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More Than Just Plan B: Huawei’s Announces Ambitious Multi-device Operating System, HarmonyOS

More ambitious than we thought

Huawei had a big announcement today during their 2019 Developer Conference in Dongguang, China. The company has officially announced their own, ambitious OS, dubbed Harmony (or Hongmeng, in Chinese). Contrary to rumors, the new OS isn’t just for their smartphones, or a last-minute replacement for Android – it’s an open-source OS that is aimed at unifying many smart devices into one OS via microkernel design that the company has been working on for years.

The secret to HarmonyOS’ strength is its modularized, decoupled nature, allowing it to be nested and used on different devices on-demand, including smartwatches, head units, Huawei’s Vision services, smartphones and more.

The distributed architecture and distributed virtual bus tech of the new OS allows developers to focus on their own individual service logic instead of dealing with the underlying technology on a device. That means less work for developers, and faster roll-out time when the app is being adapted for other devices.

This means developers using Huawei’s ARK Compiler for HarmonyOS can easily adapt their app to multiple devices like head units, TVs, smartphones and others using drag-and-drop controls, and deploy them easily through all devices that use HarmonyOS.

Huawei says that they’re rolling out HarmonyOS first in their smart screen products, which are due to launch first this year. Huawei will continually roll out HarmonyOS to other devices like wearables, HiVision (their smart TV platform) as well as smartphones.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei said that HarmonyOS has performance that surpass Android, and can be utilized if the company completely loses access to Android as the trade war between the US and China worsens.

“If we cannot use Android in the future, then we can immediately switch to HarmonyOS,” Yu told the attendees.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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