HarmonyOS: Everything you need to know about the Huawei operating system

HarmonyOS will reach cell phones, but not for now.

Fred Dufour / AFP / Getty Images

Huawei finally launched in its HarmonyOS developer conference – previously known as HongMeng OS or Ark OS, according to rumors – its multiplatform operating system, which not only reach cell phones but also a lot of different devices.

HarmonyOS is important because Huawei has suffered a series of tensions with the United States that could lead companies in the country to interrupt their work with Huawei at some point. Among those companies is Google, Android developer, and that if affected by the decrees of the Trump administration, could completely cut the arrival of Android to imminent cell phones such as the series Huawei Mate 30.

In fact, some rumors suggest that Huawei may launch a limited version of the Huawei Mate 30 Lite with HarmonyOS, to test the opinion of its users. However, let's not go so fast, this is what we know so far.

What is HarmonyOS?

As Huawei has explained, HarmonyOS is an operating system totally different from Android or iOS, which has the objective of being able to be present on different types of devices and at the same time allow developers to make a unique application that serves each of them .

Ace, HarmonyOS start your journey on Honor TVs, although in its presentation the company showed a video in which it makes clear that HarmonyOS can be in computers, smart watches, appliances, smart speakers and even cell phones.

Richard Yu, executive president of Huawei, explained that the operating system is designed for the Internet of things, although it did not rule out its launch on cell phones, in China and in other countries. Like Android, it is Open Source, which allows developers to modify and adapt it to other computers.

HarmonyOS was presented at the Huawei developer conference on August 8, 2019.

Fred Dufour / AFP / Getty Images

Get HarmonyOS to Huawei or Honor phones?

As Yu explained to Forbes, if the United States blocked Huawei's access to Android, the company could boost the use of HarmonyOS among its users in two days. However, this is only the worst scenario. Huawei does not want to bring HarmonyOS to the majority of its phones, so the company will continue betting on Android.

HarmonyOS is not the competition of Android, it is the "plan b" of Huawei if relations with the United States prevent you from using Google's operating system on future devices.

We are still giving priority to Google and Android as the operating system for our phones. "

Richard Yu, executive president of Huawei Mobile.

The executive also told the source that it would be "very easy" for large applications to make a version for HarmonyOS, because in part they will only have to make small changes to that of Android. This is good news for Huawei, which for months has been working to reap its relationships with developers to make its app store more predominant.

However, although popular apps like Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram can easily convert to HarmonyOS, Google's applications won't be as easy to take to that operating system. This is because these apps require a series of specific developments to work under the Android environment.

"It is in Google's interest to let HarmonyOS run its applications," Yu said when asked how Google apps could reach the Huawei operating system.

Technical specifications of the operating system

In the past Huawei said that its operating system will be 60 percent faster than Android, and although we have not tried it yet, the objective of the company is that the development allows to reach anyone on any device, making the apps adapt perfectly to each environment.

According to the company, the operating system has these characteristics:

  • Applications will be 25.7 percent faster, thanks to the integration of machine learning that increases the speed of the operating system.
  • The same operating system can be used through different devices, this includes cell phones, tablets, smart watches and wristbands, televisions, computers and more.
  • Huawei says that its operating system has the latest security measures, and that it has a Reliable Execution Space – known as TEE in English – and that it is an area in which it is guaranteed that the code is confidential and protected with integrity.
  • The operating system comes with a new tool for developers that allows you to build apps that can work across different types of devices.

HarmonyOS is the international name of the Huawei operating system.

Fred Dufour / AFP / Getty Images

When will we see HarmonyOS devices?

As we mentioned before, HarmonyOS begin its journey with a Honor smart TV, which will have a retractable camera. In addition there is the rumor of a cell phone that will cost less than US $ 300, with powerful features.

However, we should not expect major cell phones this year with HarmonyOS. Neither the Huawei Mate 30 nor Mate 30 Pro will come with that operating system, predictably they will arrive with Android Pie or Android Q, because the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is already testing this software.

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