Huawei launches its own operating system called HarmonyOS

Huawei unveils HarmonyOS operating system, says it's ready for phones

China's Huawei has officially unveiled its operating system that has been rumored to be the company's replacement for Android on its smartphones.

Huawei has announced it is developing a new operating system called HarmonyOS. "Over the next three years, HarmonyOS will be optimized and gradually adopted across a broader range of smart devices, including wearables, Huawei Vision, and head units for your auto", read an excerpt of an emailed press release. He says this creates ease of deployment in that developers can "develop (their) apps once, then flexibly deploy them across a range of different devices".

While the company said that it now prefers to power its smartphones with Google's Android, it did not rule out the future use of its own system on smartphones. The motivation for Huawei to do so dates back to May 2019, when Google was forced by the USA government to suspend Huawei's Android licence due to a mix of the U.S.

According to reports, EMUI 10 breaks through the hardware boundary and virtualizes the hardware capabilities (display, camera, microphone, speaker) of different terminals. But the blacklist limited Huawei to the public version of Android for new devices - thus cutting it off from Google apps and services, including Gmail and Google maps. This confirms what many tech insiders have been predicting, that Huawei will seek to replace the Android operating system which powers its devices.

Over the next three years, HarmonyOS will spread across a broader range of smart devices, it said. The bans would mean that United States federal agencies will no longer be able to buy gear and services from the company as of next week.

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The CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, Richard Yu, announced the new OS just as Huawei Developer Conference (HDC) 2019 is about to begin in Dongguan, China.

Yu stressed that Huawei wants to use Android but can "switch immediately" to HarmonyOS if it loses access to the Google product. With the Trump administration reportedly putting Huawei licenses on hold, that scenario is looking more likely by the day.

Previously, it's been unclear whether HarmonyOS would be an operating system for smartphones or for internet-of-things devices.

It's still unsure when and if Apple will fully remove the use of Android on Huawei's devices, but if it does happen, at least we now know they'll be ready for it.

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