On the first day of its Huawei Developer Conference in Dongguan City, the Chinese tech giant unveiled its much-talked-about Android replacement, Harmony OS. As part of the presentation, the company’s Consumer Business Group CEO, Richard Yu, said that Harmony OS is a microkernel-based distributed operating system that will support Android apps. He had earlier claimed that the software will be faster and smoother than Android.
HarmonyOS has just been announced at #HDC2019! How are we going to build an all-scenario smart ecosystem and experience? How will we overcome the challenges of future OS for connected things? Stayed tuned with us to find out. pic.twitter.com/x7ZbgcEy2d
— Huawei Mobile (@HuaweiMobile) August 9, 2019
While meant primarily for IoT devices such as smart displays, televisions, wearables, smart speakers and automobiles, Harmony will also be compatible with smartphones and, will be deployed in case the company loses access to Android because of US sanctions. Yu, however, reiterated that the company intends to stick with Android for smartphones in the near future, even while claiming that migration to the new software will only take a few days.
Like Google’s upcoming Fuchsia OS, Harmony is also a microkernel-based operating system that comes with its own ARK compiler that developers can use to compile code from multiple languages, such as C/C++, Java, Kotlin and more. The company has also promised to make an SDK available for developers to create apps across all supported devices – from smartphones to automobiles and more. Huawei also reportedly plans to release the Harmony source code soon, making it an open-source software.
Rumored variously as HongMeng OS and Ark OS over the past several months, Huawei’s Harmony OS had been in the works for years, although, its development only picked up speed recently, amidst the escalating US-China trade war that saw the former impose a (short-lived) sanction on Huawei, prompting Google, Qualcomm and other US companies to sever ties with the Chinese telecom giant.