Last year, the Huawei Consumer Business Group faced its most difficult challenge, when it was not allowed to deal with American companies. The biggest blow came with the departure of Google, leaving Huawei and Honor without access to its multimedia services as well as to Android. No future phone from the brands could be delivered with these services on board.
This unexpected threw Huawei out of him, forcing him to develop his own alternative in a fairly short period of time. To start, he had to switch to the Open Source Android project instead of full-fledged Android, and then have his own skin to make it more usable. Second, he had to develop his own app market because the Google Play Store was no longer an option. The solution to this came as AppGallery.
All Huawei and Honor phones were launched after the global ban that came with the Huawei Media Services suite on board. the Honor 9X Pro, which was launched today, is the first phone in India of the group which does not come with Google applications. It’s no secret that the company has slowed its launches in India over the past year. But behind the scenes, constant efforts were being made to improve the AppGallery to make it suitable for the Indian market, at a time when they will want to bring their other devices to the country.
The HMS AppGallery was supposed to be built on three pillars: personal data security, which reduces the difficulty of finding the right application and fostering innovation. Since it went global in April 2018, it is now the third largest app market in the world (no price for guessing the first two). It has now gathered more than 400 million active users per month.
During the announcement, they mentioned how all security measures were equivalent to the Google Play Store. The AppGallery is end-to-end GDPR compliant and has three regional centers and fifteen data centers worldwide. Each listed application is reviewed in more detail during registration, backend security, download security and execution protection, taking care of the user from start to finish. These strict security protocols, as well as quality control led to the rejection of 37% of applications in 2019 (260,000 applications). However, the developers also suggest how their offerings can be improved.
Huawei understands the importance of developers in this situation and is taking proactive steps to make AppGallery more profitable and more beneficial to them. As part of the Shining-Star program, a $ 1 billion investment has been made for participating developers. Onboard people are also advised on how applications can be better monetized in the ecosystem, thus encouraging their efforts. Certain genres will be allowed to keep 100% of their income for the first year. Developers who cannot get their hands on a relevant device are offered cloud-level access so that they can virtually test their applications. Users can also join an early access beta program to provide critical feedback in the early stages of an application.
Another important part of the AppGallery experience is “Quick Apps”, which allows users to try an app without installing it on their device. This tactile approach allows the storage size of the application to be reduced by up to 50 times. In fact, Huawei is work with Xiaomi and BBK Electronics (Oppo and Vivo) to create this ecosystem with more developers. It is safe to say that everyone will seek to reduce their dependence on Google in the future.
India being a major market for smartphones, the AppGallery team worked on the integration of most of the main applications and developers on board. 95% of the 150 best applications are already available on the AppGallery, with more in the pipeline. They went further and also recruited many local and regional entertainment content partners. Some 2,000 Indian developers have already been associated and there is already a list of more than 5,000 developers who are targeted for this year. For 2020, strengthening the AppGallery is the top priority for Huawei. The best Indian developers are entitled to a bonus worth $ 20,000.
Some key apps like WhatsApp and Instagram are still missing. Although they said that efforts are being made in this direction, the AppGallery also offers a wish list function where users can suggest which other applications should be integrated, which are then accelerated.
Provisionally, users who are looking for an application that is not yet listed will be redirected to the developer’s website to get the APK. Services such as Phone Clone can also bring apps via data transfer tools to an HMS device. There is also a working GMail client, while YouTube is accessible through the browser.
What seemed to be a difficult task last year now seems to be a legitimate solution. It is too early to say if you should resume purchasing Huawei or Honor phones in India, but at least efforts are being made to make this transition smoother. The Honor 9X Pro is a way for them to test their efforts and gauge user feedback as they try to plant their feet again in India.