Huawei HarmonyOS 2

Huawei announced during its Huawei Developer Day Beijing 2020 the release of the smartphone beta version of the HarmonyOS 2.0 operating system for Chinese developers. About two weeks ago, Huawei unveiled the first beta version of its new HarmonyOS 2.0 mobile operating system. It can already be installed on some Huawei smartphones.

One of the developers decided to dig deeper to understand what the new operating system of the Chinese giant is. According to information from XDA Developers, HarmonyOS 2.0 is based on Android and is therefore not an independent operating system as Huawei has repeatedly stated.

XDA Developers has compiled the information currently available. Two developers installed Android apps on a device with HarmonyOS 2.0 and the operating system behaved similarly to an Android device. In addition, the ADB was used to take a look at the directory structure of HarmonyOS and it shows that the operating system contains the Android framework.

As noted in Huawei’s own presentation, AOSP (Android Open Source Project) will be a stepping stone at a certain stage in the development of HarmonyOS. This means that the current beta 2.0 version may be based on Android, but it will probably be carried over to its own platform in the future.

So everything indicates that HarmonyOS 2.0 is at least currently just an Android fork. So it would be an Android offshoot that works similarly to Amazon’s Fire OS. Fire OS is based on Android, but Fire OS devices do not run a Play Store by default. Fire OS apps are obtained from Amazon’s App Store, which contains a selection of Android apps. The selection of apps is nowhere near as extensive as in the Play Store.

With the App Gallery, Huawei is currently setting up its own store for Android apps. Huawei is currently not allowed to offer any new devices with Google’s services such as Play Store, Google Maps or Gmail. Therefore, Huawei decided to develop its own operating system. 

So far, HarmonyOS is only available for a few devices that are exclusively offered in China. It is not known when HarmonyOS 2.0 will also appear on the global market for Huawei devices.

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