By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Guangzhou, China: Huawei on Wednesday launched its self-developed operating system across a slew of devices, including smartphones. The move comes as the Chinese tech giant looks to wean itself off its reliance on U.S. technology and could pit it against software from Apple and Google.
Huawei has been developing HarmonyOS since 2016 and bills it as an operating system that can work across many internet-connected devices from smartphones to wearables. The company claims it is easy for developers to create apps that can work across different products.
Smartphones, Watches Get HarmonyOS
On Wednesday, Huawei launched HarmonyOS on a new version of its flagship Mate 40 smartphone as well as its Mate X2 foldable phone. Huawei’s new Watch Series 3 smartwatch and MatePad Pro tablet will also be equipped with HarmonyOS.
Huawei announced on Wednesday that many of the company’s older phones will be able to upgrade to HarmonyOS. These upgrades will begin from Wednesday and be gradually rolled out through to next year.
Huawei has looked to pivot to software and focus on other consumer electronics like wearables and tablets to boost revenue. HarmonyOS is part of that effort along with an increasing focus on cloud computing.
The company has said that nearly 100 different Huawei products are set to support HarmonyOS in China this year. Huawei had previously said 300 million devices will run on HarmonyOS this year.
At an online event on Wednesday, Wang Chenglu, the president of software in Huawei’s consumer business group, showed examples of how HarmonyOS works across devices. One example involved opening a “control panel” on a smartphone before choosing one of several music apps and what device to play songs on.
But What Is HarmonyOS?
HarmonyOS is a family of operating systems developed by Huawei. Unveiled on 9 August 2019, it was described as being a microkernel-based, distributed, embedded operating system for Internet of Things (IoT) devices, but that it could be used as a mobile operating system in the future.
HarmonyOS 1.0 was first used by Huawei smart TVs for the Chinese market in September 2019. HarmonyOS 2.0 was then released for Huawei smartphones and tablets in June 2021.
The version of HarmonyOS for IoT devices is developed as an open source project under the name OpenHarmony, and is based on Huawei’s LiteOS microkernel. The version of HarmonyOS for smartphones and tablets was shown to be a fork of the Android 10 source code and Huawei’s existing EMUI software.
In June 2021, a Huawei spokesperson stated that HarmonyOS did utilize a Linux kernel instead of LiteOS on hardware with larger amounts of memory, and that the project leveraged “third-party open-source resources”.