Meet HarmonyOS, the high-stakes substitute for Google’s Android by China’s Huawei

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New Delhi | Published: August 9, 2019 8:21:25 PM

Huawei is giving some real competition in the mobile OS world

HarmonyOS is Huawei’s answer to Google’s ubiquitously popular Android mobile platform. Announced at the Huawei Developer’s Conference, the HarmonyOS, as it officially called, will run on a range of devices, such as connected cars, network servers, data management systems, smart speakers, smartwatches, IoT equipment, and, of course, mobile phones. But Huawei is sticking to Android for its smartphones, giving the company enough time to experiment with non-mobile devices to gather feedback. That said, Huawei says it can “immediately switch” to HarmonyOS if needed. HarmonyOS will be called HongMengOS in China, Richard Yu announced in his keynote speech at the conference.

Ever since US struck Huawei off it’s the trade list, major tech companies, including Google, had to suspend partnerships with the Chinese giant. As a result, Huawei was barred from continuing Huawei’s operating system is based on microkernel that will be available to developers under a distributed chain. With HarmonyOS, Huawei wants to create what it is calling a shared developer ecosystem. And while Huawei’s proprietary ecosystem is being called an Android substitute, the extent to which it can actually replace the applications of Android is not clear.

It has already been made clear that HarmonyOS won’t power Huawei’s smartphones as of now, which is why the company is starting off with “smart screens”. A Honor Smart Screen is said to be in the works, which will be the first-ever commercial product to come preloaded with HarmonyOS. There were also reports saying Honor’s first TV will run on HarmonyOS. In addition, it was also reported that Huawei is working on a low-tier smartphone, probably under the Mate series, that will be the first smartphone to be running on HarmonyOS. But nothing tangible has been added to this development since then.

“HarmonyOS is completely different from Android and iOS. It is a microkernel-based, distributed OS that delivers a smooth experience across all scenarios. It has trustworthy and secure architecture, and it supports seamless collaboration across devices. You can develop your apps once, then flexibly deploy them across a range of different devices,” said Yu at the conference.

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