Meet HarmonyOS, Huawei’s alternative to Google’s Android operating system

Meet HarmonyOS, Huawei’s alternative to Google’s Android operating system

After Huawei found itself on the "entity list", which banned it from buying products and components (including licensing Google's Android) from US companies, the Chinese giant teased its own smartphone operating system.

Sensing this threat from the US, Huawei instantly started working on its own operating system, which was termed as Hongmeng OS back then.

Huawei's mobile chief Richard Yu said on Friday that HarmonyOS is ready to be used on the company's smartphones at any time.

Yu said HarmonyOS was "future oriented" and created to be "more smooth and secure", which he said was "completely different" from Android and Apple's operating system.

"However, if we cannot use it (Android) in the future, we can immediately switch to the Harmony OS", he said.

Concluding his speech, Yu welcomed developers to join Huawei in developing Harmony OS by saying, "Harmony OS is a next-generation open-source operating system".

"We're entering a day and age where people expect a holistic intelligent experience across all devices and scenarios", Yu said. It'll apparently work with devices with vastly different amounts of memory. It will also have a verified Trusted Execution Environment for a better connected security across multiple devices. In May, Google banned Huawei from using Android, following the latter's inclusion in the USA entity list. HarmonyOS will first appear in the Chinese market, with plans to extend further after that: to encourage broader adoption, Huawei will release HarmonyOS as an open-source platform, worldwide.

Sales of Huawei's smartphones have suffered in global markets as a result, but have held up well in China where most of Google's popular products are banned anyway and Huawei has been offering alternatives. Those smart screen products are expected to arrive later this year. The company says it will allow the third-party developer to make use of the dark mode on Huawei phones by simply calling an API. Huawei says the OS will run across a range of form factors, and the company even pulled out the old "write once, run everywhere" claim for app developers.

Specific details about Harmony OS are yet to be revealed but a recent report claimed Huawei was planning a formal introduction in China tomorrow. Yu stated that the new OS will run "faster and safer" than Android.

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