After the spring break of business congresses (Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft) for application programmers, the most disturbing for the whole of the technology industry took place in the summer: the Chinese firm Huawei chose the its Huawei Developer Conference (HDC) last week in Dongguan to present HarmonyOS, the platform with which it intends to overcome a possible blockade of the US commercial, a blockade that, if it is finished formalizing, will prevent it from having technologies of North origin -American who now uses in many of his products, including the smartphones, of which is second world manufacturer.
HarmonyOS is the definitive commercial name of what was known to date as HongmengOS, an operating system that Huawei has been developing internally for chips six years ago that its subsidiary HiSilicon offers manufacturers of all kinds of connected devices for home and industrial use. But since the government of Donald Trump announced in May the application of commercial sanctions in Huawei, the managers of the Chinese company insisted that they had a B plan in case of having to give up Android . HarmonyOS is this B plan: a new operating system, created from scratch and designed to drive from home appliances connected to intelligent speakers by passing cars, televisions and, clearing up, mobile devices. According to Huawei, the new platform will offer a better performance of the applications, thanks to the dynamic management of the execution of the tasks and the communication between processes. It should also help that this is a very light software, with just one thousandth of the Linux system code. Finally, HarmonyOS also promises to be less vulnerable to cyber attacks, an aspect of special interest in the field of connected objects.
Throughout the HDC, Huawei managers have highlighted the versatility of HarmonyOS, explaining the possibility of applying it to the most diverse devices with more consistency and ease than those offered by the specific variants of the platforms of Google and Apple. However, they have insisted that for the moment they continue to rely on Android for theirs smartphonesHowever, if they had to abandon it, they could "immediately" go to HarmonyOS, and thus deprive Google of hundreds of millions of data capture points for their personal tracking platform.
Meanwhile, the first product that HarmonyOS will bring will be an Honor television set, the second Huawei brand: the Honor Vision is a 55-inch screen device that will be sold, before the end of the year and for now only in China, for a price between 500 and 600 euros to change. Then other types of devices must come, each with its user interface.
If Huawei ends up adopting HarmonyOS as well smartphones, you will already have a part of the work: your current phones use Android, but users access through the custom layer EMUI, which according to the company already has more than 500 million daily users, and in the HDC there is Introduced the new version 10, oriented mainly to the deployment of multi-device applications. Changing the current Android kernel by the new HarmonyOS, users would almost certainly not notice any difference. The firm also has another crucial element of any mobile ecosystem: the services. Huawei phones already have a pre-installed app store called App Gallery that last year served more than 1,000 million downloads outside of China and includes functions that interest developers, such as payment within applications; The brand also offers storage of images and other data in the cloud, among other things.
The harsh work left in Huawei to make HarmonyOS workable on mobile phones is to attract the creators of applications. For this reason, the presentation has highlighted the programming tools, especially those that will facilitate the conversion of the titles that already exist for Android to the new platform. Cherry is the $ 1,000 million that the company has reserved to subsidize the creation of new and adapted applications. In the coming months we will see if they leave. It should also be borne in mind that the creation of a local operating system fits into the Chinese government's strategy, which aims to reduce Western technology dependence on both chips and software, which is why those who venture that HarmonyOS also It could be an alternative to Android for other mobile brands in the country.
In any case, Huawei will not have it easy. Remember that other brands such as Samsung and LG already use their own operating systems on many of their devices (watches, cameras, televisions, fridges) but have so far abstained from doing so on mobile phones. He clarified that neither of the two has ever been threatened by US closure of the US technology faucet.
The eventual appearance of HarmonyOS as a third mobile platform would be a bad idea for the creators of applications, who now live relatively calm since the successive disappearances of Symbian, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile. But from the point of view of consumers it could be healthy because it would break the duopoly that Google has with Android and Apple with iOS. At least, in the worst case, at least it will allow us to choose if we prefer to crawl the Yankees or the Chinese.
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