HarmonyOS: Huawei's New Operating System Features, Supported Devices, Release Date

HarmonyOS Huawei's New Operating System Features, Supported Devices, Release Date

China's largest smartphone manufacturer Huawei revealed its own new operating system HarmonyOS. Huawei has announced new devices operating on HarmonyOS, its new operating system that it is developing to replace Google's Android. The Chinese information giant said it would develop a new OS after former President Donald Trump put the company on a blacklist.

After years of consideration, Huawei has finally announced HarmonyOS: a new mobile operating system that's far more than a mere Android competitor, but will also power Huawei's entire ecosystem of mobile, wearable, and smart-home devices. Huawei revealed this alongside a series of MatePad tablets and Watch 3 wearables and has also had the opportunity to test the new OS out personally.

What is "HarmonyOS"?

Huawei bills HarmonyOS as "a future-proof distributed operating system. "That basically means it's the company's personal operating system, intended to work on devices from IoT and smart home commodities to wearables, in-car infotainment systems, and mobile devices - including smartphones. According to Huawei, a developer could build an experience using this OS for one product category and the platform would then be able to adapt said experience to work over other types of products with minimal effort.

Originally announced in August 2019, HarmonyOS is regarding hit smartphones and tablets for the first time as the major version 2.0 update goes out. In fact, Huawei has advertised a host of new products with the software already on board. It is similar to, but not exactly the same as, the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) replacements to Google's apps that the company is working on in an effort to work past the Huawei ban.

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HarmonyOS (previously codenamed HongMeng) is a platform invented for a variety of devices. It began off on IoT devices such as smart displays or smart devices, then moved on to TVs, and is now coming to phones, tablets, and smartwatches. Given the political situation between the US and China and its impact on Huawei’s access to Android over the last few years. It’s little wonder that the brand is presenting a defiant, confident stance.

Which New Devices Support HarmonyOS?

HarmonyOS has only just been formally launched, with version 2.0 allowing smartphone compatibility for the first time. Version 1.0 was first seen operating on the company's own smart TVs and its AX3 WiFi router. Huawei officially launched the OS on a new trio of MatePad and MatePad Pro tablets, alongside the Smartwatch-3 and Smartwatch-3 Pro. It's also reported that the software will be included on the P50 phones when they launch soon.

New, HarmonyOS versions of the Mate 40 Pro, Mate 40E, Mate X2, and Nova 8 Pro are also launching in China, though only in 4G versions. The company expects to have HarmonyOS 2.0 running on over 200 million devices by the end of 2021. That's a composition made up not only of Huawei's own products but those made by its partners too.

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Release Date of HarmonyOS 2.0

On 9 August 2019, Huawei officially unveiled HarmonyOS at its inaugural developer's gathering in Dongguan. Huawei described it as a free, microkernel-based distributed operating system for different types of hardware. The company focused essentially on IoT devices, including smart TVs, Watches and in-car entertainment systems.

HarmonyOS 2.0 launched at the Huawei Developer Conference on 10 September 2020. Huawei declared it planned to ship the operating system on its smartphones in 2021. The first developer beta version of HarmonyOS 2.0 was launched on 16 December 2020. Huawei also released the DevEco Studio IDE based on IntelliJ IDEA and a cloud emulator for developers in early access.

Is HarmonyOS replacing AndroidOS?

Yes and no… Huawei's own documentation and retailing surrounding HarmonyOS imply that it serves as a complete end-to-end replacement for Android. ArsTechnica convoyed an in-depth review of HarmonyOS 2.0 beta, along with its development tools HarmonyOS 2.0 was primarily Android in all but name.

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Some structural components of HarmonyOS 2.0 still refer to Android, which the company has used to power its smartphones. The official marketing and development paperwork seems to be intentionally written to confuse the fact this is essentially forked of Android. It does appear to be based on Google's mobile OS, so to say that it is replacing Android on the company's smartphones isn't exactly correct.

Will Android apps operate on HarmonyOS?

Yes, to the very extent that Huawei's new devices do not rely on Google Mobile Services will run fine. HarmonyOS uses the very AppGallery app store that Huawei launched on Android. It also offers the same Petal Search tool, which allows users to easily search for .apk files and install common Android apps that aren't included in the AppGallery.

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