Huawei Smartphones Receive Major Upgrade With New Assistant, Payment System to Challenge Google Apps

© Huawei TechnologiesHuawei Mobile World Congress 2019
Huawei Mobile World Congress 2019 - Sputnik International
The game-changing updates were released on old and new devices affected by restrictions from the ongoing US trade war on China to reduce dependence on Google Mobile Service programmes.

Huawei Technologies has released numerous changes to its EMUI 10.1 operating system for smartphones and tablets, indicating a major shift from the Google ecosystem.

People are seen inside a Huawei store at a shopping mall in Beijing, China July 14, 2020 - Sputnik International
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The news follows the launch of Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), which has replaced Google Mobile Services (GMS) amid the United States trade war with China, which saw US president Donald Trump slap the Shenzhen-based company and over 70 others with restrictions to US technologies, including requiring licences for semiconductors, in May last year.

The updates follow a teaser from the Chinese firm on its HarmonyOS, which will be revealed at the Huawei Developer Conference in September and aims to replace Windows and Android across all the company's devices.

Sputnik takes a closer look at the latest changes to the Google ecosystem.

  • Huawei Assistant: The Red Dot award-winning replacement to Google Assistant lets users to swipe to the right from the home screen to access apps, settings and files as well as Microsoft or Squid News feeds, browser favourites, stock watching app TeleTrader as well as Huawei's native video and music apps, among many others.

The successor to Petal Search, released in late June for the P40 Series smartphone, is now an integrated feature which allows users to directly install apps not listed on the AppGallery.

  • Huawei Music: A competitor to Google Music, Apple Music and music streaming apps such as Spotify, Deezer and Tidal and Amazon Unlimited, Huawei Music has made rapid advancements since its release in late March.

It features an expansive collection of tunes from popular artists, and listeners can choose several equalisers and custom skins as well as download songs for offline listening and stream across other Huawei devices.

  • AppGallery: Huawei's answer to Google's Play Store and App Store is its AppGallery, which has seen a meteoric rise in popularity after new devices released after May last year lost access to GMS.

The Chinese firm's AppGallery has seen a growing list of signatures, including Adidas, JD Sports, TikTok, Snapchat, Sky News, Sunday Times, Skyscanner, Bolt, Amazon, Deezer, Telegram,, Trainline, Tinder and many others.

  • Curve Online Payment System: Curve is a London-based fintech company aimed at cross-platform compatibility with Android and Apple devices, allowing users to buy goods with near-field communication (NFC) contactless payments.

Curve also features 1 percent cashback payments, travel insurance and even physical cards with payment masking for added security as well as smartwatch and Google, Apple and Samsung Pay integration, bringing all cards under one app.

  • HERE WeGo: Huawei's partnership with Nokia's Here Technologies has led to a direct competitor with Google and Apple Maps. Released in 2013 as Nokia Maps, it later shifted to Android in late 2014 and renamed Here WeGo in July 2016. It also provides real-time traffic data, turn-by-turn location and navigation as well as taxi and Uber services, among others.
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