Why Open Ecosystems are the Future of App Development?



Benjamin Fisher

The mobile app world has become an indispensable part of our daily ecosystem. Counting on the numbers, there were 204 downloads last year (2019), and that number is increasing unprecedently in 2020 and will continue to increase in the coming years. 

When app stores, Google’s Play Store & Apple’s App Store, launched in the year 2008 and entered the mainstream tech culture. They provided developers with a platform to create apps for all the purposes out there. In real means, they exposed developers to an audience of millions who were ready to adopt innovations capabilities of their devices through the creations of third-party developers.

But this rapid commercialization comes with some impediments for the tech giants. They had to restrict their app innovation within their platforms, which often to the detriment of developers. 

To counter this detriment, developers have been engaged in war with the app store policies. Now to contribute to this war, Huawei is betting on a simple concept that developers can rally around: open ecosystems.  

Developers versus Closed Ecosystems

Putting it from a developer’s perspective, closed app ecosystems are in favor of prevailing or innovative development practices. It goes against the generic conception that states that everyone in the world with the required skills and creativity can develop apps. 

Even in such an innovative app development ecosystem where apps are being developed using cognitive technologies. Developers have to work under heavy scrutiny of app store policies that forbid them to provide apps outside of branded app stores or monetize their apps without mandatory charges levied by leading phone platforms. 

Today, the app industry earns multi-million-dollar revenue, but still, developers have to play around in the hands of the leading platforms.  

To do away with such an awful circle of policies, Huawei which already has plans to launch its own OS (operating system), has proposed an alternative software system during TNW2020. The motto of this alternative is and will be to enable developers to embrace open innovation.

Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) is the company’s answer for stifled developers who are hungry to create new app experiences for a connected world. Well, there is a fair amount of uncertainty on how this move will benefit Huawei to counter Google and Apple on their battlefield. But this move, if it works, will benefit developers to do away with the closed ecosystems. 

Certainly, Huawei is not the first player that has gone against these app store policies. A group of leading app companies like the makers of Fortnite and Spotify recently formed the Coalition for App Fairness to fight against the mandatory commissions and app store policies of Google and Apple.

Another tech giant is on the list is Facebook. The social networking major, which has over 2.7 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2020, is openly criticizing app stores for policies that disproportionately affect business users. Now, it is more than clear that both multinational and independent developers want more freedom. And as now Huawei ventures into connected living through its seamless AI life strategy, developers are encouraged to join a new path towards app innovation.  

Open Ecosystems Paves for Open Innovation

Huawei’s approach towards app development is to put developers in the driving seat of app innovation. If Huawei made this approach feasible in the future, it will empower developers to create different use cases for different pieces of hardware, depending on what the hardware needs to do in that scenario. 

Huawei provides developers with open access to the HTM Core software code and 13,000 scenario-specific APIs to support app functionality in multiple contexts. The API kits fall into seven main categories, including app utility services like a location kit, waller kit, and analytics kit. As Huawei is known for its early adoption of next-gen technologies, the kits include APIs for VR engine, 3D facial recognition, and Smart Device that enhances Huawei’s connected devices capabilities. 

With these resources, developers can combine APIs to create contextual experiences for users. Here Huawei puts smartphones at the center of its connected Seamless AI Life strategy, but the plan is to broaden the app capability beyond the mobile phone. 

To make this approach more feasible, Huawei is creating the base building blocks to empower developers to harness the hardware experiences across multiple different Huawei Device types. 

This will further empower developers to focus solely on innovation and the evolution of their products. 

Today Huawei’s AppGallery is the world’s third-largest app ecosystem built by Huawei and two million developers. Many esteemed developers hold Huawei as a welcome destination for developers who want to build for a connected living future. Taking this approach to another level, now Huawei is trying hard to build an open and connected ecosystem to provide an opportunity for developers who want to exercise their autonomy and creativity. 

Building an Open Future

An open ecosystem for software development always advocates future possibilities and immersive technologies. Describing the transition period of the last two decades of app stores, they have transitioned from a fringe novelty to a standard requirement of the modern smartphone. 

Well, almost every individual developer with a fine sense of creativity has been waiting for this kind of intervention, so Huawei has certainly made a mark here. As Huawei aligns its seamless AI life strategy with open app development, it encircles developers to get into a futuristic approach. In real means, Huawei is creating a new standard on the ground of innovative collaboration. 

As Huawei allows developers to build the future in an open environment, the entire community of Huawei users around the world will feel the impact. Summarizing it as a whole, this move will make the app world more creative, empower developers, and break the monopoly of existing play stores. 

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