On June 2nd Huawei hosted a launch event revealing a batch of first devices that will be running its in-house built software HarmonyOS 2. The said devices to come with HarmonyOS 2 straight out of the box are Huawei’s two new tablets - MatePad and MatePad Pro - as well as a brand-new wearable Watch 3, updated Mate 40 Series and Mate X2 smartphones.
Originally, HarmonyOS was announced in 2019 following the trade ban with the U.S. and subsequent withdrawal of Android license. At the initial stages HarmonyOS was described as a mobile only platform, however later the vision for HarmonyOS has changed to become an overarching ecosystem for IoT devices. Huawei’s troublesome relationship with the U.S. pressured it to expand and speed up the development of HarmonyOS which is essentialy going to be an alternative to Android providing a connected ecosystem to support user experiences on different devices.
HarmonyOS is an operating system for smart devices developed by Huawei and designed to simplify interconnectivity and usability, which ultimately will lead to seamless and secure experiences across an ecosystem of connected devices.
In a comment to TechCrunch “Huawei denied speculations that HarmonyOS is a derivative of Android and said no single line of code is identical to that of Android. A spokesperson for Huawei declined to say whether the operating system is based on Linux, the kernel that powers Android.”
Despite Huawei openly admitting this, it has been identified that HarmonyOS for smartphones is a forked Android. Given that Android is open source, US sanctions towards Huawei did not impact Huawei’s ability to use the source code from Android and develop a third-party software named HarmonyOS.
There hasn’t been an official confirmation yet from Huawei or Google on the future of Play Store and Google Services on Huawei devices with HarmonyOS, however one Weibo user has installed Play Store on his Mate 40+ running HarmonyOS beta which proves it’s not impossible for Google apps and Play Store to be used and work on HarmonyOS powered devices.
Huawei has announced a mind-blowing roadmap of HarmonyOS being distributed to almost every possible device as old as from 2016. By the end of 2021 Huawei plans to have HarmonyOS installed on about 300 million devices out of which 200 million will be Huawei's own devices. As early as June 2nd HarmonyOS will start rolling out to Mate40, Mate30 and P40 series.
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