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Following a US-led crackdown that forced Huawei to imagine a future without Android access, the Chinese smartphone giant started developing its own alternative to the all-embracing mobile OS of Google.
Huawei finally shared the first official details on its home-grown alternative to Android at the annual developer conference of the company.
In the name of a ‘future-oriented’ software platform of the company, HongmengOS — or HarmonyOS as it’s known in English — as defined by the CEO of Huawei’s consumer enterprise group, Richard Yu claims it has been in development for more than two years.
“We believe HarmonyOS will revitalize the industry and enrich the ecosystem. Our goal is to bring people a truly engaging and diverse experience. We want to invite developers from around the world to join us as we build out this new ecosystem. Together, we will deliver an intelligent experience for consumers in all scenarios.”Richard Yu , CEO
Huawei’s HarmonyOS aims to produce a unified operating system which can be operated on a broad range of devices, such as IoT devices, smart screen devices like TVs, and smartphones and tablets. However, Huawei phones will keep running Android in the immediate future.
HarmonyOS is a compilation that supports various coding landscapes, including C++, Java, and Kotlin, as an open-source platform based on a micro-kernel system comparable to the Google Fuschia platform. Huawei claims its use of a micro-kernel architecture and deterministic planning engine enables HarmonyOS to manage resources rapidly and more precisely, which can result “up to five more efficiently than the current systems” in reduced latencies and IPC efficiency per cycle.
Unlike Android, Huawei says that its usage of the integrated development environment (IDE) multi-device enables the company to develop a single OS version that can be used on a wide variety of devices. This contrasts with Android, where device manufacturers are compelled to tweak the OS separately with each device, which is one of the leading causes of software updated delays and fragmentation of Android as a whole.
But even if Huawei says HarmonyOS is an open-source platform, Huawei does not intend to allow users root access to the operating system, which is supposed to be a severe security risk to Huawei.
Besides, HarmonyOS is not compliant with conventional Android applications, meaning that developers will have to modify and rebuild current applications to operate on HarmonyOS; Yu stated at the company’s press conference that converting applications from Android to HarmonyOS should be “very simple.”
While Huawei’s HarmonyOS is a significant milestone in the development of future systems not dependent on Android, it does not expect a lot of HarmonyOS devices to begin seeing straight away.
Huawei claims that it will progressively implement HarmonyOS over the coming three years beginning at smart displays like wearables, vehicle infotainment units, and Huawei Vision (which we should know about in the next few days).
- Anirudh is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Clickdotme. He does not like describing himself in the third-person and had a hard time coming up with these two sentences!