With looming uncertainty over if Huawei can still work with Google, the Chinese tech giant hasn’t stopped working on its in-house alternatives to Google’s products. Huawei recently announced Harmony OS, its own in-house operating system. The new OS is first being used for Honor Vision TV but will be used for a broad set of applications including smartphones, IoT and self-driving cars.
Map Kit is the latest product Huawei is building which will serve as Google Maps alternative. Map Kit isn’t meant to immediately replace Google Maps but to be a platform for developers to come up with applications that will utilise Map Kit’s mapping capabilities.
Over 50% of apps are location-based that rely on mapping capabilities – this is according to Zhang Pingan, president of cloud services at Huawei’s consumer business group.
The tech company will definitely take advantage of the dilatant network of its telecommunication equipment to give Map Kit satellite positioning data gained from the over 160 countries and regions Huawei’s telecom base stations are in to offer complimenting information and thus provide better mapping services.
All this data will not only help Map Kit feature real-time traffic information but also develop a highly sophisticated navigation system. This means that the Map Kit that will be available in 40 languages will have the ability to detect when cars change lanes. Map Kit will also offer advanced support for augmented reality mapping.
Huawei is betting on Harmony OS for Map Kit to succeed and hopes its in-house operating system will attract a substantial number of developers and resources.
According to China Daily, people have started showing interest in Map Kit. This includes Yandex, a Russian international company that focusses in Internet-related products and services and Booking Holdings, an American company behind Booking.com and other fare aggregator sites. Both companies are partnering with Huawei on the mapping service that will be unveiled in October.