Huawei announces HarmonyOS, made for smart devices, smartphones and more

Huawei today unveiled its homegrown HarmonyOS at its annual Huawei Developer Conference (HDC 2019). This seems to be the final international branding for the Hongmeng OS we have heard so much about in the past few weeks. Within the company's home nation, the OS will be called Hongmeng.

The Chinese giant is pegging the OS as the "first microkernel-based distributed OS for all scenarios," meaning it can run on anything from wearables and wireless earbuds to laptops and tablets to self-driving cars. Simply put, it's Huawei's attempt at creating the one OS to rule them all. As a result, the company has optimised it for supporting devices with memory ranging from just a few kilobytes - like in IoT devices - to several gigabytes, the amount you'd traditionally find on a laptop or a smartphone.

The platform will also be open-source, in order to encourage faster adoption. However, for the time being, the OS will be restricted to China, though the company plans to make it available internationally at a later date. While the company also touted the OS' cross-device bona fides, it'll be focusing on "smart screen products" for the time being, with Honor releasing a smart TV running on the OS in China. Over the next few years, the company will work on expanding its portfolio to cover wearables and more.

Now, for the big question: can it replace Android? Huawei says, yes, it can, "at any time". But the company's consumer group's CEO, Richard Yu, noted that for now, it plans to stick with Android, a clear nod to Google that unless the company can figure out how to keep providing Huawei with its operating system, the Chinese giant is more than prepared to leave it behind.

In terms of app support, Huawei claimed that the OS will eventually be able to support HTML5, Linux, and Android apps at some time in the future. He also touted the ability for developers to write their code once and deploy it on multiple device categories, given HarmonyOS' distributed nature. It uses the ARK compiler, which means apps built using Kotlin, Java, JavaScript, C, and C++ will all be supported.

Via: The Verge

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