Friday, 06 December, 2019

Can Huawei's Harmony OS give tough competition to Google’s Android?

Can Huawei's Harmony OS give tough competition to Google’s Android? Can Huawei's Harmony OS give tough competition to Google’s Android?
Cecil Davis | 12 August, 2019, 08:59

In China, the software will be known as Hongmeng.

The Honor Vision TV is the first device to adopt HarmonyOS, which can be used in various products from home appliances and wearable technology to in-car devices, Huawei said.

HarmonyOS is open-source, which means that other device-makers could theoretically use its operating system. The highly-anticipated software is considered crucial for the tech group's survival as it confronts a looming White House ban on United States companies selling technology products to Huawei which could end its access to Google's Android operating system.

Announced yesterday, HarmonyOS is Huawei's big attempt to decrease its reliance on Google's Android operating system.

Indeed, the first Huawei products to run on Harmony will not be smartphones, but "smart screens" that the company plans to release later this year.

Of course, the Honor Vision's primary function will be as a smart television, one that'll have access to various unspecified video and audio platforms, as well as Huawei Video. The first version of the OS called HarmonyOS 1.0 has already arrived on its Honor branded smart TVs that will go on sale in China soon. The company has yet to confirm if it'll release the new TV in the U.S. and other countries. Switching to Harmony would only happen if Huawei was forbidden to use Android, according to Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's Business Group.

Google's Fuchsia which is in the works is also an open source, microkernel operating system, created to work across IoT and connected devices.

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Launching an OS on TVs is much more sensible, the current TV smartOS ecosystem is much more varied and people don't need the variety of apps they do on their mobile.

Yu said the new systems was a "future-oriented OS" set to be "more smooth and secure", which he said was "completely different from Android and iOS" - Apple's operating system. Whether it can continue to do so is another matter.

Yu said that in order to attract developers, Huawei is willing to cut its fee intake from app developers working for Harmony to as low as 10-15 percent.

The tech company had been blacklisted by the US President, Donald Trump amidst suspicions that it provided a backdoor for Chinese intelligence services. However, yesterday, Bloomberg reported that the White House is delaying its decision about issuing these licenses in the wake of China's decision to halt purchases of USA farming goods.

"You can develop your apps once, then flexibly deploy them across a range of different devices", Reuters quoted him as saying at a developers' conference in Dongguan in southern China, where Huawei has built a lavish new campus modeled on European towns.

HarmonyOS now has an official name, but it still has some major hurdles to overcome.

In an age where users demand a holistic intelligent experience at all times across all devices, it is important to have an operating system with improved cross-platform capabilities.