Harmony OS 2.0, due to be released for Huawei smartphones this year, is a very strange platform. On the one hand, Huawei claims that it is the company’s own development, while on the other hand, it makes it very clear that it has no plans to replace Android. How this correlates to the fact that Huawei is no longer able to use Google services on its devices and interact with American developers is completely unclear. Moreover, from a practical point of view, Harmony OS is also very good.
Beta testers, who managed to get access to Harmony OS 2.0 for smartphones, were very pleased with the performance of the operating system. According to them, the new Huawei platform offered a very high level of performance, smooth animations, high picture quality, and better handling of special effects in games with lower power consumption.
How Harmony OS works
Of course, the testing was done on new devices with high performance, so it would be strange to expect low performance from the Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ or Huawei Mate X2. However, the increased performance and reduced power consumption compared to the Android-based EMUI 11 show that Huawei has done a lot of work to optimize the software and achieved if not outstanding, at least very good results.
Despite the fact that Huawei claims that Harmony OS 2.0 is based on the core of its own development, the operating system supports not only Android applications but also Google services, including Google Play. This is due to the fact that Huawei developers intentionally implemented Android Open Source Platform support in Harmony OS.
It ensures the compatibility of all these software components. After all, it is logical that Huawei will not be able to take hundreds and thousands of actual applications from nowhere, and so users will be able to use all the software to which they are already used to.
According to the developers who take part in the testing of Harmony OS, the fact that it is a separate operating system is evidenced by the expansion of application packages written specifically for it. If on Android it is APK, on Harmony OS it is HAP.
Is it true that Harmony OS is Android-based?
Simply, Huawei’s proprietary operating system supports both platforms, so it is compatible with both types of software. However, over time, it is planned that the number of applications developed exclusively for Harmony will only increase.
In general, if all of this is true, and Harmony OS is only using the Android Open Source Platform as a ferry to the independence side, then it turns out that Huawei is moving in the right direction. At this point, it’s very much the right decision in terms of ease of transition. It may not be morally right, but business is not a thing where morality should prevail.
Right now, it is in Huawei’s interest to get rid of its dependence on Google, and it is doing it in a way that is convenient for it. Apparently, this is why the Chinese say that Harmony OS is not a replacement for Android. It’s just that Harmony OS is already half Android. After all, the Android Open Source Platform is Android in its purest form.
It is the AOSP that defines the operating system, not the Linux kernel that underlies it. Therefore, in this case, Huawei really has no reason to criticize Android in any way and try to openly compete with it, because only through Android will it be able to become independent. So that is the paradox.