Following the now notorious trade war between the United States and Google, Huawei was forced to jump through a few hoops to keep their devices up to the standards we expect from Android technology. Since the removal of the Google Play Store, Huawei has implemented their very own solution, the Huawei App Gallery (which clearly didn’t cost much in the branding department). The big question was: would anyone actually use the thing?
Turns out they will, at least according to Huawei. We have a better understanding of how South Africans are using a wholly new app store. It might surprise you to find that that…well, we’re actually getting on just fine. And so, apparently, is Huawei.
Top 26 AppGallery apps by total downloads (Q1 2020)
Truecaller: Caller ID, spam blocking & call record
TikTok – Make Your Day
Showmax – Watch TV shows and movies
Mr D Food – delivery & takeaway
Standard Bank/Stanbic Bank
Load Shedding Notifier
InShot – Video Editor
VIU – TV Shows, Movies & more
Absa Banking App
Likee – Formerly LIKE Video
Takealot–SA’s #1 Online Mobile Shopping App
Moya Messenger #datafree
Deezer: play new music, live radio & any MP3 song
It’s worth noting that the data provided by Huawei doesn’t actually include any solid numbers in terms of the apps that were downloaded, just a list sorted by popularity. It won’t come as a surprise that the most heavily downloaded apps are local services and quality of life improvements. SHAREit, an app used to efficiently transfer data across platforms, was the most popular utility app, likely due to many new Huawei owners not being able to carry data over via their Google account.
After SHAREit, South Africans downloaded TrueCaller, to filter out all those annoying spam calls, Booking.com, which is weird given that people aren’t exactly travelling these days, DStv Now and TikTok. So that’s a pretty standard top five most downloaded apps. Everything that follows includes banking apps, food delivery services and service provider apps. Interesting, WhatsApp didn’t occur in the top 20 most downloaded apps, but Moya Messenger did. Perhaps a change in the wind…
Top 26 AppGallery Games by total downloads (Q1 2020)
Nitro Nation Drag & Drift
Asphalt 9: Legends – Epic Arcade Car Racing Game
Word Search Puzzle
WWE Champions 2019
Real Gangster Crime
Stump Me- Can you pass it?
Asphalt 9: Legends – 2019’s Action Car Racing Game
Slots of Vegas
Moto Rider GO: Highway Traffic
Champions Manager Mobasaka
Zombie Frontier 3: Sniper FPS
Highschool Dangerous Lies: Teen Story – Love Game
Top Speed: Drag & Fast Racing
Vegas Crime Simulator – Real Mafia Gangster
Guns of Glory: Build an Epic Army for the Kingdom
Looney Tunes™ World of Mayhem – Action RPG
Candy Blast Storm
Words of Wonders: Crossword to Connect
Clash of Kings
Brick Game – Classic Tetris – Classic Blocks Puzzle
Trial Xtreme 4
As for games… well, South Africans have always had a thing for racing and…fantasy kingdoms, apparently. Lords Mobile, a role-playing MMO dominated the number one spot while Nitro Nation Drag & Drift and Asphalt 9: Legends took second and third respectively. After that, Word Search Puzzle and WWE Champions 2019 close out the top five places.
So all-in-all, it seems that those of us able to overlook the lack of a Google Play Store are faring just fine with Huawei’s App Gallery. While the lack of solid download numbers may cause speculation as to how many people are currently using that ecosystem, until we see some proper numbers it’s impossible to judge that metric. Still, it’s encouraging to see South Africans adapting to new circumstances, something that seems to be happening more and more these days.