Huawei first announced its custom OS called HarmonyOS back in April 2019. The Chinese company talked about its vast applications such as vehicles and smart devices at the time. Now recently in the HDC 2020, Huawei announced HarmonyOS 2.0 an update to bring the platform to their smartphones. After being banished from google it looks like the Chinese tech giant is all set to put up a fight.
The OS is in development right now and Huawei plans to bring it to consumer smartphones once all the bugs are ironed out. To speed up this process the company is launching a beta of HarmonyOS 2.0 SDK from today. With this toolkit, developers will be able to develop and test their applications on the platform. In addition, it will also highlight new issues in the OS for Huawei to fix.
The current beta version is only intended for smartwatches, car head units, and smart TVs. there is however another version of SDK for smartphones in the works. It is expected to arrive sometime in December 2020. Because we hear that Huawei is planning to push phones with harmony OS in early 2021. Huawei also has a similar idea in mind for HarmonyOS as google has done for Android.
Just like the AOSP of Android, Huawei is making its own OpenHarmony project to encourage developers to work in their environment. This will allow many big application developers to make their experiments in the new operating system. However, there are some small issues at the moment. Right now the project only supports devices with up to 128 MB of RAM or lower. Obviously most of our mainstream smartphones have more than 4 GB of Ram. Huawei plans to remove this restriction by October 2021 enabling developers to test on any device.
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It is clear that future phones will have more than one display. It is a trend that most of our current and the upcoming folding phones follow and Huawei has a clear roadmap for the future. With HarmonyOS the company aims to improve continuity between screens. They want this operating system to have seamless transitions between devices. The UI element also adapts and changes with change in devices giving it a broad list of applications.
In addition to visuals, Huawei also has improved security features as well as smart voice recognition and faster data transfers in devices. The keynote event also highlighted HMS Core 5.0. It will bring around twelve thousand APIs from seven different service categories. Huawei also showcased the HMS app environment which now has about 96 thousand applications from 1.8 million developers.
The release of Huawei’s very own HarmonyOS 2.0 will not only bring new features it will also make up for what the company has lost after the US ban. The company is facing problems right now in manufacturing its flagship-level chipsets called Krilin because of the ban. Although Qualcomm has agreed to manufacture the new chipsets the ultimate decision still lies on permission from the US government. If the ban is not lifted Huawei will see some major problems in terms of hardware as well.
There are a lot of things that still remain unclear about this new operating system. No one from Huawei has yet commented on how extensive the OS is on smartphone hardware. A badly optimized OS can really hurt performance even on capable hardware. Hopefully, we will get to see more details once we get hands-on with the OS in 2021. By far Huawei has built very high expectations from their talks lets hope they live up to them.