Last year Huawei announced the launch of its own operating system known as HarmonyOS as an alternative to Google’s Android operating system. Earlier this week, Huawei has launched the second iteration of their self-made operating system – HarmonyOS 2.0. Richard Yu, the CEO of the consumer division at Huawei, stated that the latest version of their operating system would be available on smartphones and other devices by early 2021. The announcement was made at the Huawei Developer Conference on September 10th.
For those of you who don’t know, Huawei released their own cross-device operating system last year, when the company was banned from using US tech products and services. Huawei is also placed on the US blacklist, effectively restricting all tech suppliers from selling Huawei products in the US. In response, Huawei created an alternative to the Android operating system which has now been replaced with HarmonyOS. The operating system is completely open-source and developer-friendly with a focus on cross-device support and the creation of distributive networks.
HarmonyOS 2.0 will allow multiple smartphones and smart devices to interconnect and seamlessly work together, allowing for a more streamlined experience. Currently, HarmonyOS 2.0 is only available for TV and other specific Huawei products, but by 2021, support for smartphones and other smart devices will also be added. “The beta version of HarmonyOS 2.0 will be available for developers on September 10 for use on smart TVs, wearables, and in-car head units,” explained Yu at the Annual Developer Conference, “Later this year in December the Software Development Kit (SDK), documentation, tools, and simulators for HarmonyOS 2.0 will also be available for smartphones. So, starting from next year, we will see smartphones with HarmonyOS.”
Huawei’s Software Engineering president, Wang Chenglu, had high hopes for the company’s latest product and has called it “Fundamentally better than their previous version of HarmonyOS.” According to Chenglu, the interaction between devices will be much faster and more streamlined than the current cross-device solutions offered by Google and other tech giants. “Terminal to terminal latency can be only 10 milliseconds,” Chenglu said in an interview, “We also managed to merge the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth into a single network.” Comparing the company to its competitors, Chenglu believes that read/write operations could be four times faster than the speeds offered by Microsoft’s samba protocol. “Database OPS performance is 1.3 times the speed of Android’s content provider feature and search speed is also 1.2 times the speed of Apple’s iOS Core Spotlight,” Chenglu further added.
Huawei has also made the interesting choice of keeping HarmonyOS completely open-source. Not only can developers and enthusiasts examine the architecture and system design of HarmonyOS, but they can also rebuild the entire OS from the ground up and make it run. Huawei has also promised to publish the code for larger devices by April 2021, the complete code will be made available to the public by October 2021. Meanwhile, Huawei is also trying to create an app framework, code compiler, and IDE for developers to start coding on the latest version of Harmony OS.