Huawei unveils HarmonyOS, possible replacement for Android

Huawei has unveiled its own operating system, HarmonyOS, in China. HarmonyOS will eventually work across personal computers, smartwatches, cars, smart devices and mobile phones, according to the firm – but has primarily been designed for smart devices.

The new platform supports smartphones, smart speakers, computers, smartwatches, wireless earbuds, cars, and tablets and supports RAM sizes ranging from kilobytes to gigabytes.

The company said it has worked on security and trustworthiness aspects of the operating system from the ground up. It said HarmonyOS uses formal verification methods to “reshape security.”

Formal verification methods are an effective mathematical approach to validate system correctness from the source, while traditional verification methods, such as functional verification and attack simulation, “are confined to limited scenarios,” the company stated.

The new operating system isn’t really a direct replacement for Android, according to Richard Yu, who heads its consumer business group.

“HarmonyOS is completely different from Android and iOS. It is a microkernel-based, distributed OS that delivers a smooth experience across all scenarios,”

During the press conference, the firm did not show any photos of HarmonyOS in action, and Huawei prefers to keep using Android. Yu said that if Huawei was left unable to access Google’s Android ecosystem it would be ready to rollout HarmonyOS to its devices straight away.

“if we cannot use it in the future we can immediately switch to HarmonyOS,”

“That could be done in as little as two days if needed.”

Yu acknowledged that the success of HarmonyOS will depend on a dynamic ecosystem of apps and developers

“To encourage broader adoption, Huawei will release HarmonyOS as an open-source platform, worldwide.

“Huawei will also establish an open-source foundation and an open-source community to support more in-depth collaboration with developers.”

The initial market for HarmonyOS will be based in China, but Huawei stated it would seek to expand to the global market after the foundations were laid at home.

The first product to use HarmonyOS will be the Honor Vision TV set, which will be launched in China tomorrow (August 10).

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