Behold HarmonyOS, Huawei’s answer to the alternate Android OS

Say hello to the HarmonyOS. Ever since Huawei found itself at the center of US-China trade war and faced Android ban, it vowed to come up with its own operating system as a backup for similar scenarios in the future. We had heard a lot of things about this OS, and finally, the company has unveiled it to the general public. They’re calling it HarmonyOS, and it’s meant to work as a single platform for multiple devices.

The OS was announced at Huawei Developers Conference 2019, which is the company’s annual conference for developers similar to Google I/O. For now, the HarmonyOS is meant to work only on devices other than smartphones, but the company has created it in such a manner that in future it can undoubtedly replace Android. It’s based on a Fuchsia-like microkernel architecture, which allows it to work on smartwatches, TVs, smart home devices and other devices.

The company is also claiming that it provides better security than other Linux-based operating systems. Developers can develop the apps for it in any popular programming language of their choice (i.e. C/C++, Java, Kotlin, etc.) and translate the apps using Huawei’s own ARK Compiler.

HarmonyOS – Latency Engine

The company also provided some details regarding how HarmonyOS will be different from Android. According to the company, HarmonyOS has been built on a “Deterministic Latency Engine“, which can help in reducing input lag and animation lag by allocating system resources based on real-time load analysis. Plus, the shared developer ecosystem that Huawei plans to develop around HarmonyOS can help in cross-platform development of apps.

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If history repeats itself (which it will because of the ongoing US-China trade war), the company can migrate its users from Android to this OS in a couple of days. But for the time being, it has decided to stick with Android, as many of its existing partners want it to do so.

The launch of this new OS also brings a few more challenges. One of which includes heavily coupled Google services. The company is working on alternatives to Google services to further reduce its dependency on Google. For instance, it has developed a new “HMS Core” API that can serve as an alternative to Play Services. The API can play a major role in ensuring a swift transition of users from Android to HarmonyOS if it ever needs to do so.

The first few devices to come with HarmonyOS will be smart TVs. Then, over the course of the next three years company plans to roll it out to other devices. In its initial year, the OS will be available in China, and then once it has been perfected the company may take it global.

Source | Huawei

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