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Huawei launches HMS, its alternative to Google Play services, as beta in China


While the blockade of the United States to Huawei lasts, the company can include in its new devices neither hardware nor software of companies of the American country. This includes Google services, although Huawei has been preparing its replacement for some time, its own services under the name of HMS or Huawei Mobile Services.


HMS is a package of tools ready to reuse by developers in a similar way to what they do with Google services, and they are one of the cornerstones of HarmonyOS and Android's own flavors without Google such as the EMUI 10 installed in new devices like the Huawei Mate 30. With the launch of HMS 4.0 beta, the real testing of this alternative to Google services begins.

Developers can now try HMS

Huawei has had to make many adjustments during 2019 to get out of the way after its inclusion in the list of entities of the US government, from changing suppliers for hardware to “recycle” models already certified to launch them under another name, such as Huawei Nova 5T. They are sufficient in the short term, but in the long term, the company has been forced to practice self-reliance to secure its future.

This self-sufficiency is also necessary for the software, having to use an Android version without anything from Google. The problem is not so much that the mobile comes without Gmail, Google Maps or YouTube preinstalled, but that Google Services is missing, a collection of APIs to perform various tasks such as geolocation, login, payments, real-time notifications or show ads.

Developers can use Google services to take advantage of these functions without having to rewrite them from scratch or incorporate them into their application code, but under the assumption that the mobile will have them installed. If not, applications stop working unless they are prepared to use an alternative.

This is precisely what Huawei is building in the form of its Huawei Mobile Services or HMS, an alternative to Google services that was born as an extension and concentration of the different services that the company already had. Huawei already had its user accounts, payment system, and even an app store, being prepared to work without Google in the Chinese market, but the challenge is now to do the same globally.




Adapting an application to use Huawei services instead of Google (or one or the other, depending on what is available) is an expensive process. In an interview with The Economic Times, the CEO of Huawei and Honor in India has claimed to be working with the 150 top applications in the country to include HMS support. For this, they have allocated an investment of 1 billion dollars and will offer incentives of up to 17,000 dollars to integrate HMS.

HMS is still a Work in progress, but with the publication of the SDK 4.0 Beta begins to take shape beyond the theoretical aspect. This new version updates several of the components (such as the module for places) to its first functional public version, although it is still a beta.

Huawei asks developers not to integrate this SDK yet in their APKs and publish it massively for users, as their intention is only to be used as a test. The big question is whether Huawei will persuade enough developers to integrate its SDK.

Via | Gizmochina

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