Huawei Apps Up Innovation contest crowns MEA winners

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Huawei’s Apps Up 2020 Innovation contest recently held its MEA regional final. The award for the region’s most popular app went to AlMosally, an Islamic prayer app.

AlMosally is used by 17 million people around the world, providing features such as calls to prayer, directions to each user's closest mosque, a compass pointing to the Kaaba in Mecca (Muslims turn to face the sacred building at prayer) and a calendar to estimate holy dates.

The competition’s five categories were judged in three phases on their innovation, UX, social value and business value. The winners were:

  • Most Popular App ($5 000 prize money): AlMosally
  • Best App ($15 000 each for five winners): Women Workout, My Pregnancy Journey, AlMosally, Deaf Sign Language App, Med
  • Best Game ( $15 000 each for three winners): Gauntlet, FPS Encounter Shooting 2020, Bike Stunt Race Master Motorcycle Game
  • Best Social Impact ($15 000 each, three winners): AlMosally, Deaf Sign Language App and My Pregnancy Journey
  • Honorable Mention ($2 500 each, 12 winners): Katamars + Orsozoxi, RafiQ, Colorwheel, A letter of happiness, Q Dictionary, Ordera, Decipher Word,Photo Editor, Color Fill Puzzle, 9arib ,Slug Hunter, Load Shedding Notifier

The Apps Up Innovation contest was launched in June, open to developers in five of Huawei’s key regions - Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, China and the Middle East and Africa. The contest forms part of Huawei’s Shining Star developer programme, a billion-dollar project that aims to encourage collaboration with developers in each of Huawei’s regions. The telecoms multinational has opened up its Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) ecosystem to developers in the more than 170 countries it operates. Participants in App’s Up were expected to integrate their apps with Huawei's HMS Core, enabling access to open source and cloud resources as well as various developer kits.

Setting itself apart

South Africa was represented by four apps in the contest-- Load Shedding Notifier, Gauntlet, My Pregnancy Journey (MPJ) and Slug Hunter.

In October, MPJ won a special Huawei-sponsored category (Category 15) at MTN Business’s App of the Year Awards. The app is meant to empower expectant mothers with everything they need to know through their pregnancy while addressing Africa’s high maternal death rate. It includes features such as weekly articles and sonar images based on the stage of pregnancy, nutritional advice as well as gynae videos.

Jacqueline Rogers, founder of MPJ previously told ITWeb: “There are a couple of things that contribute to the high maternal death rate such as socio-economic challenges and poor healthcare services. These are the exact reasons that motivated my team and I to create an educational pregnancy app.

“I have no tech background but I was determined to learn so I just started from the bottom, researching how to create an app before I eventually partnered with my developer, Warp Developers."

She says Huawei's drive to work with local developers sets it apart from other major app stores. “This is the only global app platform that offers this kind of support. There’s an array of tools to help us improve our apps.”

She adds that the prize money will help further MPJ’s development and marketing campaign.

Around 100 new apps have been added to Huawei’s AppGallery through Apps Up. Huawei’s MEA consumer business group MD for HMS and consumer cloud services, Adam Xiao, says the company sees itself as a bridge between developers and consumers and that it aims to continue facilitating the interaction between impactful apps and the 700 million consumers in its ecosystem.

“We’ve seen a significant global shift in the way people are using their phones in more parts of their lives; we’ve entered a digitally intelligent society where everything is connected. And as the world deals with rapid change, Huawei aims to continue driving digital inclusion.”

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