Huawei has added support for third party apps on its LiteOS smartwatches. Up to now, its operating system has only offered a limited selection of home-grown apps.
LiteOS is what runs on the most recent crop of Huawei watches. First announced in 2015, this is a Liunix-based operating system with a kernel less than 10 KB in size. The fact that its so lighweight means it consumes very little power. Needless to say there are some drawbacks.
One of these is the ability to run third-party software. That has been top of the wishlist of Huawei watch owners for some time. You are not able to run apps not developed by Huawei which leaves you with few customization options. Now that’s about to change.
Huawei opens up LiteOS to third-party app developers
The company has announced during MWC Shanghai that it has opened up its LiteOS software platform to third-party developers. Kits allowing those interested to compile their own apps are being made available by Huawei. As proof of concept, the company has made available the popular fitness app Fitify for Watch GT 2 Pro owners. It is not clear at the time of writing what apps will follow next.
“We are already the global market leader for wearables quickly gaining market share for the category across many geographies. In Q3 2020, we shipped 10.7 million wrist wearable products globally, growing 88.1% year-on-year to a market share of 19.5%,” said Derek Yu, VP Huawei CEE & Nordic at Huawei Consumer Business Group.
“By making Fitify our debut third-party app for our wearable products we are sending a message to the many other high quality app developers. Our wearables are becoming incredibly popular, and you can benefit by being part of the Huawei AppGallery and wearables ecosystem.”
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Huawei’s aim is to provide an all-in-one solution for LiteOS app developers. This will cover the entire cycle, from idea development, to app development, distribution, operation and data analytics. The integration kits are designed to maximize the AppGallery listing for apps.
Huawei is obviously looking to expand its smartwatch presence. The company, alongside Apple and Samsung experienced healthy growth in this space despite the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Counterpoint Research, Huawei was second in terms of its global smartwatch share in Q3 2020, having narrowed the gap to first-placed Apple in the previous 12 months. Its impressive growth came on the back of the new Huawei Watch ES and the more high-spec Watch GT2 Pro.
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