Huawei's HarmonyOS 2.0 Might Just Be Android In Disguise

Karamchand Rameshwar - Dec 29, 2020


Huawei's HarmonyOS 2.0 Might Just Be Android In Disguise

A developer found out that Huawei's Harmony OS might just be Android in disguise.

The US government's ban has caused Huawei to face many restrictions in working with Google. Because of that, Huawei announced that it would develop its own operating system called HarmonyOS.

Huawei Harmonyos 2 0
The HarmonyOS is Huawei's attempt to replace Android.

The first version of the OS was not widely distributed and is only available on a few IoT devices like TVs. But in the second version, the OS has been officially developed for smartphones, in which some devices like the P40 or Mate 30 have been able to install the trial version. Programmers were also able to develop apps for this operating system.

Recently, a developer decided to learn more about Huawei’s new OS. First, he developed a ‘Hello world’ app for the Android 4.4 KitKat OS and that triggered a similar message on a virtual machine running HarmonyOS 2.0 beta (right) and a recent version of Android (left). It seems like the only difference between the two messages is that one saying “HarmonyOS” instead of “Android”. 

Huawei Harmonyos 2 0 Android
Android (left) & HarmonyOS 2.0 beta (right)
Huawei Harmonyos 2 0 Android 1
When accessing HarmonyOS's file system, it can be seen that the system structure of this operating system is no different from Android.

Thus, it can be seen that HarmonyOS, at least in this 2.0 Beta version, is still just Android. However, it is difficult to conclude whether it is "Android in disguise" or not. Because Huawei claims that its OS will be able to run Android apps and to run Android apps, Huawei will still have to integrate the Android subsystem inside HarmonyOS. In the past, BlackBerry's BB10 operating system did a similar way to be able to run Android apps.

Anyway, users will unlikely to accept a completely new operating system that cannot run any existing apps. So, we can see Android integration as a stepping stone for Huawei to convert users to HarmonyOS, while continuing to persuade developers to develop native apps for its platform.

Once there is an ample amount of apps, in theory, Huawei could completely remove the Android platform from its OS, but again, that is only on paper.

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