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Huawei could be about to reveal its own rival to Google Maps

Huawei
(Image credit: Huawei)
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Not only is Huawei busy developing its own operating system to potentially replace Android, it's also got an in-house mapping service in the pipeline as well, according to reports.

Based on reporting by China Daily (opens in new tab), the mapping service is aimed at software developers more than end users: apps offering step-by-step directions, cab hailing and similar tools will be able to take advantage.

The new service is called Map Kit, apparently, and is going to include support for real-time traffic reports as well as augmented reality features (perhaps similar to the AR layers that have recently been added on top of Google Maps).

Russian internet service Yandex is being tipped to supply Huawei with the bulk of the mapping data it needs, which will be added to data taken from infrastructure that Huawei already has in place.

Putting Huawei on the Map (Kit)

It's another interesting twist in Huawei's ongoing attempts to put a safety net in place, should it lose access to Google's apps and services – which still might happen as a consequence of the current trade hostility between the US and China.

In recent weeks it seems the US stance towards Huawei has softened, though the Chinese tech giant obviously wants to prepare for the worst, just in case.

Rolling out a full mapping service is a big challenge though. Google and Apple remain the key players on people's smartphones, regularly adding new information to their maps, and driving fleets of cars around the world to capture street view imagery.

Depending on how the Huawei-Google relationship develops from here, it might be a while before we see Huawei Map Kit appear – but Huawei seems to be covering all the bases in its contingency plans.

Via The Verge (opens in new tab)

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.