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Is Huawei getting ready to launch its Android rival?

Signs are showing that Huawei could be close to launching its own smartphone operating system, months after it was shut out of the Android programme.

Huawei is planning to spend £20 million (~$26 million) to encourage developers to create more apps for its native AppGallery store.

Related: Best smartphones

These apps will reportedly have fewer adverts and notifications, a change which consumers are likely to welcome. The news comes after Huawei was banned from cooperating with American companies by an executive order back in May, a move which significantly impacted sales in the west (via Business Insider).

Despite the investment in new apps, we still don’t know when or if Huawei will launch its own-brand mobile operating system, which many believe to be Harmony OS.

Huawei’s newest devices run an open-source version of Android which does not support all of the standard Android apps.

Huawei’s App Gallery does offer some very popular apps, including TikTok and Snapchat, but there are notable official omissions from the roster, such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, not to mention the Google app suite including the likes of Google Maps and YouTube.

This might put western consumers off buying Huawei devices, but it has not had such an impact in Asia; the brand claims to have already sold nearly 7 million 5G smartphones.

Related: Best Android phones

The major Chinese manufacturer has got some impressive hardware plans in store on top of the software investment. The Huawei P30 Pro was released in March 2019, and we anticipate that its sequel, the Huawei P40 Pro will probably be released in March of this year.

At this stage details and leaks are fairly thin on the ground, but we’ve compiled a wishlist of improvements we’d like to see made to the handset, including improvements to audio and the screen, as well as the software for reasons mentioned in this article.

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