Huawei’s First Operating System: HarmonyOS

In light of recent events, where the Trump administration banned agencies from directly purchasing telecom, video surveillance equipment or services from Huawei, it comes as no surprise that Huawei soon came up with their own battle strategy.

The purchase prohibition was mandated by Congress as part of a broader defense bill signed into law last year. And it applies not only to Huawei, but also a list of other telecom companies that have sparked security concerns, such as ZTE and Hikvision. In addition, the law set a deadline of August 2020 for a broader ban on federal contractors doing business with Huawei or the covered firms. Contractors would be able to seek waivers from individual federal agencies if they do not believe that their interaction with those companies poses a security threat.

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With its Android phone industry being threatened, Huawei announced that it doesn’t need Android and is starting its own Operating System. On August 10th, they kept true to their word and announced the development of their very own operating system: HarmonyOS, at the Huawei Developer Conference 2019 which was held in Dongguan City, China. Also, this is the first time when the company held an official developer conference at the company’s headquarters, showing its importance.

HarmonyOS is first going to be launched in Honor Smart Screen and Huawei TVs. They are not yet ready to launch for smartphones for at least the next three years, but are more focused on Androids.

Huawei described HarmonyOS as-

“A microkernel-based OS, distributed OS for all scenarios.”

The OS will run across a range of form factors, with a faster and more responsive UI. Huawei also clarified that though the OS is not compatible with Android apps, it is quite easy to turn any Android app into a HarmonyOS app, using a yet-to-be-released Huawei-made IDE that supports C/C++, Java, and Kotlin.

Huawei plans to invest $1 billion to support developers, and 80% of that would be spent overseas. To attract developers, Huawei will cut its fee intake from app developers working for Harmony to as low as 10%-15%. On the other hand, Apple and Google take a 30% cut for revenue generated through their app stores.

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The Harmony OS is powered by a multi-device IDE, multi-language unified compilation, and a distributed architecture kit, so it can automatically adapt to different screen layout controls and interactions, and support both drag-and-drop control and preview-oriented visual programming.

With a multi-device IDE, developers can code their apps once and deploy them across multiple devices, creating a tightly integrated ecosystem across all user devices. Thus, the HarmonyOS is built to work across different devices synchronously in the theory of smart connectivity and support Tablets, Smartphones, PC, TVs, Wearables and more. Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group said HarmonyOS will be open source, which will help to build its ecosystem faster and more and more people can contribute to its development. So hopefully, there will soon be some third-party code reviews once the repo is posted.

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A voracious reader making a living as an editor in the Media Industry, who in her spare time loves to test her skills as a writer, using words to make the mundane reality more fascinating and the fantastic world of fiction more relatable.

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