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Huawei says its replacement for Google services will soon launch in India – SiliconANGLE News

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China’s top smartphone maker Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is hoping to throw off the shackles of the Android operating system with the launch of its own version of Google Mobile Services.

The replacement set of services, called Huawei Mobile Services, would allow the company’s smartphones to run their own versions of Google’s suite of services, which includes applications such as Gmail, Drive, YouTube, Maps and the Google Play Store.

In addition, Huawei has also started engaging with Indian developers, offering them lucrative incentives to build localized mobile services for its smartphones in the country.

In an interview with The Economic Times, Charles Peng, chief executive officer of Huawei and Honor India, said the company was in talks with the developers of the top 150 applications in India and was confident of ensuring their availability in its own app store by next year.

“We have our own HMS and are trying to build a mobile ecosystem,” Peng told the Times. “Most of the key apps such as navigation, payments, gaming and messaging will be ready by December end.”

Huawei is launching HMS after restrictions were imposed on its ability to do business with Google LLC and other American technology firms by the U.S. government. As a result, the company is unable to sell new phones that feature Google’s services.

The ban on doing business with Huawei was imposed in May, due to suspicions that the firm has close ties with the Chinese government and therefore represents a threat to U.S. national security.

“Consumers won’t see a difference between GMS and HMS,” Peng claimed.

As for developers, Huawei is offering incentives of up to $17,000 in order to integrate their applications with HMS. The hope is that if it can get enough developers onboard it will be able to offer a suite of applications that’s similar enough to what you’d normally find on an Android phone. Later, Huawei plans to launch similar initiatives in other countries too, Peng added.

“In every country, we will focus on bringing top 100-150 apps to customers through HMS,” Peng said. He added that the apps created by Indian developers would also be made available to users in Europe and other global markets.

Experts remain skeptical of Huawei’s plans however, and it’s not difficult to see why. The company still needs to come up with alternatives to apps like Gmail, Maps and YouTube, and then it needs to convince people to actually use them. That’s a tough ask – the amount of content on YouTube for example is unrivaled, while Gmail and Maps both come with dozens of important features not found in rival apps.

“It is going to be very tough for Huawei/Honor to sell the phone based on their own suite. They would need to double down on efforts for India,” said International Data Corp. analyst Navkender Singh.

Photo: Connection Japan/Flickr

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Facebook says remote working move could slow jobs growth in Ireland

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Facebook still plans to “aggressively” grow staff numbers in its European headquarters in Ireland but a company-wide policy allowing permanent remote work from other countries could slow that growth over time, its Irish chief said on Friday.

Ireland’s economy is hugely reliant on multinational firms that employ around one in eight Irish workers and any move to facilitate remote working abroad would add to the challenge already posed by a planned global corporate tax overhaul.

Facebook, which is one of Ireland’s largest such employers with around 3,000 full-time staff and another 3,000 contractors, will allow some workers to permanently relocate after more than a year of many working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible employees in Facebook offices in Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom will be able to move to another one of those locations. U.S.-based staff can also move to Canada, it added.

Facebook Ireland’s Gareth Lambe said it was still working out how many Irish-based employees would be eligible to take advantage of the policy. Fewer than half of its staff are Irish nationals.

“We’re going to continue to grow aggressively,” he told national broadcaster RTE, citing a move in the next year or two to a new 57,000 square metre campus in Dublin that it intends to fill with 7,000 employees.

“This won’t have on balance a material impact on the growth of employment for Facebook in Ireland,” he said, referring to the remote working policy. “We have a target this year of adding about an additional 700 employees and we’re going to continue to do that and we’re going to continue to grow,”

“But this is a significant evolution and in the future over the coming years and decades, it is possible that the growth of jobs and numbers may not be as fast in Ireland as it would have been before it.”

Lambe said Facebook’s main Europe, Middle East and Africa decision makers will continue to be based in Dublin, meaning its corporate tax status will not change. However those permanently relocating abroad would no longer pay income tax in Ireland.

Responding to the move, Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said one of the consequences of the pandemic will be a lot more mobility of workers across national borders but that foreign direct investment will remain “an indispensable part” of Ireland’s economic model.

 

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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Apple hires former BMW executive for car project

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Apple Inc has hired Ulrich Kranz, a former senior executive at BMW AG’s electric car division, to help its vehicle initiatives, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Kranz will report to Apple veteran Doug Field, who led development of Tesla Inc’s mass-market Model 3 and now runs Apple’s car project, the report said.

Apple did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

The iPhone maker’s automotive efforts, known as Project Titan, have proceeded unevenly since 2014 when Apple first started designing its own vehicle from scratch.

In December, Apple said it was moving forward with its self-driving car technology and targeting to produce a passenger vehicle that could include its own breakthrough battery technology by 2024.

 

(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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Amazon SideWalk in Canada

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Amazon is ready to initiate the sidewalk throughout the world including Canada. So many people are concerned about what exactly is a sidewalk and should you be concerned in any way?

Well to put it simply amazon sidewalk is a new way of communication where amazon creates a network by using its echo devices and other devices. What is going to happen is that these devices would be using your home’s internet connection and creating a small network for communication. Using the ring and echo devices this will be executed where they would be forming a bridge (as the company calls it) between the two devices. While these various bridges would be used to create networks.

Amazon said this is done for easier connections and simpler setups even when your wifi goes out. Which would allow you to use title trackers and find pets easily. You would not have to spend 500 dollars on those devices but rather just use this to get updated information on your belongings. This is going to get a lot of people hooked on the devices. Using your ring and echo devices without your own internet connection sounds pretty good but is there a hidden reason for amazon to become an ISP on its own well that is something only time will tell.

So now the question is should you be concerned about this?

Well if you own an amazon echo device you will have to ask Alexa to opt you out of it because this is going to come in as activated by default. This means that you will need to put in some effort to change this if for any reason you don’t want to be a part of this program.

There are tutorials online that would help you to opt-out of this by using your Alexa app on your phone.

Another concern is that this is not the first time a company has done something like this. Apple has enhanced the find my network in a similar manner with the introduction of air tags and have responsibility for finding phones, and things using other users devices that might not know that their device is being used in the process.

Well most common people that are using the internet nowadays are more concerned about the data that is being used by these huge corporations and who are they gathering and using the data for their personal and private benefits. Additionally are data sharing policies being used and met with proper standards. Creating a rule is one thing and following it is completely another.

What bodies are placing a check on whether the huge tech giants are following these steps or not? These are the big questions with few answers and to think that now the internet is being owned by one of these giants. I mean the real question everyone should be asking is how big can these giants become and what kind of influence they hold onto our lives in the future?

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