Recently, a Chinese application called Ditietong (Subway Info) stated in the update log that GMS was removed and that it switched to providing support for HMS (Huawei Mobile Services).
Due to the sensitivity and complexity of topics such as Huawei and HMS, this matter immediately became hot on the Internet with many voices saying that Chinese developers have started to support Huawei and protested to Google.
After a thorough understanding of the incident, it was discovered that the facts are not what most people think, but it also represents a more complex impact.
HMS capabilities recognized by developers
Looking at the application information of Ditietong in Google Play, Huawei App Market, other vendors ’own app markets, and multiple third-party distribution channels, I found a fact.
Except for the version listed in the Huawei application market, other Ditietong also labeled "version 10.8.0" did not mention GMS or HMS.
Therefore, it can be considered that Ditietong did not uniformly remove the support for GMS in all Android versions and switched to HMS access, but only processed the version that was distributed through Huawei's application market channels and would run on Huawei phones.
This is very common in application development, iOS applications will access Apple's SDK, and Android applications will also access GMS or vendor services.
The change at Ditietong is, at best, that the application complies with the platform's specifications and is well-adhered to the country, but the reason for developers to change only in the Huawei version of the application is also interesting.
In addition to providing information on subways in 41 Chinese cities including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, the development team behind Ditietong also produced the "Japan Rail Pass" application for Japan. The two products also support 11 types including English, Japanese and French. Language is an international application.
In order to be available on overseas distribution channels such as Google Play, supporting GMS has become a required course for applications.
Huawei's situation in 2019 has changed the work of developers. As new Huawei phones listed in overseas markets are affected by sanctions and cannot use GMS, applications that originally used GMS to implement maps, positioning and other functions will also be disrupted.
Now that Huawei has brought a replacement HMS, applications such as Ditietong are modified accordingly, which is also in compliance with the normative operation.
Although it has been officially launched overseas and promoted on a large scale in recent months, in fact, HMS has already appeared in Huawei's mobile phones, tablets and other products under the identity of Huawei Mobile in China.
Such as Huawei account, cloud synchronization service, wearable device synchronization, etc., with a long-established foundation in China, Huawei can quickly launch HMS to overseas markets.
According to information released by Huawei at a recent press conference, HMS Core 4.0 has components such as AppGallery application store, browser, cloud service, and smart assistant.
Now that third-party applications have publicly announced access to HMS, they can also prove the richness and reliability of this set of mobile services from the side, making developers willing to provide services to users based on this.
The current HMS provides developers with an interface between the terminal and cloud services, covering capabilities development, growth management, and monetization.
Although this part is called HMS like the user-oriented function, it corresponds to the Android version of Google API, such as services such as account access, data analysis, and advertisement distribution that are difficult for a single developer to implement.
So what capabilities does HMS Core 4.0 provide to developers?
1. Application development capabilities
Many developers choose to access GMS, just because of the convenience provided by Google through the interface. The biggest impact caused by the inability of Huawei phones to use GMS is also here, making the original functions of the application unavailable.
The main purpose of Huawei's HMS is to make the application experience comparable to that of GMS.
Existing system-level application capabilities are: Huawei account login, user status and context awareness, cloud storage, online identity authentication, game function services, sports health data, user identity management, location positioning and maps, machine learning, and short-range communication , Panoramic data, security detection, unified code scanning, digital rights.
2. Growth and monetization support
The reason why the Android and Google Play ecosystems can survive the smart phone system war and gain the largest share is inseparable from a series of developer support capabilities provided by Google behind.
A good ecosystem doesn't just allow developers to come in, it also helps them to become better, and even easily monetize.
Interfaces such as data analysis and advertising sharing in GMS provide developers with these conveniences. The current version of HMS also provides some corresponding capabilities: data collection and analysis, marketing monitoring, and independent push services.
Realization brings ad access, in-app payment, and wallet capabilities, corresponding to the Google Advertising Alliance and Google Payment Services.
3. Upward compatibility with older versions of the system
Although Huawei was sanctioned and it happened in a short period of time, HMS provides some interfaces that can also be used in previous systems, and even some functions can be used on EMUI 3.0 released in 2014.
Developers don't have to worry too much about accessing the HMS, which will greatly affect the experience of the original user group. Even if the user is not using a new Huawei machine with the pre-installed HMS listed, they can find a close experience in the switched application.
This is equivalent to giving third-party developers a peace of mind.
Mobile phone manufacturers are creating their own application capabilities
From the current capabilities, HMS is ready to support developers independently of the Google ecosystem.
Other mobile phone manufacturers, such as Samsung, Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo, have not pushed away the need for Google to create an independent ecosystem in a short time, but they are all in the development ecosystem and developer services, and have even held developer conferences.
In the Chinese domestic market, the development ecology of each manufacturer is mainly focused on three dimensions: after the absence of GMS, it provides corresponding capabilities to supplement, achieve better performance and experience on their respective product platforms, and monetization methods that are tied to brands and channels. .
It can be understood that manufacturers have done a part of Google's work, and at the same time, they have competed with each other.
Samsung's capabilities for developers revolve around application distribution, such as reviewing shelves, resource promotion, advertising cooperation, etc., and sometimes giving guidance and recommendations for the adaptation of the new version of the system.
Game intermodal transportation, game cooperation, and theme-related cooperation also account for a part, which is also the main way for Samsung mobile phone mobile services to make money locally.
In the development ecosystem of Xiaomi, MIUI-related content accounts for a large part, which may be inseparable from the Xiaomi brand's reliance on MIUI to expand its cognition, and it is also the largest entry on mobile phone products.
In addition to application distribution and monetization, Xiaomi also has message push, account access, cloud testing, and MIUI operation optimization. In short, it has the ability to run better on Xiaomi phones.
As the IoT products of Xiaomi EcoChain and the AI capabilities led by Xiaoai classmates have entered more horizons, Xiaomi has also begun to provide these capabilities to the outside world.
Developers can access IoT products in applications, or connect hardware products to mobile phones, or invoke the voice recognition and deep learning framework behind Xiaoai classmates to get an experience close to the system's built-in applications.
The development ecology of OPPO and vivo is similar to that of Xiaomi, both of which focus on mobile phone experience and profit improvement, and at the same time lay a foreshadowing for the prospects of IoT and AI.
This may be similar to what heroes see. Smartphone competition has reached several large manufacturers to share a market with slow growth or even decline. Finding possibilities in new areas has become a top priority.
It is worth noting that GMS is also absent. Many mobile phone manufacturers, including Huawei, have not provided such complete corresponding capabilities as the current overseas version of HMS. This may be related to the fact that a considerable part of the domestic ecology is composed of Internet vendors. Since there is already a widely used and large-scale ecology, it is difficult for mobile phone manufacturers to end up in the market free of charge.
However, this does not mean that the mobile phone manufacturers are not "worried by peace". The ecosystem currently provided has the possibility to expand, and some preparations have been made in overseas markets.
Taking Xiaomi's action in the Indian market as an example, GMS is pre-installed for all mobile phones sold according to Google's requirements, and it also provides its own application market and music video services.
There are also application distribution alliances established by manufacturers. Previously, it was rumored that GDSA that Huawei was about to join was jointly formed by Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo, providing developers with a one-time access to multiple vendors' application stores and distribution.
No matter which manufacturer, it has not completely transferred the right to profit from the application ecology and Internet services on the mobile phone to Google.
Judging from the current series of measures, they have at least released a signal to the outside: they will stand with the interests of developers.
HMS is Huawei's recipe for saving overseas markets
HMS officially launched and received developer support. This is a major event, which means that Huawei, a leading mobile phone manufacturer with a global market share, has begun to explore the path after leaving the original ecology.
At the same time, it is also a trivial matter. It will not affect the huge foundation of GMS in a short period of time. The main beneficiaries are users, and the experience is not damaged by the changes.
Therefore, whether it is the user, the mobile phone industry, or any part of the related industry, it is not worth making a fuss about the actions of Ditietong or other application developers. Improving applications to meet platform requirements and features and enhancing user experience has always been an application platform and every Things developers should do.
Back to Huawei, this has become a key thing. From account login to cloud services, smart assistants, financial payments, security protection, content consumption, etc., users need a complete set of services to enable them to get a mobile ecological experience that keeps pace with the times. If Huawei cannot provide it, then the user's response I am afraid to find other products.
This is the reason why HMS is launched overseas to ensure user experience. In 2018, Huawei achieved an average revenue growth of more than 70% in overseas markets, and its market share closely followed Samsung and Apple.
Throughout 2019, Huawei's overseas growth rate was affected, and even some flagship models were postponed. Huawei needs HMS to help it regain competitiveness in overseas markets.
According to several media reports, at the Vienna press conference on January 30, 2020, Huawei ’s manager in Austria, Fred Wangfei, stated that Huawei does not intend to return to Google Ecology and HMS because it cannot guarantee that similar sanctions will not be imposed again in the future. This also means that Huawei and the original Android camp are parting ways.
The positive response of third-party application developers is undoubtedly a good thing for Huawei. It not only solves the current issue of service availability in overseas and domestic markets, but also prepares for further changes in the future.
At least when the Hongmeng system for Huawei phones and tablets was officially launched, it could provide it with a mobile ecosystem that can meet most of its usage needs, retain existing users, or maintain product appeal.