Huawei may have been hampered by the Google ban, but it has remained determined to build its own operating system that can compete with the Android behemoth. Titled HarmonyOS, the new OS has been focused mostly on IoT devices, with the functionality needed to run a bigger smartphone still in development. It appears that development is done, as the company announced that HarmonyOS will be ready to make its way to mobile phones and tablets soon.
Since the google ban, Huawei’s phones have run on the open-source version of Android with Huawei’s own services and app store replacing its Google counterparts. Those devices, including the Mate 40, P40, and Mate 30 series, Mate 9, Mate 10, P20, and P10 will now all be getting the new OS during this year as Huawei tries to prove that its new OS is every bit as capable as Google’s software.
The company has not revealed too many details yet on how the new OS works or what it even looks like in action, but it does claim that it will offer more seamless connectivity across different devices, including easier pairing with compatible headphones and speakers via a drag-and-drop interface. There will also be improved support for home screen widgets that resembles Apple’s iOS a little more, as well as better multi-tasking between apps that are closed.
Until we see the OS in action though, it is difficult to make any assessments on just how much of a game-changer it will be in that space. Previous reports have claimed HarmonyOS is based on a fork of the open-source Android version, but Huawei claims that there has been a significant redesign on how it works. I am eager to see how the final product eventually looks and functions and if it does anything uniquely different to differentiate itself from the competition.
Huawei did have the following statement to say about the adaptability of the OS and how it is able to run across different devices and hardware configurations more easily:
HarmonyOS 2 is a commercial version developed by Huawei based on the open-source project OpenHarmony 2.0 for smart devices used in different scenarios. Android is developed based on AOSP open-source project. HarmonyOS supports multiple kernels. It allows devices to select the kernel it needs. For example, hardware with only kilobytes or megabytes of RAM can go with the LiteOS kernel, while the devices with larger RAM can implement the Linux kernel.
Huawei’s has suffered in international sales as a result f not working with Google services and it still has a long way to go to offer the same quality of services or app support on its own store. If it can provide an OS that competes with Android in usability and functionality, it could start winning people over and get more companies to support it. Its own home market is still a big supporter and if it can lure other Asian markets in, it could quickly start to close the gap on Google.
Last Updated: June 4, 2021