Huawei DEVELOPER CONFERENCE 2020, codenamed Together, was an event the company held this year not only to announce new hardware products but also to provide a valuable update for their growing developer community. 

The event was held between 10th to 12th September 2020 both online and for a limited local audience in Huawei’s headquarters in Songshan Lake in Dongguan, China. Among other announcements and hardware reveals, Huawei detailed the technical upgrades and important details on the development of their Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) ecosystem.

What is HMS?

As an aftermath of the trade ban in the US, Huawei is prohibited from doing business with most US-based firms, including Google. Because they cannot launch new phones with Google Mobile Services (GMS) since 2019, Huawei has been working hard on a home-grown replacement. 

HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) is a viable alternative to GMS which allows Huawei to thrive and continue launching phones. Mobile devices without the GMS ecosystem don’t get the basic Google products, as well as products which take advantage of some Google services like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc.

The annual event Huawei DEVELOPER CONFERENCE 2020 is a great opportunity to show that the company is strong, determined to reestablish its presence in certain markets and that their new HMS ecosystem is fully featured and ready for developers.

These are not just lofty promises. The growth rate of HMS is truly impressive. Since its launch in April 2018, the ecosystem has amassed 490 million monthly users and achieved 261b app downloads. At the same time, there are 1.8 million registered Huawei Developers around the globe.

Unsurprisingly, HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) bears many similarities to GMS. For example, each mobile device uses a unique Huawei ID which, like Apple ID or a Google account, lets you customize your device and sync some of your personal data like contacts, messages, Wi-Fi passwords. 

HMS Core

HMS is made up of the user-facing component, which includes AppGallery and some essential Huawei apps and services, and a developer-facing part, called HMS Core, which comprises various APIs, SDKs and took the main stage at the conference.

HMS Core is now a fully-featured ecosystem which provides app developers with a multitude of services, including message push, Huawei ID login, in-app purchases, maps and machine learning, helping developers’ apps bring better user experience to its users.

What’s new in HMS?

Version 5.0 of Huawei’s HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) brings improvements in payments, ads, browsing, maps, and search. Because Huawei is working hard to offer developers a complete ecosystem, HMS 5.0 also introduces Computer Graphics Kit, Scene Kit, Accelerate Kit, AR Engine, and much more.

Huawei invited five app partners from Asia-Pacific (APAC) to present their key milestones in collaboration with Huawei towards building a “Seamless AI Life” during the “Grow with HMS Best Practices” virtual global tech session. 

Among other new things, HMS 5.0 now includes WidePlay DRM digital rights management for music and entertainment apps. It also ensures that AppGallery connects with the Huawei Cloud. Huawei also made a big point of HMS Core’s advanced AR and ML capabilities to boost the platform’s e-commerce and gaming capabilities, as well as detailed advancements it brings in the domains of transport and navigation. 

HarmonyOS 2.0

The company has also made big progress in developing its HarmonyOS 2.0. Their new in-house cross-device operating system took a big part of the spotlight, along with some other important updates on AppGallery and HMS core as a whole. 

HarmonyOS 2.0, the second iteration of Huawei’s homegrown OS, is coming to smartphones next year, while SDKs are planned to be released later this year. The system is also coming to tablets and wearables.

Hardware presented at Huawei’s DEVELOPER CONFERENCE 2020

Huawei DEVELOPER CONFERENCE 2020 was also rife with new hardware. Among other products, Huawei presented an update to its laptop line-up, presenting the ultra-sleek MateBook X laptop.

Huawei MateBook X

The refreshed laptop model is currently one of the thinnest and most lightweight devices of this kind available on the market. The sleek 13-incher is smaller than a sheet of A4 paper and weighs just around 1kg.

Along came the MateBook 14, as a more affordable option, but no less impressive with a 14-inch 2K display. The machine is powered by the AMD Ryzen 4000 processor and features Huawei’s trademark pop-up camera hidden underneath one of the function buttons.

Huawei Freebuds

In addition to smartwatches and laptops, Huawei also launched the FreeBuds Pro wireless earbuds. In line with the current trends, Freebuds offer Dynamic ANC technology which recognizes ambient noise and eliminates it. Each earbud features two Bluetooth antennas to seamlessly offer 360-degree signal coverage, while custom-tuned 11mm drivers handle the audio output.

Huawei FreeLace Pro

Huawei presented the FreeLace Pro Bluetooth earbuds with a neckband, which also come with Active Noise Cancellation. They feature a larger 14mm driver and an aluminium-magnesium alloy diaphragm promising punchier basses. FreeLace Pros can be charged directly by plugging them via the USB Type-C port into a smartphone. The buds are said to last an impressive 16 hours on a single charge with noise-cancellation enabled. 

Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro

Huawei WATCH GT 2 Pro is a stylish sports watch with sapphire glass and titanium watch frame. It comes with all the bells and whistles expected from a fitness tracker watch: heart rate, stress and blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring, among many other fitness features. It is claimed to last two weeks on a single charge and supports over 100 workout modes. Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro and big, bright AMOLED screen and 5 ATM water-resistance rating.

Huawei Watch Fit

Huawei’s Watch Fit is a sports watch with a big, rectangular display. With real-time heart rate and blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring, it is geared towards the sports folks. The watch can easily rival wearable giants like Garmin, Suunto and Polar with up to 10 days of battery life and 5 ATM water resistance. The watch packs a bright 1.4-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 280×456 pixels.


As a partner company working on Huawei’s Cast+ feature, we took part in the conference and made a presentation detailing our role in building Cast+. We shared some details on the development process and presented a demo of the feature.

Huawei Cast+ delivers smooth projection performance and is resilient to network instability. Thanks to low latency performance, you could even connect with a Bluetooth gaming controller to enjoy a “Console-Like” experience.

Our work has been recognized as an important contribution to Huawei’s mission of building a new ecosystem that’s both functional and highly performant. The Cast+ feature is intended to seamlessly bridge the gap between big and small devices, facilitating effortless cross-device media streaming. 

Stay tuned with our blog for more updates on our Huawei partnership and the development of the Cast+ feature.