Huawei HarmonyOS: Open source and first on "Smart Screens"

Now it's official: Huawei unveiled the open operating system HarmonyOS on Friday, about which there had been a lot of speculation in recent weeks. Against the background of the trade war between China and the US, in whose crossfire Huawei advised, and the possible restrictions on the use of Android, the system also called HongmengOS was traded as a possible replacement for Huawei smartphones.

HarmonyOS runs on smartphones, confirmed Richard Yu, head of Huawei's consumer division, on Friday at the launch of the Huawei Developer Conference (HDC) in Dongguan, China. Previously, high-level Huawei executives had expressed contradictory opinions about the purpose of the system. However, the manufacturer does not seem to intend to bring the system in the near future on a smartphone in the trade. In any case, HarmonyOS is initially only available in China, its international debut will make the system later.

Although it is not excluded that Huawei will eventually show an entry-level smartphone with HarmonyOS as proof of fitness. But Android remains the system of choice for the time being – if the political situation continues to allow. "We prefer Android for smartphones," said Yu. "But if we can not use Android, we'll be able to quickly transition to HarmonyOS."

HarmonyOS in Version 1.0 should be based not only on a microkernel but also on a Linux kernel or the LiteOS kernel. Initially, the system will run on "smart screen" devices that are expected to hit the market later this year. A hot candidate is the first television, which wants to introduce the subsidiary brand Honor this weekend. In the following years HarmonyOS will then be further developed and adapted for other device classes. Huawei calls here, for example, smart watches, TVs or car entertainment systems. HarmonyOS 2.0 should appear in 2020 only with its own microkernel, version 3.0 a year later.

Huawei hopes that as an open-source platform, HarmonyOS can gather an active developer community to further evolve the system. "We want to establish a global operating system that is not just used by Huawei," said Yu. "HarmonyOS is very different than Android or iOS." The distributed microkernel system works smoothly on different platforms. "You only have to develop an app once and then be able to use it flexibly on a wide range of different devices."

The microkernel makes HarmonyOS lean: the kernel provides only the basic functions that are necessary, while additional services are outsourced to processes or libraries. This does not require root access for these functions. In addition, the system is easily customizable for other platform and environments. Developers and users should also benefit from this, says Huawei, promising seamless portability, low latency and high security.

Huawei provides the system with its Ark compiler, which the company has previously made available to Android developers as well. The compiler supports a number of programming languages, including Java, C, and C ++. This allows developers to simply compile their Android apps for HarmonyOS, it said. "We are confident that HarmonyOS will enliven the industry," said Yu. "We want to invite developers around the world to build this new ecosystem with us."


. (tagsToTranslate) Android (t) Operating System (t) HarmonyOS (t) HongmengOS (t) Honor (t) Huawei (t) Internet of Things (t) Smart TV (t) Smartphones