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Huawei launches mobile app contest

Read time 3min 10sec

Telecoms multinational Huawei has once again opened its mobile services ecosystem to external developers, hoping the collaboration will spur innovation and bring more smart device services to its 650 million mobile users.

This week saw the MEA region launch of Apps Up 2020, the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) app innovation contest to developers in China, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East and Africa.

One of the competition’s requirements is that all apps submitted work with HMS Core. This is Huawei’s open source and cloud services ecosystem that offers developers access to kits to build their applications. The kits work as app building blocks, allowing developers to integrate features such as container-as-a-service, AI/ML, analytics and ads personalisation.

Decade-long strategy

Huawei’s drive to build the HMS ecosystem of Android-alternative apps, APIs and cloud services comes after last year’s trade ban by the United States meant that Google could no longer supply its mobile services apps and APIs to Huawei.

Adam Xiao, MD of MEA Huawei Mobile Services said the mobile manufacturer has seen a year-on-year increase in the number of apps integrated with HMS Core. At present this, stands at 60 000. It has also seen an increase in the number of registered HMS developers to about 1.5 million worldwide.

He said the smart device innovations of recent years have continued to break down the boundary between the physical and digital worlds.

“The digital and intelligent world is already here, and this world is characterised by three features: all things sensing, connected and intelligent. Apps enabled by big data and AI are playing a greater role in making all things intelligent and building a digital twin society.”

Xiao also spoke about Huawei’s “All-scenario Seamless AI Life” strategy for the next decade: 1+8+N, a hardware and services ecosystem, where 1 refers to smartphones at the centre of the AI Life ecosystem; 8 is number of IOT product categories in the ecosystem (smart phones, watches, cars, TVs, AR/VR, speakers, PCs/tablets and earphones); N is the world envisioned by the culmination of IOT and smart world services such as smart homes.

Shining Stars Programme

The Apps Up 2020 contest forms part Huawei’s $1bn Shining Star Programme that aims to build an enabling environment for developers around the world.

Judges will score submissions on their design and user experience, business value, social value and innovativeness.

Cash prizes for the MEA leg of the contest include $200 000 to be split among winners of the best app, best social impact app, most popular app and best game. Twelve apps will also receive honourable mentions and cash.

To take part in the competition, developers need to register on the Huawei developer’s page with a valid Huawei ID. Participants can enter in teams of up to three members; each team can submit a maximum of five works.

Teams can also enter their own, existing applications but will have to integrate them with the HMS Core kits to qualify for selection.

Registrations for the Apps Up contest will close on August 30. The apps will be opened for preliminary judging where the top 20 apps will be selected for public review from September 21 to October 4, in Huawei’s app store, AppGallery, and on the contest’s website.

Finals for each region will take place in October.

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