“We create addition Google services, not an alternative” — an interview with the Vice President of HUAWEI services

26 September in Moscow hosted mobile conference MBLT 2019, in which edition AndroidInsider.ru was able to talk with the Vice President of division services of HUAWEI in Europe — Jaime Gonzalo. Talked not only about new services HUAWEI, but also HarmonyOS, and asked about plans in case of deteriorating relations with Google.

AppGallery app store Huawei

Addressing the participants of the conference, Dr. Gonzalo spoke about the vast opportunities that are open to mobile app developers an open ecosystem HUAWEI Mobile Services. Also in his speech he presented the new intelligent assistant, which will be available with the deployment of 10 interface EMUI — HUAWEI Assistant.

The HUAWEI has several services and applications — AppGallery HUAWEI, HUAWEI Browser HUAWEI Mobile Cloud and even HUAWEI Assistant. Can we say that the way HUAWEI is preparing for the complete replacement of Google services on their smartphones?

Our main (historic) market is China, which never had Google services to the smartphones of HUAWEI. Initially, we developed a comprehensive ecosystem to the user in no way needed. In other countries Google services are really pre-installed on smartphones, and to provide choice, we decided to create an alternative, but a Supplement to these applications. So, for example, in Russia, consumers are free to use the two ecosystems — Google and HUAWEI.

In the future, in the case of the ban on cooperation with Google, its services will not be pre-installed on the smartphones of HUAWEI. And users will have access to the AppGallery and other services as alternatives.

Jaime Gonzalo

In case of refusal from Android and the transition to HarmonyOS services Huawei will work better and faster at the expense of own operating system?

Now our plan is no production of smartphones, which would not be compatible with Android. If this happens, first HarmonyOS will appear on the TV (as has happened), then in wearable electronics and then in smartphones.

Now you can compare HarmonyOS TVs with the same Android TV. Our operating system proved to be not only fast and efficient, but also safer. Now attackers can gain access to Android TV one line of code; HarmonyOS better protected through multiple levels of authorization. Of course, you can hack anything, but in our case it will be much harder.

Assistant Huawei is very similar to that from Google

Developers will have to create apps for HarmonyOS or simply upload to the app store the same version as for Google Play?

What good HarmonyOS is a compiler-Compiler, Ark. It allows you to adapt the application to work on devices running HarmonyOS. Ark Compiler automatically converts the code of the application that at the end of adaptation begins to run on the new OS as if it was originally written under it. As a result, developers will have to rewrite their software again.

Now all the Huawei smartphones is compatible with Android, so developers can upload their applications without further manipulation. In the case of running HarmonyOS, application builders will need to replace “core” with Google for Huawei for correct operation of the payment and other functions. We will provide developers with a SDK, such as, for example, implemented it applications Samsung. In any case, porting apps from Android to Harmony will not go more than 2 days.

That is, you create your own development environment?

Yes, we will encourage developers to write code once for Harmony, because to the compiler they are then able to use the same code for other platforms. The plans to make HarmonyOS project open source.

During the speech you spoke about the new ecosystem HUAWEI, which, as it anticipates the wishes of the user — for example, if he downloaded the app with racing and long holds in it, he offered themed Wallpaper or even tickets for the upcoming racing competition. Are not you afraid that there may be an opposite effect, and the user would be bored with this amount of content?

We won’t show content on only one topic — suffice it once to realise how much the user is interested in a particular topic. If he doesn’t like something, it is enough to swapnote and to other relevant content. The same applies to push notifications.

What I like about this system — if the user, for example, have opened a page in the app store with the game, a fighting game, it will be a “bell” that he’s interested.

Something like targeted advertising?

Not really. Targeted advertising aimed at the fact that you bought something even if you really don’t need it. System recommendations just tells me that you might like, based on the analysis of your recent activity. No one will bother you and show the same banners for two weeks — if the content is not relevant, once it can be ignored.

If the smartphone is not Google, there is only AppGallery. If there is, the user has the choice

It is no secret that developers are now more focused on profit, and get it with in-app purchases. In your store they are? Are there any significant differences from the Google Play?

AppGallery is fully compatible with in-app purchases, and developers who want to monetize their products in this way, they can implement it. Also the store offers several types of payment and cash back you can get back some money spent on the application of funds. We have a team of editors for a shop in each country, which allows you to keep your content relevant.

What in the AppGallery is a single subscription in the store — such as the Apple Arcade. Everything else is supported — in-app purchases, banners applications, subscribe to specific products (Yandex, Spotify, Netflix and others).

In Google Play too a lot of applications, and the number is clearly significantly superior quality. Obviously, the selection process of programs it’s pretty bad. How do you plan to deal with this in AppGallery?

Before I started working at HUAWEI, I worked in Google Play. The Google business is built on advertising and search, so the more apps in the store, the better, because more users see the ads. At HUAWEI, another approach is to offer only quality apps, so in the AppGallery is a serious team of moderators.

In the AppGallery application is tested on four levels, it is responsible for the four different teams. On the first level eliminated the clones, the second application viruses, on the third program with hidden malicious functions (for example, if the application requests access to the camera when it is not needed). At the final stage tested the performance of the application as it behaves on the device, do not fly, and so on.

Only after that the app gets to the store, and the local editorial team will decide whether to show it in the recommendations. For example, it will not show the programs which is connected with gambling, because we understand that you can pass your device to a child.

Mobile services Huawei

Lately, you notice that all the major smartphone manufacturers began to pay more attention to services. Apple has recently launched Arcade, which you mentioned, then it will be Apple TV+ and others. HUAWEI is also trying to launch more services. What do you think, does this mean that in the future a race between smartphone manufacturers is not for sales, but for users of the services?

Our strategy is to focus on my own tasks. HUAWEI have no problems with buyers or users of services. Maybe Apple’s not so good with the sales of smartphones (you’d have to ask them), so they did this emphasis on services.

We realized that the user likes to have a choice. And if you give him one service for video viewing, one for music and so on, it is unlikely to be satisfied. Therefore, despite the fact that we have HUAWEI Video, we offer the users of Netflix. Same with Google Play and AppGallery — you download apps where you want.

HUAWEI plans to develop even more innovative smartphones, and it is a priority. But Pro services don’t forget — this year we will show the Video HUAWEI, HUAWEI Music, and then a service for reading books. All of these services will be able to work on all devices, not just smartphones HUAWEI. Already, some Samsung users download games from the AppGallery, because they give different bonuses, which is not in the same Google Play.


From the editor: Obviously, the Huawei enough services so that, if necessary, completely replace those from Google. The company has its app store, entertainment services and even a private assistant. While HUAWEI is clearly not set up in the complete abandonment of Google services, but does not exclude this option — and in this case prepares your operating system HarmonyOS. Discuss the interview in the comments and in our Telegram chat.

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