To avoid the lack of important applications on its smartphones, Huawei facilitates the use of Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) for developers using Google services (GMS).

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Huawei’s new AppGallery // Source: Frandroid – Melinda DAVAN-SOULAS

Since the embargo initiated by the Trump administration, Huawei can no longer use Google Mobile Services (GMS) on its smartphones. Very quick to react, the Chinese manufacturer quickly created its own alternative, the Huawei Mobiles Services (HMS), but that is not enough.

Amputee smartphones

If you’ve read our reviews of the brand’s latest smartphones, like the P40 Pro or Mate 40 Pro, you certainly know that these are great phones that suffer from a lack of software. In the absence of GMS, many applications can no longer work on it. This is obviously the case for the Google suite, such as Gmail or YouTube, but also other apps taking advantage of the entire ecosystem of the Mountain View giant, and there are many of them. Many use, for example, a service linked to Google Maps for their mapping; this is the case with Uber, for example.

With its HMS, Huawei offers a viable alternative for a number of these services, but developers still need to take the trouble to implement it within their applications, requiring doubled maintenance for a single feature.

A new SDK to unify them all

Aware of this serious problem, Huawei has just announced a new SDK called ChoiceSDK which, as its name suggests, leaves the choice. It makes it possible to group together access to both supermarkets and HMSs.

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The ChoiceSDK logo // Source: BlueSource

Although this development kit is not ready in one click, it allows you to configure the use of Google Mobiles Services and Huawei Mobiles Services within the same branch of code, thus greatly facilitating the creation of an application supporting the two services and its maintenance. This allows the use of Analytics, Location, Maps, Messaging and Sign-in APIs.

Work, more work?

Note, however, that this is not a snap for developers already using GMS and that there is no evidence that they will take the step of rethinking their code to integrate ChoiceSDK rather than GMS directly. This necessarily requires additional work for the simple purpose of adapting to a brand of smartphones that is less and less present in the West. In addition, it is to be hoped that this SDK will be maintained correctly, otherwise you will have to go the other way again.

This SDK is nevertheless already in use, in particular by an Austrian bank (the Raiffeisen Bank) for which it was initially developed, as well as other national services of the kind, now available on the Huawei AppGallery. Will the biggest apps follow suit?