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Huawei Finally Unveils Its ‘HarmonyOS’ Android Replacement

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Huawei has finally revealed details about HarmonyOS, its much-rumoured and talked-about Android replacement.

Speaking at the Huawei Developer Conference, CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group Richard Yu said HarmonyOS is ready to run on phones, but “for the consideration of partnership and ecosystem” Huawei won’t be using it on phones just yet, reads a new report from Engadget. Yu did say, though, that if the company isn’t able to use Google’s Android operating system, HarmonyOS is ready to go.

“We’re entering a day and age where people expect a holistic intelligent experience across all devices and scenarios,” Yu said. “To support this, we felt it was important to have an operating system with improved cross-platform capabilities.

“We needed an OS that supports all scenarios, that can be used across a broad range of devices and platforms, and that can meet consumer demand for low latency and strong security,” Yu continued.

The open-source platform bears several similarities to Google’s upcoming Fuchsia, in that both are microkernel-based and designed to work across a number of devices, including tablets, IoT devices, smartwatches, computers, smartphones, and more.

Huawei talked about some of Harmony’s features, claiming that its IPC performance was five times that of Fuchsia. It added that it uses a deterministic latency engine that provides “precise resource scheduling with real-time load analysis and forecasting and app characteristics matching.” There’s also a big focus on security, with the OS having a verified TEE (Trusted Execution Environment), keeping data secure across multiple smart devices.

HarmonyOS will support apps built for HTML5, Linux, and Android, and it is set to launch on “smart screen products” — expected to be smart TVs — later this year before arriving on wearables and laptops across the next three years.

Analysts gave the launch a cautious welcome.

“Using Harmony on other devices first, instead of smartphones, is a thoughtful move by Huawei,” said Jia Mo, an analyst from research agency Canalys. “Huawei needs to consider its relationship with Google and it has still not had definitive word from the US that it has been banned from using Android for good.”

Harmony has been widely anticipated after the world’s number two smartphone vendor was put on a US trade blacklist in May, blocking its ability to buy a range of American-made technology including Google’s Android for smartphones and Microsoft’s Windows operating system for personal computers.

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