Huawei thinks its App Gallery can truly rival Google's Play Store... but that's some ask

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Huawei CEO, Richard Yu, has used the launch of the new Huawei Mate XS to send out a plea for developers to bring their apps to the firm's new App Gallery, reiterating the belief that his brand could offer an app experience as good as Google and Apple's.

The need for Huawei to create its own app platform came after it was forced to remove all of Google's services (including the Play Store) from its devices as part of the US Huawei ban.

"We welcome every developer worldwide to join HMS (Huawei Mobile Services)", Yu said, as he explained why his firm's alternative app store offering was worth investing time and money in.

With over 400 million monthly potential users, the Huawei App Gallery already has a sizable consumer base which could well entice developers to the new potential revenue stream.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Huawei says you can "download and run most apps" via the App Gallery, and it's already got some big names on board, with apps from Amazon,, The Financial Times, The Sun, Snapchat, TikTok and Dominos already available.

However, there many noticeable omissions. Out of the top 15 apps on Android's Play Store in the UK (as of February 2020) for example, Huawei's App Gallery features just four.

Google's Play Store UK top 15 apps - are they on Huawei's App Gallery?

  • 1. TikTok - ✔️
  • 2. WhatsApp - ❌
  • 3. Instagram- ❌
  • 4. Netflix- ❌
  • 5. Uber Eats - ❌
  • 6. Messenger (Facebook) - ❌
  • 7. Snapchat - ✔️
  • 8. Love Island - ❌
  • 9. eBay - ❌
  • 10. Amazon Shopping - ✔️
  • 11. Amazon Prime Video - ✔️
  • 12. Tesco Clubcard - ❌
  • 13. Just Eat - ❌
  • 14. Google Play Games - ❌
  • 15. BT Sport - ❌

Then there's all of Google's apps which - if the US Huawei Ban continues - won't ever be available on the platform. That means no access to apps such as Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos and more.

Missing apps from non-Google developers could come to the platform at a later date if developers deem Huawei's App Gallery worth their time and money, but that's a tall ask.

Huawei should be mindful of past mobile platforms which tried to take on Apple's iOS and Google's Android however - as generating interest in a new app store is no easy feat.

We witnessed both Microsoft and BlackBerry fail to garner enough attention and developer input for their own app stores, which played a significant role in the downfall of the Windows 10 Mobile and BlackBerry 10 operating systems.

The App Gallery has to start somewhere though, and the hope is that as more devices running Huawei Mobile Services become available, more app developers will be convinced to port their titles across in the hope of creating a third revenue stream. 

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.