After years of hypothesis Huawei has after all printed HarmonyOS: a brand new cell working machine that is excess of an insignificant Android rival, however can even energy Huawei’s complete ecosystem of cell, wearable, and smart-home units.

Huawei printed HarmonyOS along a sequence of MatePad pills and Watch 3 wearables, however we right here at Tech Consultant have additionally had the risk to check the brand new working machine out ourselves, over a number of days with the 12.6in MatePad Professional.

Head to our HarmonyOS hands-on preview for our first impressions, or learn on for the whole lot you want to find out about Solidarity, together with what apps it runs, which units it’s going to reinforce, and whether or not you are able to improve your telephone or pill to the brand new OS.

What’s HarmonyOS?

Huawei expenses HarmonyOS as “a future-proof disbursed working machine.” That mainly method it is the corporate’s personal working machine, designed to paintings on units from IoT and wise domestic merchandise to wearables, in-car infotainment programs, and cell units – together with smartphones.

In step with Huawei, a developer may just construct an revel in the usage of HarmonyOS for one product class and the platform would then have the ability to adapt stated revel in to paintings throughout different forms of merchandise with minimum effort.

Which new units reinforce HarmonyOS?

HarmonyOS has handiest simply been formally introduced, with model 2.0 providing smartphone compatibility for the primary time. Model 1.0 was once first observed operating at the corporate’s personal wise TVs and its AX3 WiFi router.

Huawei formally introduced the OS on a brand new trio of MatePad and MatePad Professional pills, along the Watch 3 and Watch 3 Professional. It is usually printed that the tool can be incorporated at the P50 telephones after they release quickly.

HarmonyOS MatePad Pro

The corporate hopes to have HarmonyOS 2.0 operating on over 200 million units by way of the top of 2021; that is a determine made up no longer handiest of Huawei’s personal merchandise however the ones made by way of its companions too.

Can I improve my telephone or pill to HarmonyOS?

The smartphone-compatible HarmonyOS 2.0 beta went reside in December 2020 however the corporate showed on the unveiling of its newest foldable – the Mate X2 – on 22 February 2021 that, “flagship telephone customers will have the ability to improve their telephones to HarmonyOS ranging from this April,” with the X2 being the primary smartphone to get the improve.

In any case that April date slipped again to June, however both method upgrading to HarmonyOS will quickly be conceivable.

HarmonyOS early access My Huawei screenshot | Source: Huawei Central

The display screen make a selection customers in China have been introduced with throughout the My Huawei app to realize early get entry to to HarmonyOS

As of one June, some Huawei customers in China have already been introduced with the choice to join early get entry to to HarmonyOS by means of the My Huawei app, whilst a Weibo leak has additionally produced a shortlist of units set to realize get entry to to HarmonyOS 2.0 in June by means of tool replace, declaring that Huawei can be fast to push those updates out and that extra units are set to sign up for this listing in the end:

Is HarmonyOS changing Android on Huawei telephones?

Sure and no… Huawei’s personal documentation and advertising and marketing surrounding HarmonyOS recommend that it serves as an entire end-to-end alternative for Android on its smartphones and pills.

Then again, ArsTechnica performed an in-depth assessment of the HarmonyOS 2.0 beta, together with its construction equipment, and concluded that, in its present state, HarmonyOS 2.0 was once necessarily Android (model 10) in all however identify.

Some elementary parts of HarmonyOS 2.0 nonetheless make connection with Android, which the corporate has used to energy its smartphones since they first hit the marketplace.

My hands-on take a look at of the tool prompt an identical, with an revel in that is in the long run just about EMUI, albeit tweaked fairly and with some new aesthetic thrives.

Whilst HarmonyOS’ authentic advertising and marketing and construction forms seem to be deliberately written to obfuscate the reality this it’s necessarily a forked model of Android, it does seem to be in keeping with Google’s cell OS, so as to say that it’s changing Android at the corporate’s smartphones is not precisely proper.

Will Android apps run on HarmonyOS?

Sure. Neatly, to the similar extent that Huawei’s contemporary Android units do, which is to mention that any apps that do not depend on Google Cellular Products and services will run nice.

HarmonyOS makes use of the similar AppGallery app retailer that Huawei offered on Android, and each app I examined ran nice at the new machine.

It additionally provides the similar Petal Seek device, which permits customers to simply seek for .apk recordsdata and set up commonplace Android apps that are not incorporated within the AppGallery. In my trying out Instagram, Netflix, and Disney+ all ran completely on HarmonyOS.

HarmonyOS Disney+

The one apps that may not paintings are the similar ones that may not paintings on contemporary Huawei Android units: any Google apps, and any third-party apps that depend on Google Cellular Products and services for authentication or knowledge syncing. The ones come with the likes of Todoist and 0, however it’s going to take customers some trial and mistake to determine which in their apps will run easily and which may not.

What’s HarmonyOS like to make use of?

We have now been trying out HarmonyOS out at the new 12.6in MatePad Professional and will verify that during use it feels so much like Huawei’s EMUI Android pores and skin – with a wholesome does of iOS/iPadOS options thrown into the combination too.


Aesthetically, it appears to be like so much like EMUI, with the similar design language, color scheme, icons, or even the Android notification machine.

There were tweaks on the other hand. As an example, swiping down from the left-hand facet of the display screen now brings down the notification tray, whilst a right-hand swipe pulls down the relatively redesigned keep watch over centre.


On pill no less than there may be additionally a brand new app dock that sits alongside the ground of the house display screen with shortcuts to a couple of apps of your selection, plus your maximum just lately used – regardless that this isn’t anticipated to be incorporated on smartphone variations of the OS.

Widgets actually have a renewed focal point, very similar to iOS 14 and what we have now observed of Android 12 up to now. Those come with acquainted Android widgets plus some further Solidarity choices, with extra to return. There is additionally a brand new strategy to increase folders into a bigger layout.

As discussed sooner than, apps are put in by means of the Huawei AppGallery, and up to now any like minded Android apps – i.e. any that do not depend on Google Cellular Products and services – appear to run easily, put in both by means of AppGallery or by means of Petal Seek the usage of an .apk report.

HarmonyOS App Multiplier

Multi-tasking with the ones apps has additionally advanced. Now not handiest are you able to run a couple of apps on split-screen, however Huawei’s App Multiplier will help you run a couple of home windows side-by-side from inside of the similar app. The corporate says virtually 4,000 apps reinforce the characteristic already – regardless that in fact you should not be expecting it paintings with the rest you may have sideloaded.

Huawei has additionally in-built a heavy emphasis on ecosystem right here. Suitable Huawei wearables and equipment will pair seamlessly whilst you flip them on, and you’ll briefly percentage recordsdata between close by HarmonyOS units too.

There is even advanced collaboration with Huawei’s Home windows 10 laptops. You are able to replicate your display screen to the Home windows software or lengthen displays to make use of your pill or telephone as a secondary show. Drag-and-drop wi-fi report sharing could also be conceivable.

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