Huawei has announced that the new version of the HarmonyOS operating system will be ready for development on smartphones from December and expects phones with the new software to be available in 2021. In addition, HarmonyOS is made available to other hardware manufacturers for use on non-smartphones – Huawei devices.
Richard Yu, chairman of Huawei Business Group, announced HarmonyOS 2.0, the updated version of its fledgling software platform, on stage during the company’s annual developer conference held in China this week, along with news of its upcoming arrival on smartphones.
“The beta version of HarmonyOS 2.0 will be available to developers on September 1
HarmonyOS is Huawei’s operating system designed for all connected devices and is a replacement for Google’s Android software for Huawei products. Huawei is currently using the open source version of Android due to U.S. government restrictions, but has since accelerated the development of HarmonyOS, its App Gallery application store, and its own networked hardware ecosystem.
HarmonyOS launched around this time last year on the Honor Vision smart screen, and some aspects of the first version – Huawei’s MeeTime video chat and multi-screen collaboration feature – found its way into EMUI 10, the user interface, which is used above the screen Android. It was also used in its burgeoning HiCar automotive software. Now Huawei has launched HarmonyOS 2.0, which Wang Chenglu, software engineering president of Huawei, describes as “fundamentally better” with improvements in speed and reliability.
HarmonyOS 2.0 will no longer only be available for smart screens like the Huawei Vision. It can be used on tablets, wearables and, in the near future, smartphones too. According to Huawei, HarmonyOS will also be made available to other hardware manufacturers, which means the software is not limited to devices connected to Huawei or Honor. Huawei announced a partnership with three manufacturers in China who will use HarmonyOS for smart home products, including an attached oven.
The HarmonyOS 2.0 announcement is currently most relevant for developers inside and outside of Huawei. However, the timeline shown by the company shows that it may not be long before we see the software on a commercially available mobile or portable product.