For that past year or so, Huawei has been hurriedly setting up the foundations that would allow it to operate a mobile ecosystem even without Google. It has many of those already in place, including its own AppGallery store and Huawei Mobile Services as a stand-in for Google Mobile Services. Now, however, comes the challenge of filling that store with apps that don’t rely on Google’s APIs and it’s enticing interest developers with monetary rewards to do so.
Don’t be too excited about the $1,000,000 prize because that is simply the total pool that will be split between five regions that are covered in this contest. Winners can get as low as $2,500 or as high as $15,000 depending on their category. The contest is open to app developers in Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, Latin America, and, of course, China. Unsurprisingly, North America is not invited.
The Apps Up contest will accept both apps and games as long as they make use of HMS, Huawei’s replacement for Google Play. Right now, HMS Core covers a wide range of “Kits” or functionality that app developers can use to build their programs. Those include an AR Engine, AI frameworks, Location tracking, and, of course, in-app purchases and ads. It basically offers everything developers need to either move away from Google’s equivalent or start one from scratch without Google.
Of course, the big question now is whether developers will take that offer, at least developers outside of China where Huawei is huge and where Google Play Services have never set foot in the first place. Developers adopting HMS will be locking themselves into Huawei’s ecosystem as they may not be able to publish their apps on Google Play Store without using Google Mobile Services (GMS) as well.
That might be Huawei’s goal to get fresh blood into its fledgling AppGallery. While Huawei’s name still has some weight in international markets, it is facing a David versus Goliath situation in trying to pull developers away from being locked into Google’s ecosystem. Apps Up contest winners will be announced by mid-September and we’ll see then just how much interest this campaign will have generated.