HarmonyOS: Huawei Unveils Open-Source Android Alternative

As expected, Huawei has launched its new operating system (OS) as a potential alternative to Google's Android OS, according to Android Authority

News of the new operating system also comes in the wake of a U.S. trade ban against the company back in May. President Donald Trump has since claimed that the ban will be partially lifted, but the U.S. Commerce Department is still banning the company.

The U.S. ban complicates Huawei’s ability to offer Android on its phones, so HarmonyOS is seen as a plan B if the trade ban affects Google’s ability to support Huawei in the future. In fact, rumors suggest that the Chinese brand is working on a Harmony OS phone for release later this year. -Android Authority

Speaking on the first day of its annual developer conference on Friday, CEO Richard Yu announced that HarmonyOS is "the first microkernel-based distributed OS for all scenarios" which will eventually support a range of apps - with focus on HTML5, Linux and Android apps, which will " all be able to run on our OS in the future" according to Yu. 

The new platform supports smartphones, smart speakers, computers, smartwatches, wireless earbuds, cars, and tablets. In fact, Yu says the platform supports RAM sizes ranging from kilobytes to gigabytes. Interestingly enough, Huawei says HarmonyOS won’t support root access. -Android Authority

"HarmonyOS 1.0 will be first adopted in its smart screen products, which are due to launch later this year. Over the next three years, HarmonyOS will be optimized and gradually adopted across a broader range of smart devices, including wearables, Huawei Vision, and head units for your car," the company told Android Authority in an emailed press release. 

What about Android?

While Yu said that HarmonyOS can replace Android "at any time," he reiterated the company's commitments to Google's platform. 

"If we cannot use Android in the future, then we can immediately switch to HarmonyOS," said Yu, who added that migrating from Android to Harmony "is not that difficult.