10 things you should know about Harmony OS
At its developer conference, Huawei introduced the Harmony OS with great fanfare. First of all, the new operating system is focused on Internet of Things (IoT, Internet of Things) products and is a backup plan if at some point Huawei can no longer use Android in its smartphones. However, creating a completely new OS from scratch is never easy, and so again we can see another example of how developers are not too willing to create high-quality software for a new unpopular platform.
However, Huawei is surely going its own way (and what else can they do?), So we decided to collect the 10 most important facts you should know about Harmony OS.
1. Harmony OS development started in 2017
Huawei began working on HarmonyOS in 2017. In 2019, against the backdrop of U.S. sanctions, the company decided to speed up the process in order to quickly introduce the OS into its smart TVs. Version 1.0 will initially be targeted at IoT products, and the microkernel v2.0 will be introduced in 2020. Then, in 2021, they plan to introduce a third version of the kernel with the addition of support for wearable devices.
HarmonyOS v1.0 will continue to use the Linux kernel along with its own microkernel, but future versions starting with v2.0 will be completely based on its microkernel.
2. Unlike Android, Huawei HarmonyOS is based on a lightweight microkernel
Huawei's HarmonyOS is based on a microkernel, similar to Google Fuchsia OS. This design ensures that the new OS can be used as a universal solution for any type of device.
Unlike Linux kernels, which have a relatively large amount of code, microkernels have a smaller amount of common code and provide faster communication between system components.
3. HarmonyOS does not allow root access
Huawei confirms that you will not get root access on the Harmony OS. This was done to avoid any security problems, such as Android and other Linux-based OSs.
4. HarmonyOS primarily for IoT products
Huawei targets IoT products such as wearable devices, smart TVs, smart speakers and other smart devices. Smartphones, however, are not a priority.
5. Huawei smartphones can switch to HarmonyOS in just a couple of days
Huawei said that if necessary, it can quickly switch to HarmonyOS on its smartphones. The company will need only 1-2 days to replace Android on all their devices. This is impressive, but at the same time scary!
6. Android applications are not compatible out of the box
Huawei's HarmonyOS will not support Android apps out of the box. In each of the existing Android applications, you need to make "small changes" so that they can work on the new OS. But you can go the other way and just port Android, Linux, and HTML5 applications using the Huawei ARK compiler, which is open source.
7. Huawei creates its own app store
Huawei is already creating a full replacement for the Google Play store. Its own app store is called Huawei AppGallery, and it is already asking developers to publish their apps there. The company even introduced Huawei Mobile Services as an alternative to Google Play Services.
8. Huawei Mate 30 series can use HarmonyOS
Although Huawei emphasized that HarmonyOS is not really designed for smartphones, it may be forced to install a new OS on the upcoming Mate 30 series. The company has confirmed that the Mate 30 series has not yet received Google Play certification. If this does not happen, the Chinese telecommunications giant may be forced to use HarmonyOS on new models. There is also a rumor that the Mate 30 Lite will be the first smartphone to run HarmonyOS.
9. HarmonyOS will be released open source next year
Next year, Huawei plans to make Harmony a fully open source operating system. This can attract companies such as OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi to actively collaborate and help develop a new operating system. Currently, US Sanctions are the main threat to Huawei, and there is a risk that one day it may affect other Chinese companies, so the above-mentioned tech giants have a direct interest in the development of a new operating system from the Chinese company.
10. HarmonyOS will first take root in China
Huawei places the main emphasis on promoting HarmonyOS in the Chinese market, and then plans to slowly, but very confidently move towards the global market. So, the first product running on HarmonyOS is a smart display designed exclusively for the Chinese market.
And that’s all you need to know about the new HarmonyOS.
What do you think, can HarmonyOS ultimately replace or at least compete with Android on smartphones?
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