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How to use the YouTube web as if it were an app on a Huawei mobile without Google Services

22 mayo, 2021

The latest Huawei phones do not include Google Services pre-installed with few exceptions. Without these services, applications such as YouTube will not work, although you will always have the web page. And, if possible, it should appear as similar to an application.

Unfortunately, YouTube does not have an old-fashioned progressive web application, although this does not mean that you cannot achieve something similar. For this we will use huawei browser (although Firefox, Opera or even Chrome, which works without Google services, will also work for you) and an application called Anker.

Option 1: with the Huawei browser

Huawei mobiles without Google Services do not have Google Chrome installed, but rather the home browser. With it, as with most Android browsers, you can add web pages to desktop.

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If the website has a progressive version, an access will also be created in the application drawer. If not, a shortcut is created on the Desktop. As we mentioned before, at the moment YouTube does not have a progressive web application version of its website, so you will have to settle for direct access.

Creating a shortcut is like making your browser bookmarks even more accessible, since you don’t need to open the browser first. To do it with the Huawei browser, you must open the YouTube website, touch the colon button and choose Add to the home screen.


A difference of Huawei’s browser with others like Google Chrome is that it shows you an additional window where you must choose where exactly you want to add the web page. These are the available options:

  • Favorites: Add the page to browser favorites. The equivalent of the Google Chrome star.

  • Browser Home Page. Add the page to the home screen that appears when you open the browser with shortcuts to popular websites.

  • Phone main screen. The option that interests us, because it adds the shortcut on the phone’s home screen, as if it were one more icon.


Before pressing OK, you can tap the pencil icon to change the name of the shortcut. Later, you will recognize it as it shows the YouTube icon with the Huawei browser icon superimposed in small. When opened, it opens YouTube as one more page, showing the address bar.

Option 2: With Anker

Shortcuts, shortcuts are. Although the YouTube web for mobile allows you to do much of what you can do with the application, the fact that it appears as one more tab in the browser is not very comfortable. If you want an experience closer to a native application, you can achieve something similar with the Anker app.

Anker allows you to create a custom shortcut that opens without the address bar

Anker is available on Google Play, although if you have a Huawei mobile without Google Services, the above fact will not be too relevant to you. The application is not currently in Huawei’s App Gallery, although the good news is that does not need Google Services to work. Therefore, you can download and install it perfectly from its APK.

Anker does basically the same thing that we have seen before, but showing the web page of your choice without tabs and without an address bar. When opening the application you must fill in some data to create your custom shortcut. Specifically the following:

  • Web address. Here you must write

  • Icon. Tap on Choose Icon to choose an icon for the shortcut. If you have an icon pack installed, you can browse through the available icons. If not, you can use an image you have on your mobile.

  • Shortcut text. In the title section you can write how you want the shortcut to be called. For example, Youtube.

  • Other options. If you want, you can check the box Open in desktop layout so that the browser forces the desktop version of YouTube. Also, you can disable swipe to update by checking Deactivate pull to refresh.

Anker With Anker the experience is more similar to an app

That said, the shortcut will be created on the mobile home screen that, as before, will include the icon you chose overlaid by a small application icon (an anchor). With Anker, the YouTube website opens in a separate window, no tabs or address bar, being the closest thing to a progressive app you’ll ever get … at least until Google decides to create a YouTube progressive web app.