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Huawei’s HarmonyOS vs Google’s Android

Posted On: Sun 18 Aug 2019 By TCR NEWS | THENEWS PK

I. Why?


1. Why has Huawei developed HarmonyOS, a distributed OS for devices?


The future-proof HarmonyOS, with a clear strategy for the future, has been in the works of Huawei for a decade. It is an OS that Huawei expects to align the ecosystems for all scenarios. HarmonyOS aims to be compatible with any device in the fully-connected, all-scenario, intelligent world, such as smart wearables, smart home devices (HUAWEI Vision), vehicle-mounted devices, and connected industrial equipment (Industry 4.0).


HarmonyOS is a new microkernel-based, distributed OS for all scenarios. It is made for all scenarios, and is characterized by service synergy covering multiple devices, as well as low latency and high security, among others. It has a different purpose compared to Android and iOS.We are not building another Linux, Android, or iOS. We are building the next-generation OS for the future.


2. Why did Huawei choose to unveil HarmonyOS at this point of time? Is it because Google had stopped providing its Android services to Huawei devices?


First, the rapid development of technologies such as 5G and AI has spurred the boom in IoT. Second, Huawei has made it clear that an all-scenario, intelligent life strategy will be its core strategy in the next 5-10 years. Therefore, a new OS is necessary for meeting the needs and coping with the challenges presented in the all-scenario era.


II. What?


1. What is HarmonyOS? Can you explain its core technologies and value in detail?


HarmonyOS is a new microkernel-based, distributed OS for all scenarios, mainly targeted for smart devices such as wearables, HUAWEI Vision, and head units. It is a global andopen-source operating system.


In short, HarmonyOS has the following four basic features (or capabilities):


First, it enables multiple devices to share and enhance each other's hardware capabilities. Each individual physical device's hardware capabilities are no longer isolated. Instead, the hardware in one device is capable of complementing and empowering other device.


Second, the OS is decoupled from hardware. It can be flexibly deployed on different devices based on each device's hardware capabilities in order to maximize the potential of each device.


Third, the integrated development environment (IDE) allows one-time development and cross-device deployment of a service. It will dramatically boost development efficiency, enable developers to quickly innovate services for all scenarios, and reach more users with lower investments.


Fourth, the Deterministic Latency Engine, high-performance IPC, and HUAWEI ARK Compiler ensure that the OS can run smoothly. The microkernel architecture boosts device reliability and security.


2. How many technologies entailed in HarmonyOS have been developed by Huawei?


The development of the kernel, scheduling, system services, file system, IDE, and compiler for HarmonyOS required considerable effort. Huawei boasts a lot of software technologies, such as the microkernel, distributed architecture, distributed virtual bus, device virtualization, Deterministic Latency Engine, and HUAWEI ARK Compiler for HarmonyOS.


In addition, Huawei provides anIDE for development targeted at multiple devices, helping developers quickly develop apps and dramatically increase development efficiency.


3. What is the relationship between HarmonyOS and EMUI?


EMUI and HarmonyOS are two independent operating systems. EMUI is a customized system that is developed based on Android and is applicable to Huawei smartphones and tablets. The two are independent of each other, but as operating systems both developed by Huawei, they share some technological features and resources.


4. What is the relationship between HarmonyOS and Android?


HarmonyOS is completely different from Android and iOS. It is a new microkernel-based, distributed OS for all scenarios. It delivers a seamless experience across all devices in the all-scenario, intelligent era. The source code of HarmonyOS will be open to worldwide developers, which will be beneficial for the entire society. HarmonyOS will not be competing with Android.


5. What is the relationship between HarmonyOS and LiteOS – a smart home system previously launched by Huawei?


Launched in 2015, LiteOS is a lightweight IoT operating system that has been applied to the HUAWEI Watch GT and will be merged with HarmonyOS for development in the future.


III. Ecosystem Compatibility


1. Does HarmonyOS support Google Play (an Android app) and other Google apps such as Google Maps, Google Search, and Gmail?


Under the current technological architecture, no. HarmonyOS is a new microkernel-based, distributed OS for all scenarios.


2. Can apps not developed by Google, such as Facebook and Twitter, be used on HarmonyOS?


Any new operating system takes time to mature. We believe that an increasing number of developers will support HarmonyOS and develop apps for the OS. Luckily, the unique technologies of HarmonyOS, such as "one-time development and cross-device deployment", will dramatically increase developers' development efficiency. HarmonyOS is an open-source OS. Developers can easily adapt their apps to this OS. We are developing tools to support cost-effective and effortlessapp migration from other ecosystems to HarmonyOS. HUAWEI Developer Community will facilitate this migration.


3. Will HarmonyOS be compatible with the Android ecosystem?


HarmonyOS is a new microkernel-based, distributed OS for all scenarios. As a new OS, it will have its own ecosystem. It is easy for developers to transfer Android apps to HarmonyOS. (Richard Yu)


4. What is the value of HarmonyOS for Huawei partners and for developers? What should they do to adapt to this OS?


HarmonyOS is a new microkernel-based, distributed OS for all scenarios. The OS provides an IDE for development that targets many devices, thus allowing one-time development and cross-device deployment of a service. This dramatically increases development efficiency, coversthe maximum amount of devicesand userswith the lowest possible investment, and enables fast service innovations for all scenarios.


5. DoesHarmonyOS support the existing hardware of Huawei?


Yes. HarmonyOS is compatible with the existing hardware of Huawei. (This is to assure consumers of the compatibility between HarmonyOS and the existing hardware of Huawei.)


6. Will the source code of HarmonyOS be open to global developers?


Yes. The source code of HarmonyOSwill be open to global developers. We expect partners to work with us to create a new experience and new ecosystem in the all-scenario, intelligent era.


7. What are the essential differences between thisIoT-based ecosystem and the Android phone ecosystem?


In the traditional model, the emergence of a new form of devices is always accompanied by a new operating system. This type of model isolates user experiences and ecosystems (simply put, an OS for each type of device) in the fully-connected era, where a large number of new devices come into being every day. HarmonyOS is originally designed to satisfy customer needs for a cross-hardware, cross-platform, seamless, new experience across all scenarios. It leverages revolutionary, distributed technologies and decouples hardware capabilities from devices, forming a virtual capability resource pool. Apps can then invoke the capabilities of other devices as well as invoking those of their local devices. Such device capability complementation and sharing create an optimal experience for consumers.


8. How does HarmonyOS support non-Chinese apps?


For developers, open source HarmonyOS simplifies the development process and enables one-time development and cross-device deployment. For consumers, HarmonyOS can provide an all-scenario, intelligent experience. Its distributed technologies can enhance the experience of Android users and allow developers to reach the maximum number of users with the minimum investment, facilitating rapid business innovation across all scenarios.


9. If HarmonyOS has been used in wearable devices and other products, what do you think is a reasonable timeframe for deploying it on smartphones?


We have released the evolution roadmap for HarmonyOS at the HDC. HarmonyOS will be used on smart devices other than mobile phones and tablets.


HarmonyOS is ready to run on mobile phones if Huawei is not able to use Android (Richard Yu).


10. If the Mate 30 does not run on Android, will it run on HarmonyOS?


HarmonyOS is ready to run on mobile phones if Huawei is not able to use Android (Richard Yu).


11. How scalable is HarmonyOS? Would you consider testing HarmonyOS on the Mate X?


We have already tested HarmonyOS on many smart devices. It delivers a better performance in every aspect.


IV. Why can HarmonyOS succeed?


1. Currently, iOS and Android are very powerful in the market and have large device user bases. Is Huawei confident that HarmonyOS can be successful? Why?


HarmonyOS is developed to adapt to the technology tide in the fully-connected, all-scenario, intelligent era. The OS is a new microkernel-based, distributed OS for all scenarios. It is the gateway to a huge market of trillions of dollars. Therefore, we are confident that with the global opening-up of the HarmonyOSsource code, we will create a promising future together with developers and partners.


Open source HarmonyOS simplifies the development process and allows developers to deploy an app once and deploy it across multiple devices. Apps can be easily migrated to HarmonyOS from other operating systems. Compatible with Android app interface, HarmonyOS ensures a smooth transition for both developers and consumers. The User Interface (UI) for specific apps will be determined by their respective developers.


Consumers would be pleased with the all-scenario experience delivered by HarmonyOS. We are confident that HarmonyOS will be greatly welcomed by all users.


2. Considering the success of Android and iOS, and the failure of Nokia's Symbian and Microsoft's Windows Phone, what are the competitive differentiators that can guaranteeHarmonyOS' success? What pitfalls will it try to avoid?


Huawei is not a new entrant into a mature market. Instead, it is building a future-proof business presence, and has been doing this for a decade. In addition, Huawei has actively promoted its all-scenario, intelligent life strategy in recent years and accumulated a vast amount of experience. For example, LiteOS has been used for commercial purposes for five years. We believe that HarmonyOS' success relies on the following three competitive differentiators: Enable consumers to enjoy the best experience in all scenarios; help device manufacturersstay ahead in the fully-connected, all-scenario, intelligent era that is witnessing the 5G, AI,andIoT boom; and empower developers to reach the maximum amount of userswith the lowest possible investment and to swiftly innovate services for all scenarios.


3. When did Huawei start to invest in HarmonyOSresearch and development? What difficulties has Huawei encountered?


Huawei's vision is to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world. We started doing research and laying the groundwork for HarmonyOS a decade ago, and launched the first lightweight IoT OS, LiteOS, in 2015. As early as 2016, Huawei realized that with the rapid development of 4G, 5G, and AI technologies, it would be necessary to reduce the burden of developers and craft a seamless and better experience for consumers across all scenarios. The OS has been in the works since then.


Many technological problems arise with the development of a system, such as those with the kernel, driver, IDE, file system, and compiler. The OS launch will also be followed by a series of challenges, such as those with the ecosystem and user experience.


HUAWEI has the world's best engineers, architects, and designers. We are confident about being able to tackle all technological difficulties. Recently, we have pooled nearly 5,000 talented people to optimize HarmonyOS.


4. How will developers be propelled to help develop HarmonyOS? How could a sustainable and integral ecosystem be built?


The source code of HarmonyOS will be open to global developers and Huawei partners. Open source builds trust and invites worldwide developers to contribute to the development of the OS. In addition, open source can address any potential bottleneck in terms of development capacity by tapping into the global talent pool to build the best OS for the future.


HarmonyOS is an open-source platform. Developers can easily adapt their apps to this OS.


To keep the core technologies confidential, we will makeHarmonyOS open source in phases with the goal of it becoming completely open source at some point in the future.


V. Competition and Future


1. Will HarmonyOS compete with Google Fuchsia in the IoT OS field?


HarmonyOS is open source and will be used on more and more intelligent devices. While driving its development, Huawei will first roll it out to smart devices such as HUAWEI Vision, wearables, and head units. HarmonyOS will provide developers with a powerful development environment and various development suites, and create a fully-connected, all-scenario, intelligent life experience for consumers.


The purposes of HarmonyOS and Fuchsia are similar to some extent. We hope that the two will jointly enrich the all-scenario, intelligent life ecosystem in the future.


2. Can EMUI be upgraded to be compatible with HarmonyOS?


Currently, EMUI is based on Android. In the future, there will be aHarmonyOS-based EMUI if there isa reason that is beyond our control.


3. Will HarmonyOS be launched outside of China? What are your thoughts and plans with regard to the market presence of HarmonyOS outside of China?


HarmonyOS is intended for the global market. It is a new microkernel-based, distributed OS for all scenarios.


4. What does HarmonyOS mean to Huawei? How will it drive social development?


HarmonyOS is a new microkernel-based, distributed OS for all scenarios. It enables consumers to enjoy the fully-connected, best user experience in all scenarios; it helps device manufacturers stay ahead in the fully-connected, all-scenario, intelligent era that is witnessing the 5G, AI, andIoT boom; and itempowers developers to reach the maximum amount of users with the lowest possible investment and to swiftly innovate services for all scenarios.


5. Does Huawei want to sell Android-based mobile phones while developing its own OS?


For smartphone operating systems, the open Android operating system and the ecosystem around it are still our first choice. We have applied some technological features of HarmonyOS to the latest EMUI10 so that consumers can experience the leading technologies of HarmonyOS.


6. Any other questions


HarmonyOS is still being improved. Please keep an eye out on official information released by Huawei.

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