SMARTPHONE: Harmony OS beta will only be available to developers, says an employee from the Chinese firm Huawei
Huawei without Google is for now, or almost. Through a post on the social network Weibo, an employee of the Chinese manufacturer indicated that the beta version of Harmony OS, its new operating system, will be launched on December 18th. This will first be available to developers, before being rolled out to users in the form of a public beta in April 2021.
According to Wang Chenglu, chairman of the software department for Huawei’s consumer business, 90% of models currently on the market will be able to benefit from the upgrade in 2021.
Harmony OS, Huawei’s software weapon
As a reminder, Harmony OS will be the new operating system (OS) for Huawei devices. Unlike Android and iOS, this OS is intended to be multiplatform. In other words, it will be supported by a set of devices: connected lamps, smartphones, computers, connected watches, etc. Moreover, it is no longer based on open-source Android. Just like Google with its Fuschia project, the idea with Harmony OS is to develop a complete ecosystem.
Thanks to this new OS, developers will only have to develop their application once so that it is compatible with all devices using Harmony OS. According to Huawei, the app will be able to adapt to the machine it’s displayed on.
The development of Harmony OS began in 2012, well before the officialization of the American embargo. However, the latter accelerated the deployment of the OS so that Huawei is no longer dependent on American software for its activity. In the same vein, the Chinese group aims to produce hardware solutions that are not subject to US sanctions.
Getting further and further away from Uncle Sam
To continue its activity calmly, Huawei, therefore, relies heavily on this operating system. Even though Joe Biden’s victory in the US election suggests a possible easing of sanctions, Huawei continues its estrangement from Android and does not plan to turn back the clock.
By 2021, Huawei will continue to sell devices with Huawei Mobile Services (running on open-source Android). But next year, we risk seeing the arrival of two types of Huawei products: those running Android with Huawei Mobile Services and those with Harmony OS.