A report out of Reuters is making a pretty bodacious claim: four of the biggest Chinese manufacturers want to make it easy for developers to upload apps to their app stores, just like the Google Play Store. According to the report, Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo have allegedly joined the Global Developer Service Alliance. This alliance is a sort of bond between the companies in order to lay the ground work to give developers the ability to ship their apps to those manufacturers’ markets all at once.
Notably, this isn’t a Play Store alternative. Rather, it’ll be a single bridge developers’ apps need to cross in order to appear in the app stores found on Huawei devices, Xiaomi devices, Vivo devices, and Oppo devices. Thanks to this, it might encourage more developers to bring their apps over to territories where the Play Store and Google aren’t available, such as China.
According to the GDSA’s website, India, Russia, Malaysia, and Indonesia will also benefit from this service.
It’s clear that manufacturers want to address the problems pegged by the Play Store’s unavailability in some parts of the world. Without the Play Store, using an Android phone is a pretty miserable experience. The same can mostly be said about Google services as a whole, although that opinion is a bit more subjective. Nonetheless, the Play Store is a critical platform where users get all of their apps and services from, and taking that away can destroy the user experience and discourage developers from distributing their apps to alternatives, especially since there are so many of them.
But by giving them the option to distribute their apps to a few stores at once, I can’t help but think you’ll see a lot more apps hit these dedicated markets sooner than later.
Forming this alliance also gives Huawei some leverage on Google. The company is still not allowed to use the search giant’s services on its phones, so getting developers to release more apps on the Huawei app store will help ease the pain.
All that being said, it isn’t clear if the development tool will ever be released, although it seems likely it will given Retuers is pointing to a March launch time frame. I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this in the future.