Huawei’s new operating system is called HarmonyOS

Huawei has officially announced HarmonyOS, the operating system it was rumored to be developing to replace its reliance on Android. In China, the software will be known as Hongmeng. The company says the operating system, a microkernel-based distributed OS, can be used in everything from smartphones to smart speakers, wearables, and in-vehicle systems to create a shared ecosystem across devices. The operating system will be released as an open-source platform worldwide to encourage adoption.

There’s been a lot of speculation about Huawei’s in-house operating system ever since Google suspended the company’s Android license back in May, following the US government’s decision to put Huawei on the Entity List. Huawei has made no secret of the fact that it’s been working on its own OS, but the extent to which it would be able to act as a substitute for Android is unclear.

Huawei plans to launch HarmonyOS on “smart screen products” later this year, before expanding it to work on other devices, like wearables, over the next three years. The first of these products will be the Honor Smart Screen, which is due to be unveiled on Saturday. Huawei has yet to explicitly say what constitutes a “smart screen” device, but Reuters previously reported that the OS would appear on a range of Honor smart TVs. The focus for the operating system will be products for the Chinese market at first, before Huawei expands it to other markets.

In a statement, the CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group, Richard Yu, says that HarmonyOS is “completely different from Android and iOS” because of its ability to scale across different kinds of devices. “You can develop your apps once, then flexibly deploy them across a range of different devices,” the CEO says.

Previously, it’s been unclear whether HarmonyOS would be an operating system for smartphones or for Internet of Things devices. It now appears that it’s designed to power both, similar to Google’s experimental Fuchsia operating system, which is designed to run on various form-factors.

Although the OS will come to more devices over the next three years, in a follow-up press release, Huawei said that “for the time being” it intends to continue using Android on its phones. Whether it can continue to do so is another matter. CNBC reports that in a press conference following the launch, Yu said that the situation was “unclear” as to whether Huawei can still use Android, and that the company is “waiting on an update” to find out.

Since placing Huawei on the Entity List, the Trump administration has indicated that it’s willing to ease the restrictions on the company. In July, senior officials said that the administration would grant licenses to deal with Huawei in instances where national security wouldn’t be impacted. However, yesterday, Bloomberg reported that the White House is delaying its decision about issuing these licenses in the wake of China’s decision to halt purchases of US farming goods. It’s yet another suggestion that the Huawei restrictions have as much to do with the US-China trade war as they do with protecting national security.

HarmonyOS now has an official name, but it still has some major hurdles to overcome. Huawei is expecting developers to recompile their apps for this new operating system, with the ability to code once and deploy across multiple devices with different screen layouts, interactions, and more. Huawei says developers can compile a range of languages into machine code in a single environment, but it’s unclear exactly how easy that will be for developers. There are a lot of big promises here, but it’s going to be an even bigger challenge to build an app ecosystem to rival both Android and Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

Update August 9th, 8:30AM ET: Added Huawei confirmation that the Honor Smart Screen will be the first product running HarmonyOS, and the company intends to continue using Android for the time being. Comments from Huawei’s consumer CEO noting that the company’s situation with Android is still “unclear” were also added.

Comments

Yes but after how long will the US do this again and put Huawei or another Chinese company under this ban. I have nothing against Chinese phone makers but this action by the US, as a bargaining chip, has meant that I can’t look at brands like Huawei in he same way anymore. Even Xiaomi is something thats always in the back of my mind. OnePlus may also not be safe but at least they are in a place, like Xiaomi, isn’t linked to the Chinese government, that we know of.

According to some people every Chinese companies are linked to the Chinese government, if you try hard enough you can always find excuses to smear their reputations.

I mean every Chinese company is, by default, linked to the Chinese government. That’s what happens when you pay taxes.

The concern with certain ones is the extent of that link. With Huawei, the belief is that the company is functionally a part of a PLA cyberespionage unit.

You know that some of the biggest american companies are linked to american security agencies (NSA, CIA, etc). Wikileaks, BlackHat and others disclosed a lot of information and documentation about that.

No that’s not true. In fact Google, Apple, MSFT, etc moved case against Govt. Show me which company can sue Chinese Govt in China?

Sure, Cambridge Analytica was good example of how your data are safe in hands of US tech companies and will be not missused, worse that they were not used or stolen by some enemies of US, but US and UK politics. And this companies have a great business with that for a long time before it leaked.
Not to mention Snowden leaks about Prism, Tempora, XKS etc.

You’re wrong. I’m not talking about consumer product companies like Google or Apple, but about CISCO and other telecom / network companies.

why can’t people retort without resorting to goal posting to make them wrong or paraphrasing what the other person said?

He posted two valid examples, you will get over it.

And… you’re doing the same thing.
My examples are valid, too.

re read my comment, your Cisco part is valid, I never said it wasn’t. That’s you again, putting your thoughts into my comment.

can you not respond without that?

To be fair, this can happen in the US as well. It requires more work, but the US Government can force a US company to give access to information(Regardless of where it’s hosted) and force that company to not disclose doing so thanks to the Patriot Act.

Not the same, but it’s why the use of US based cloud services can’t be considered "secure" by default.

The same ban that prevents Google from licensing Android to Huawei also blocks apps from other US companies from the Harmony app store. So: no WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Netflix, Amazon, Tinder, Hulu, Uber, Paypal, Google, …

This can’t work.

They’ll force it to work in China. If the ban isn’t lifted you’ll see stories in 4/5 years about how Harmony is the #1 OS in China. The Chinese government will force Huawei on their people’s. Likely banning other non-Chinese devices & giving Huawei perks the other competitors won’t have. It won’t have American Apps (legitimately) but that wouldn’t matter too much.

There are plenty of Google-free smartphones in China already (running open source Android).

idk about china, but I’ve spent a lot of time in korea, and every google device I saw had play services, (closed source, and needed for a lot of features in apps etc.)

I’ll be in Japan for 2 months next year, looking forward to seeing what it’s like there.

They do have replacement services that are better fitted for them already in most situations (as do the Koreans) but GPS is still pretty important.

that doesn’t mean there aren’t android phones there, I’m just interested in what type of setups the locals use on that platform. that’s cool tho.

Even if the ban is lifted, the ZTE/Huawei ban has already alerted the Chinese government to stop relying too much on foreign technologies.

If the Chinese government wants HarmonyOS to success, just as you suggested, it will force Huawei on their people’s. Such as dual boot AOSP/Harmony as a transition. I suspect it will also force other Chinese OEMs to use the OS to bump up the market share to gain influence. If it wants the OS to success globally, it will be foolish to not including US apps to the Harmony App Store (Except China). Huawei or the Chinese government may even subsidize developers to bring popular apps to the Harmony App Store, too.

I have no doubt the Harmony OS will thrive in China. If it really becomes a success outside China, Microsoft will be the biggest loser in the mobile industry, because there is actually a space for a 3rd OS to success, yet it stopped developing Windows mobile.

However, my point is totally based on an assumption that HarmonyOS’ user experience is on par/better than Android/iOS. If it is crappy, then it will just be another Tizen/Windows Phone 7

The Chinese government will force Huawei on their people’s

Huh, not sure where you got this from, Apple devices are still widely sold in China without any issue.

Because Apple does follow Chinese government rules. Like iCloud in China being managed by a local data company.

And forcing Huawei to license the OS to other OEMS. With the Chinese leverage this really can become a third player in mobile OS. China is known for sticking to alien formats that only work there, like their take on proprietary Blu Ray.

They legally can’t, so it’s unworkable. Welcome to the new Berlin wall.

no WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Netflix, Amazon, Tinder, Hulu, Uber, Paypal, Google

I’m not Chinese but I’d bet there’s enough people there who don’t care about a single one of those apps you mention.

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