VideoLAN, the company behind popular cross-platform media player VLC, is none too pleased with Huawei at the moment.
According to VideoLAN, new Huawei devices are killing all background apps except the smartphone maker's own proprietary software, a policy VideoLAN calls "ridiculous."
If true, this would certainly be problematic for an app like VLC - like many audio playback apps, it relies on background functionality to play sound when another app (such as a web browser) is in focus. By killing the app, Huawei's devices could be breaking VLC's audio entirely.
If VideoLAN's frustrated tweets are to be believed, that's precisely what is occurring now. It seems Huawei device users have become so frustrated by audio breakage that they're giving the VLC app 1-star reviews, unaware that their device may be to blame.
PSA: @HuaweiMobile phones are now blacklisted and cannot get VLC on the Play Store.--- VideoLAN (@videolan) July 25, 2018
Their ridiculous policy of killing all background apps (except their own) breaks VLC audio background playback (of course).
See https://t.co/QzDW7KbV4I and many other reports...@HuaweiFr
In response to these negative and possibly ill-informed reviews, VideoLAN has decided to block some of Huawei's most recent devices from downloading VLC on the Google Play Store. It's not clear whether or not existing VLC users will be impacted by this change, however.
Whether you feel VideoLAN's decision is justified or a bit of an overreaction, users aren't too happy about it. Responding to one particularly-frustrated user, VideoLAN said the following (translated from French), referencing Huawei's decision:
If an app [plays audio], it's normal for it to be in [the] background. Blocking the normal operation of Android is totally abnormal. Otherwise, just kill all the apps, and [don't] turn on the phone, it saves even more battery!
Huawei has not responded to the matter yet, though it's not clear if VideoLAN has reached out to the company to resolve the issue. At any rate, if you own one of Huawei's newest devices, you may have to find another audio player to suit your needs.