Huawei announces its new Harmony operating system

Huawei announces its new Harmony operating system
Source: BBC
Date: 10-08-2019 Time: 12:08:27:pm

Huawei has announced it is developing a new operating system called HarmonyOS.

There had been speculation that Huawei was planning to replace the Android operating system which powers its smartphones and tablets.

In May, Google suspended the company's Android licence after the US government put Huawei on a trade blacklist.

However, Huawei said HarmonyOS would first be used in devices such as smart speakers and watches, rather than replacing Android in its phones.

"HarmonyOS is completely different from Android and iOS," said Huawei's Richard Yu, who announced the project at the Huawei Developer Conference in Dongguan, China.

He said the operating system would let developers create one version of their apps and then "flexibly deploy them across a range of different devices".

Graphics displayed during his presentation did include depictions of smartphones as well as watches, cars and televisions.

Huawei said it would initially focus the development of HarmonyOS on China, with plans to expand availability globally in the future.

It said HarmonyOS would be an open-source platform so that anybody could use the software to create compatible devices.

The core of Google's Android OS is also open source, so companies can take the code and use it however they want. This approach is taken by Amazon in its Fire tablets.

However, there are restrictions on what phone-makers can do with Android if they want access to the Google Play app store, and to Google's suite of popular apps such as Maps and YouTube.

Ben Wood from the CCS Insight consultancy said Huawei's announcement was an "inevitable move".

But he added: "Replacing [or] displacing Android is a virtually impossible task."

In China, the new operating system will be called HongmengOS.