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HUAWEI has found an alternative to Google Maps on new smartphones

Who says Google Maps is the only viable game in town? Certainly not HUAWEI, thanks to a new deal.

Published onJanuary 20, 2020

HUAWEI has signed a deal with TomTom to create a Google Maps alternative.

The US trade ban against HUAWEI means the company is unable to use Google Mobile Services on its latest smartphones. That means no Google Play Store, Gmail app, or Google Maps.

Fortunately, the Chinese manufacturer has lined up a Google Maps alternative by signing a deal with TomTom. Reuters reports that the deal was signed “some time ago,” citing a TomTom spokesperson.

The agreement means Huawei can now use TomTom’s mapping, traffic, and navigation software in lieu of Google Maps technology. More specifically, Reuters notes that the Chinese brand can use TomTom’s software to create its own smartphone apps. This suggests that the deal opens the door for a HUAWEI-branded mapping solution (e.g. HUAWEI Maps) rather than a TomTom-branded GPS app on upcoming HUAWEI devices.

It’s a wise move by HUAWEI to sign a deal with the mapping firm, as it’s a veteran in the digital maps space and should have a pretty well-rounded experience.

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It would’ve also been interesting to see the phone vendor sign a deal with Here WeGo (formerly Nokia Maps), as it allowed users to download entire countries and continents for offline navigation free of charge. Nevertheless, it seems like HUAWEI has a good foundation for a future mapping app.

We do have to wonder whether the Chinese manufacturer will allow users to import their Google Maps user data (e.g. favorite places) into the new app in order to ease the transition. We’re also guessing the new HUAWEI app will have a few missing features compared to Google Maps.

We’ve contacted HUAWEI to find out more about the deal and will update the article accordingly if/when the manufacturer gets back to us.

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