Huawei is building its own Google Maps alternative

Science

15 Aug 2019

Apparently, Huawei is also building an alternative for Google Maps

Just a few days after revealing HarmonyOS, the official alternative for Android, Huawei is gearing up to take on Google Maps too.

A new report from China Daily has suggested the company is working on its own navigational service called 'Map Kit' and planning to release it later this year.

Here's everything we know about it.

How?

Map Kit won't be targeted directly at consumers

Map Kit won't be targeted directly at consumers

Though the development of a proprietary mapping service seems to indicate Huawei is going straight against Google, the fact is, the company is taking an indirect approach.

Simply put, Map Kit would come as a developer-focused solution rather than one for consumers, like Google Maps.

Its mapping capabilities would power developers to offer new, interesting navigational features in their products.

Features

What features this service would offer

Going by the China Daily report, Map Kit would offer plenty of capabilities, including sophisticated navigational features, lane-change recognition, augmented reality-based mapping, as well as real-time traffic updates.

The mapping services are likely to be powered by the company's local stations located in 150 countries and regions around the world.

Plus, they would offer support for 40 different languages.

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Strategy

This is Huawei's plan for the US trade ban

Map Kit's development comes as Huawei continues to prepare for the possibility of a permanent US trade ban.

If the ban comes into force, the company won't be able to use Android/Google services on its phones and would have to deploy HarmonyOS.

And, with HarmonyOS, it would need to provide Map Kit so that developers could enable location-based services on their respective apps.

Launch timeline

Launch targeted for October this year

Launch targeted for October this year

Huawei Map Kit could be unveiled officially sometime later this year, possibly around October.

The work on the service, according to China Daily, is progressing and some app developers have already started expressing interest towards it.

This includes Yandex, aka Russia's Google, and Booking Holdings, which is the travel aggregator firm behind platforms like Booking.com and Kayak.

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