How Huawei’s Harmony OS Plans to Beat Android and iOS
Asian tech giant, Huawei, recently launched the Harmony Operating System, which it aims to use as a replacement for the Android Operating System on its devices. This follows President Trump’s latest ban which cut Huawei’s access to the chipsets powering its flagship smartphones.
The Harmony OS, which is also known in China as Hongmeng, was first showcased at China’s Huawei Developer Conference in 2019. Huawei had described it as “the world’s first micro kernel based distributed OS for all scenarios”.
Business Elites Africa understands that Harmony OS will seamless connect all smart devices in a way neither Android nor IOS has been able to do. Huawei also plans to succeed where BlackBerry, Nokia, Microsoft, and Mozilla all failed, by using Harmony OS to create a solid rival to Android and iOS.
Huawei’s Harmony OS could take over the smart operating systems market through its unique features and strategies. Let’s take a closer look.
The Compatibility of Android Applications
The Harmony OS was designed to allow the installation of android apps. This is something Google needs to be worried about because it could lose a huge market share to Huawei when Harmony OS users begin to install Android apps without the need to use the Google Playstore.
The CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, Richard Yu, provided more insight on this Harmony OS feature when he stated that Huawei’s in-house operating system will not be compatible with Android apps out-of-the-box. Also, app developers will have to make “small changes” to their apps in order to compile them to run on Harmony OS. According to him, it is “very easy” to port Android apps to Harmony OS.
Recall that some years back, Blackberry had tried making its operating system compatible with Android and the result, unfortunately, was bad user experience. Therefore, in order for Harmony OS to thrive in this area, Huawei must perform a better job at porting android apps.
Harmony OS Will Become the World’s First Ubiquitious OS
A ubiquitious OS is one that uses the same code on different types of devices. Typically app developers have to tweak the code of an app to fit different devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches, e-reader, handheld gaming consoles and smart car stereos.
This will not be necessary with Harmony OS which is designed to be a ubiquitous operating system. One of the key advantages of this feature is that it allows developers to code once and then launch their products on everything from phones to automobiles.
in 2019, Apple began efforts to create its ubiquitious OS by combining iOS and MacOS into one. But with the announcement of iPadOS at WWDC 2019, it like looks this will still take some time.
Google is also trying to merge the Chrome OS and the Android – this explains why you can install android apps on the Chrome OS. But the merge is also moving at a very slow pace.
Available to All Hardware Manufacturers
On the 10th of September, Huawei revealed that it will open up Harmony OS to third-party hardware manufacturers including rivals. This move is part of Huawei’s strategy to increase its number of users and potentially take market share from Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems.
Huawei’s decision is likely to drive a “wider acceptance” of Harmony OS and attract more app developers, said Kiranjeet Kaur, a senior analyst at the International Data Corporation (IDC) in an email to CNET.
Kiranjeet weighing this decision by Huawei said, “I am a bit sceptical on how many would actually adopt it considering that Huawei is actually a competitor.” She went on to explain, “Although some Chinese players may keep it as a backup option if they face the same similar constraints in global markets and if Harmony OS gets more popular in China.”
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Get Exclusive Apps
Once Huawei has attracted a good number of app developers, they will need to get apps with features that users can’t simply find on either Apple or IOS. Getting essential apps such as Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Netflix won’t be much of a competition.
Both iOS and Android come with a variety of exclusive apps and services. These range from exclusive games to technologies like Google Lens. It is these additions that distinguish them from each other, and enable the two companies to dominate.
Uphold User Privacy
Once Huawei’s Harmony OS gains a following, the tech company will need to be highly transparent with how it handles user data.
The reality is, members of the public are becoming more aware of how big tech companies use their data, and as a result can be quite sceptical about untested platforms.
Add to this the currently unsubstantiated concerns surrounding Huawei’s security and ties to the Chinese government, and the slightest suggestion that it’s spying on users of HarmonyOS might sabotage the platform’s chances of success in the West.
Huawei will need to strategically convey to its users, that their data will not be shared or used for monetary gains without their consent or knowledge.
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