Chinese phone and tech giant Huawei, has officially launched its own operating system—HarmonyOS. This followed weeks of speculations from various reputable media houses. It is not clear whether Huawei’s latest effort stems from the fallout of the US government’s decision to put Huawei on the Entity List or the suspension placed on the company’s product from using the Android OS. Whether this is premeditated or not, it has hastened Huawei’s resolve to launch its own operating system.
In China, the software will be called Hongmeng, while HarmonyOS will be the official name globally. The Chinese phone behemoth in a tweet said “HarmonyOS can be nested to adapt flexibly to any device to create a seamless cross-device experience.”
HarmonyOS, which is a microkernel-based distributed operating system, can be used in virtually everything including smartphones, smart speakers, wearables, and in-vehicle systems to create a shared ecosystem across all devices, reports CNBC. In order to encourage adoption [this is not out of place], the OS will be released as an open-source platform.
A modularized #HarmonyOS can be nested to adapt flexibly to any device to create a seamless cross-device experience. Developed via the distributed capability kit, it builds the foundation of a shared developer ecosystem #HDC2019 pic.twitter.com/2TD9cgtdG8
— Huawei Mobile (@HuaweiMobile) August 9, 2019
The Chinese company hopes to launch HarmonyOS on “smart screen products” before the year runs out, and later to other devices such as wearables over the next couple of years.
In a statement per CNBC, Huawei’s CEO consumer business group, Richard Yu, says the operating system is “completely different from Android and iOS” and this is based on the fact that it possesses the ability to scale across different kinds of devices. “You can develop your apps once, then flexibly deploy them across a range of different devices,” he said.
Yu said Huawei would continue to use Android as its preferred OS for its smartphones, but did not mince words to state the company’s readiness to switch to HarmonyOS if the need arises. He said migration won’t be difficult as it would only take two days—and is indeed “very convenient.” “If we cannot use it (Android) in the future, we can immediately switch to HarmonyOS,” Yu said.
Huawei was de-listed from the SD Association towards the end of May this year following the delisting from the US Entity List. The implication of this is that new products from Huawei will no longer be able to use microSD cards as it would no longer be able to produce products for these standards. SD Association, a non-profit organization sets the rules when it comes to SD products, port designs that read cards, standard full-size SD cards and even to the MicroSD card.
That ban also means that Huawei will no longer appear on the list of members. The SD Association in a statement said it took the step in order to comply with the US Department of Commerce that placed Huawei on the Entity List.
Huawei, however, allayed the fears of its customers. In a short statement the company said: “The use of SD cards on Huawei smartphone won’t be affected. Consumers can continue purchasing and using these products.”