After years of development and months of rumors, Huawei today unveiled a customized operating system called the “Harmony Operating System” at Huawei HDC.2019 developer conference in China.
Coming to the OS it is suitable for a wide range of applications from mobile phones and tablets to cars and computers.
The new platform, formerly known as Hongmeng OS, is based on a microkernel, just like Google’s Fuchsia OS. According to CEO Richard Yu, this can be flexibly deployed in a variety of categories, including smart speakers, cars, computers, smartwatches, tablets, and of course smartphones. To ensure this compatibility, Huawei ensures that the platform can use RAM sizes from kilobytes to hundreds of gigabytes.
Applications built for HTML5, Linux and Android platforms “will run on Harmony OS in the future.” To make the developer’s work easier, Huawei will provide access to its ARK compiler, which will help compile code from multiple languages, including C / C++, Java, and Kotlin. The company will also offer new SDKs to ensure compatibility with different devices. In order to avoid any future security issues, it has been confirmed that Harmony OS does not allow root access. Huawei claims that this is a security risk for Android and other Linux-based operating systems.
Huawei CEO reiterated the company’s commitment to Google’s Android platform and its desire to continue to use it internationally. However, if it can’t use Android in the future at any time, the Chinese giant will not hesitate to “immediately turn to a harmonious operating system.” It’s unclear if the company will gain access to Google services if this happens, but the company may boast that it may take 1-2 days to complete the conversion.
At present, the focus of Harmony OS seems to be the Chinese market, but Huawei does not want to limit the platform to its own devices. Because of this, Harmony OS will be completely open-source sometime next year, so competitors such as Oppo and Xiaomi have the opportunity to jointly develop operating systems with Huawei. No matter what happened, Huawei is very willing to act alone. The development of the current version of Harmony OS began two years ago, but this year the company has greatly accelerated the process and is expected to launch version 2.0 in 2020 and version 3.0 in 2021.
As expected, the first Harmony OS-based device will become Honor Vision TV, which will be available in China.