Following the difficulties it has had in the face of a global trade war with the US, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei isn’t backing down on plans to develop its own interfaces and operating system.
With the development of its own Android operating system, called HarmonyOS, well underway, China Daily has reported that Huawei is planning to also release its own mapping service in October to curb the US government’s ban on the use of Google Maps in smartphones that are made by Chinese manufacturers.
Known as Map Kit, Huawei’s mapping service isn’t a standalone navigation app as much as it is a way of encouraging software developers to design apps for use in Huawei devices.
Map Kit is rumoured to offer developers various capabilities to toy within their design of navigation and mapping apps, including support for real-time traffic updates, augmented reality features, cab-hailing and step-by-step directions.
Huawei Map Kit will cover 150 countries, will be connected to local mapping services in the different regions, and will be available in 40 languages.
Map Kit will go head-to-head with the two biggest global players in the smartphone navigation arena, and it remains to be seen whether the Chinese manufacturer will be able to dethrone Apple and Google, together with the numerous other navigation apps on the market, in this arena.
However, the advanced features in Map Kit, including a highly sophisticated navigation system that can detect a car changing lanes, might be a game-changer in the way developers approach navigation and mapping app design, and will inevitably lead to improvements in this sphere – as healthy competition between brands always does.