Huawei on Wednesday introduced its in-house HarmonyOS operating system across a slew of devices, including smartphones. The invention comes as a way to overcome the issue regarding U.S. sanctions that hampered the smartphone business for Huawei. The trade ban imposed during the presidency of Donald Trump created restriction for Huawei devices to use essential apps like Gmail due to Google’s Android platform not working fully–limiting the major functionality of the device.
The company will initiate its rollout of flagship smartphones with the new HarmonyOS operating system replacing the current operating system based on Google’s Android platform. The U.S. sanctions issued in 2019 banned Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google to provide any kind of technical support to the Huawei phone models and access to Google Mobile Services.
The company also launched HarmonyOS on a new version of its flagship Mate 40 smartphone as well as its Mate X2 foldable phone. Along with the smartphone, they have introduced a new Watch Series 3 smartwatch and MatePad Pro tablet which will also be based on the same HarmonyOS. Huawei also takes the opportunity to announce that roughly 100 other Huawei devices–including both smartphones and tablets–will be upgraded to run on HarmonyOS beginning from Wednesday and be gradually rolled out through to next year in China.
At the end of the video, Huawei’s new smartphone P50 has teased–the response for the delayed spring launch of the phone was mentioned as “for reasons that everyone is aware of,” by Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group. The launch is expected to target the Asian market for now and no news about the operating system’s global rollout has been released yet.
“One as all, all as one. We are living in a world where all things are connected and intelligent. Not a single one of us can remain immune from this world,” said Richard Yu, Executive Director and CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group. “The launch of our HarmonyOS and a range of products powered by this groundbreaking system is another example of our relentless efforts to deliver the best possible user experience with a forward-looking approach.”
The next-generation operating system by Huawei will provide a common language for different kinds of devices to connect and collaborate, providing users with a more convenient, smooth, and secure experience. It uses distributed technology to decouple and flexibly deploy system software, and combine previously independent devices into a cohesive and holistic Super Device. It freely leverages the capabilities of its component devices based on the user’s needs and delivers a new type of connected experience through hardware integration and Service Widgets.
HarmonyOS’s multi-device interaction help in controlling multiple devices as simple as controlling one. The newly installed Multi-device Control Panel supports simple and intuitive connections through a drag-and-integrate feature that allows users to freely connect the devices they want to be based on specific scenarios. With the new HarmonyOS, the home screen is more organized with a better experience for the users. The size of the Service Widgets is customizable, apps could be tapped and swiped up to display their widgets and tap any vacant location on the home screen to hide them. Huawei’s HiLink has been upgraded to HarmonyOS Connect to equip more non-Huawei devices with smart features. The OS also allows connecting Smart home devices to the mobile phone with a single tap.
The heavily dominating two operating systems Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS now has a possible rival that now Huawei has entered the field with a bang. This is not new news though, Huawei was said to be working on a new OS from 2012 and was formally announced in 2019, it is not the only company to do so. Previously, tech giants such as Microsoft and Samsung worked on creating a viable alternative and failed miserably. The possible cause of the downfall might be due to the limited scale failure to attract developers to the platform to make apps and without apps, users may not want to use the software. However, this time around Huawei has devoted sheer focus on apps and the company’s scale and the number of devices HarmonyOS could work across could help attract developers to the platform.
The way of success for HarmonyOS might be smooth in Huawei’s home market of China or even in the parts of Asia. But, the success of Huawei’s success overseas can still be challenging as the international markets of smartphones are completely dominated by Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. Google and Apple run the international market with their own strong ecosystem. These two tech giants are even leading the smartwatch segment with Apple’s own WatchOS and Google introducing its revamped version of its Wear operating system last month. In addition to that, the two companies are also working on software for in-car entertainment too.
These companies have proved to be a strong base for app developers and the world’s most popular apps on their platform where Huawei could struggle to reach this height. Another reason for the struggle is Huawei’s app store will be missing major aspects such as Google apps, which is proved to be the most important features to the international users. Apps such as Facebook will be available but cannot be accessed or downloaded directly from AppGallery. However, hopes are high for the Chinese tech giant for certain continents like Europe and Africa and have space for acceptance.