Huawei is rolling out HarmonyOS, the working system developed by the Shenzhen-based agency, to smartphones for the primary time. The announcement was made throughout a launch occasion this afternoon, the place Huawei additionally introduced a brand new smartwatch mannequin, Huawei Watch 3.
Till now, HarmonyOS has been reserved for smartwatches, sensible audio system, televisions and different life-style merchandise. Nonetheless, Huawei has been laborious at work reworking the software program right into a fully-fledged various to Google’s immensely common Android working system, which powers handsets from Google itself, Samsung, OnePlus, LG, and extra.
Huawei is not in a position to make use of the model of Android designed by Google, which ships with various Google-owned providers and apps, together with the Play Retailer, YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, and extra. As an alternative, Huawei has to depend on an open-source model of the software program, which lags behind when it comes to options and lacks the Google apps.
Huawei was blocked from its relationship with Google (which had helped Huawei to develop into the second-largest smartphone producer on the planet again in 2019, with its sights set on the highest spot) when President Donald J Trump positioned the corporate on a US commerce blacklist – banning all American firms from doing enterprise with the agency over considerations about its hyperlinks to the Chinese language authorities. The ban meant Google, a US firm based mostly in California, is not capable of provide Android updates or options to any Huawei-branded gadget.
Following the block, Huawei’s marketshare plunged from 20 % to eight.8 % in a bit over a 12 months after the ban got here into power.
Android accounts for 85.4 % of all smartphones shipped in 2019, whereas Apple’s iOS takes the remaining 14.6 %, the most recent figures from IDC has revealed. Huawei’s HarmonyOS, which is predicated on the open-source model of Android, would nonetheless rely as Android in these figures.
That is just like Amazon’s FireOS, which powers its own-brand model of tablets, however leverages Android beneath the entire gloss.
In accordance with Huawei, HarmonyOS is a extra environment friendly working system. What would take 100 traces of Android code can now be achieved in a single line of HarmonyOS code, the corporate proudly introduced on-stage. This enables HarmonyOS to be extremely environment friendly on lower-powered units, like in-car infotainment methods, which haven’t got the identical quantity of grunt as the most recent flagship smartphone.
Bringing HarmonyOS to smartphones will enable for larger cohesion between its big range of units. It should enable extra interplay between Huawei smartphones and Huawei-branded Sensible TVs. For instance, video calls answered on a smartphone may very well be swiped onto the Sensible TV to benefit from the large display. Cellphone calls could be transferred to sensible audio system, with the decision following you as you wander round the home – seamlessly leaping to the speaker or HarmonyOS machine closest to you at anyone time.
“HarmonyOS is designed to supply the glue between a rising array of linked units that Huawei is concentrating on,” commented Ben Wooden, chief analyst at CCS Perception. “Huawei will likely be hoping that it will probably observe Apple’s lead, by having a single software program platform that extends in all instructions, offering a seamless expertise to clients that purchase into its ecosystem of merchandise.”
Shifting ahead, we anticipate HarmonyOS to be the default working system that ships with the most recent batch of Huawei smartphones and tablets.
For these with a Huawei handset already of their pocket, solely house owners in China will be capable to obtain HarmonyOS from immediately. Throughout its occasion immediately, Huawei remained tight-lipped about the opportunity of a worldwide launch for the working system. Huawei Mate 40 and Huawei P40 sequence are already receiving the replace in China proper now. Huawei claims that each velocity and battery life are improved when operating HarmonyOS in comparison with its predecessor. Though, we’ll want to attend till it drops within the UK to check that ourselves.