are ways to override it through granular toggle-switches inside Huawei's EMUI interface settings, but they're more than a little confusing and turn apps like VLC into a crash course in "what is Shenzhen thinking" instead of "our app just works".
VLC can still be sideloaded (if you can find a safe and reliable .apk file) and the more determined user can find instructions on the internet on how to calm the raging beast that is Huawei's AI battery management.
Neither VideoLAN nor Huawei has commented on the matter, so we're not much clearer on exactly what's changed - it just has. For now. μ
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It's available across all major UK networks