Huawei pitches its alternative to Google Play Store

(Image credit: Karlis Dambrans / Shutterstock)

Huawei has made its pitch to developers to port across the company’s new proprietary app store.

The Chinese mobile giant unveiled more details about its new Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) system at an event in London, where it revealed strong initial growth in the number of developers already signed up.

But it also showed off the advantages it feels HMS has over Google’s Android Play Store, with a new approach that looks to connect a wide range of the company’s services and devices.

Huawei unveiled HMS 4.0, the latest edition of the platform, back in December as it continues to plan its rebound from being blocked from using Android services following a ruling by the US government last May.

The company says it has already signed up 55,000 apps using HMS Core, which is free to register for and use, with the 24 developer kits enabling nearly a thousand APIs to use.

These kits cover a range of functions including location-tracking, health and even a specific machine learning kit, which was shown off to highlight hyper-advanced facial detection services and in-depth text recognition and image-labelling tools.

Huawei UK MD Anson Zhang introduced the news at an event in London

Huawei UK MD Anson Zhang introduced the news at an event in London (Image credit: Huawei)

Huawei says its AppGallery currently attracts 400 million MAU (monthly active users), and the company is looking to build more links to its other mobile services to encourage connectivity. The likes of the Huawei Browser (270 million MAU) and Assistant (180 million MAU) were named as being among the apps being connected, with more to come in the future.

Huawei says it offers an attractive proposition for app developers for several reasons, chief being the fact that it designs and builds the entire development ecosystem, with HMS Core combining with Huawei cloud and the company’s mobile devices to provide, “a fully-connected ecosystem”.

The company also presented a new strategy for its consumer devices business over the next few years as it looks to offer a “seamless AI experience”. This new “1+8+N” approach keeps the smartphone (1) at the centre, with related Huawei smart devices such as wearables, tablets and PCs (8) bridging to the wider world of connected products such as televisions, appliances and even cars (N).

Huawei says it is also investing £20 million in the UK and Ireland development industry, with developers able to claim up to £20,000 for any apps uploaded to the Huawei Gallery by the end of January.

The Chinese firm insists the accelerated development of the HMS platform is motivated by strategic rather than geopolitical considerations.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.