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Huawei HarmonyOS: More Than An Alternative To Google’s Android Operating System
The long-rumoured and much anticipated first-party OS from Huawei is now official. The Chinese technology giant took the wraps off its new OS at the Huawei Developer Conference in Dongguan, China. HarmonyOS, as Huawei is calling it is touted as a lightweight, compact operating system with powerful functionality.
With Harmony OS, Huawei aims to establish an integrated and shared ecosystem across devices. The new OS will first be used for smart devices like smartwatches, smart screens, in-vehicle systems, and smart speakers. The first fully working version of the OS will be first adopted in the company's smart screen products
Honor Vision Smart Screen- First Product To Run Harmony OS
Huawei's sub-brand Honor also officially launched the HONOR Vision smart screen Series at the 2019 HDC. Backed by Honghu 818 octa-core chipset, the Vision smart screen carries a magic image-processing engine with seven advanced image-processing technologies, including Motion Estimate and Motion Compensation (MEMC), High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDR), Super-Resolution (SR), Noise Reduction (NR), Dynamic Contrast Improvement (DCI), Auto Color Management (ACM) and Local Dimming (LD).
The company claims that Honor Vision smart screen is much more than a home entertainment centre. It can also serve as an information-sharing centre, control management centre and multi-device interaction centre within a smart home ecosystem.
The news of Huawei's long-awaited first-party OS was making rounds since the U.S government enacted a trade ban on the Chinese technology giant. As Huawei was denied access to Google's Android OS, the company in no time released an entirely new OS that seems much more than just an alternative to Android or iOS.
Harmony OS- Microkernel-based Open-Source Platform
Unlike the well-known Android OS, HarmonyOS is a microkernel-based, distributed operating system that is touted to deliver a smooth experience across all scenarios. Huawei mentions that the new OS has a trustworthy and secure architecture, and it supports seamless collaboration across devices. Importantly, the HarmonyOS microkernel has much less code (roughly one-thousandth the amount of the Linux kernel), which reduces the probability of a potential attack.
Huawei confirms that the company plans to release HarmonyOS as an open-source platform, worldwide. The company also plans to establish an open-source foundation and an open-source community to support more in-depth collaboration with developers. It seems the developers are in for a treat as the new OS supports cross-device compatibility. The apps developed on one device can be flexibly deployed across a range of different devices. This would allow developers to code and run apps across smart devices without much effort.
Huawei has reportedly spent over 9 to 10 years in creating the HarmonyOS. The company wanted to develop an operating system that could seamlessly integrate intelligence with all aspects of human's lives. The new OS is claimed to address underperformance challenges, features enhanced security and low latency and is coded to reshape security and trustworthiness from the ground up in a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE).
Huawei has high hopes from its HarmonyOS. The first-party OS developed over the years can be the go-to OS for Huawei in the home-grown market. "We believe HarmonyOS will revitalize the industry and enrich the ecosystem," said Richard Yu. "Our goal is to bring people a truly engaging and diverse experience. We want to invite developers from around the world to join us as we build out this new ecosystem. Together, we will deliver an intelligent experience for consumers in all scenarios."
However, with little to no access to Android ecosystem, the company will find it difficult to sell its devices in the global market that heavily relies on Google's services and application support. We will keep an eye on the new developments on the HarmonyOS in the coming months. We are expecting Huawei to flood the market with new devices running the new OS with a seamless approach towards a smarthome ecosystem.