Communicate of a brand new working device made in-house at Huawei has circulated for years however got here to the fore in Would possibly 2019. It now appears set to energy the corporate’s destiny smartphones and different IoT units too.

So, what shape does HarmonyOS take, and when it comes to the corporate’s smartphones, how does it fluctuate from the present Android enjoy Huawei makes use of?

What’s HarmonyOS?

Huawei expenses HarmonyOS as “a future-proof allotted working device” which in essence approach the corporate’s personal working device, designed to paintings on imminent units; from IoT and good house merchandise to wearables, in-car infotainment techniques and cellular units – together with smartphones.

Consistent with Huawei, a developer may just construct an enjoy the use of HarmonyOS for one product class and the platform would then have the ability to adapt stated enjoy to paintings throughout different kinds of merchandise with minimum effort.

Which units give a boost to HarmonyOS?

At the present HarmonyOS stays in beta, with model 2.0 providing smartphone compatibility for the primary time. Model 1.0 used to be first noticed operating at the corporate’s personal good TVs and its AX3 WiFi router.

Huawei’s tool adaptation roadmap for HarmonyOS 2.0 main points:

From 10 September 2020 – Gadgets with 128KB to 128MB RAM
From 21 April 2021 – Gadgets with 128MB to 4GB RAM
From October 2021 – Gadgets with 4GB or extra of RAM

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

Is HarmonyOS changing Android on Huawei telephones?

Sure and no… Huawei’s personal documentation and advertising surrounding HarmonyOS counsel that it serves as a whole end-to-end substitute for Android on its smartphones and drugs.

Then again, ArsTechnica performed an in-depth assessment of the HarmonyOS 2.0 beta, together with its building gear, and concluded that, in its present state, HarmonyOS 2.0 used to be necessarily Android (model 10) in all however title.

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

Whilst HarmonyOS’ professional advertising and building 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 cellular OS, as a way to say that it’s changing Android at the corporate’s smartphones is not precisely proper.

When can we see HarmonyOS on a smartphone?

The smartphone-compatible HarmonyOS 2.0 beta went are living in December 2020 however the corporate showed on the unveiling of its newest foldable, the Mate X2, in China 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 run HarmonyOS.

As for the primary telephones to run HarmonyOS out the field (and doubtlessly handiest HarmonyOS – with out a connection with Android), it used to be first of all concept that the long-rumoured P50 collection will be the first units to game the OS, alternatively, experiences of a prolong to their free up, transferring from overdue March to Would possibly approach HarmonyOS could have formally introduced a month previous to the telephones’ eventual free up.

This all seems to be in warfare with the roadmap it laid out up to now, which implies an speeded up adoption of the platform on units with extra reminiscence quicker than anticipated. It is unclear how HarmonyOS’ rollout will fluctuate between Huawei’s local marketplace of China and for customers and units in different areas the place it operates.

In relation to the person enjoy at the Mate X2, whilst we had the privilege of operating this next-gen foldable thru our assessment procedure, the tool got here and went sooner than Huawei up to date its instrument to HarmonyOS (and thus our assessment is in keeping with a tool nonetheless operating true Android).

Then again, a brand new video surfaced on 28 April that presentations an X2 operating HarmonyOS 2.0:

On first impressions, it would possibly not win prizes for originality – showing to resemble and behave nearly identically to Huawei’s current Android-based Emotion UI person enjoy, albeit with a few small variations.

In a similar fashion to iOS (and older builds of Android) the notifications and regulate centre will also be summoned via swiping down from the highest two corners of the UI, whilst swiping up on well matched app icons on a homescreen has them scale up into brief widgets – no longer in contrast to BlackBerry’s tackle Android throughout the generation of the Priv and DTEK 50/60.

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