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Huawei powers up HarmonyOS

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Huawei’s hotly-anticipated operating system (OS), HarmonyOS, has finally launched.

The new OS was officially unveiled yesterday during the Huawei HarmonyOS and new products launch event, which was live-streamed on YouTube.

During the launch, it was revealed that the new products that will be powered up by HarmonyOS include the Huawei Watch 3 and Huawei MatePad Pro tablet.

Last September, Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG) CEO Richard Yu said smartphones running on HarmonyOS would likely be available in the market sometime this year.

At the time, Yu revealed that a beta version of the OS for smart TVs, watches and head units would be open to developers, while the beta version for smartphones would open in December 2020.

Speaking at the launch, Yu said HarmonyOS can support a wide range of devices. “It can be integrated with Huawei Vision, smart watches, tablets, smartphones and head units. More importantly, it can be introduced to IOT devices, such as cameras, household appliances, power sockets and lamps.”

Dr Wang Chenglu, president of Huawei’s CBG software department, added: “Today, we can use HarmonyOS for smartphones and watches. It can even be implemented on devices with as little as 128KB of RAM. Today, I don’t think any other operating system in the world is capable of covering such a wide range of devices.

“We know that the connection of devices is fundamental to the IOT era.”

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei announced plans for HarmonyOS in August 2019, saying it is a new microkernel-based, distributed OS designed to deliver a cohesive user experience across all devices and scenarios.

The announcement was made following the blacklisting of Huawei by the Trump administration, amid the China and US trade war. This resulted in companies, such as Alphabet’s Google and British chip designer ARM, limiting or ceasing their relationships with Huawei.

Huawei, which enjoyed a years-long partnership with Alphabet’s Google, had to pivot and chart its own path. Google is banned from doing business with Huawei, which has meant no Google Mobile Services (GMS) for Huawei’s latest devices. GMS are the Google apps that often come pre-installed on Android devices.

Huawei’s HarmonyOS has reportedly already been installed on millions of smartphones rolled out in China. However, the global launch of the system is yet to be revealed.

According to Yu, the most “revolutionary” feature of HarmonyOS is its distributed technology, which breaks down the boundaries of physical hardware to allow devices to seamlessly collaborate.

“HarmonyOS transcends past experiences. Typically, Android phones get slower as they are used for longer but HarmonyOS keeps your phone sharp and fast. This is our operating system for a new era where everything is connected and intelligent.”

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