14 June 2019
Unless you have been living under a rock, you must have heard about at least something about the Huawei and the U.S. ban saga. It is a situation where Huawei seems all set to lose trade relationships with all the US-based companies. One of these crucial relationships is with Google which would result in losing access to Android and Google services for future Huawei devices. This is the reason it has been working towards releasing a new OS and now, we have some more details about the same.
A new report from Global Times publication claims that Huawei has started intensive testing for its home-grown OS. It is said to be called HongMeng OS in China and Oak OS in global markets. This is definitely different from the previous reported Ark OS name but at least it sounds similar. The report goes on to mention that Oak OS is expected to become available sometime around August or September.
#Huawei is intensively testing its own operating system, to be named "HongMeng OS" for China market or "Oak OS" for overseas market, which is likely to be launched in August or September, sources say. https://t.co/hqA7JJdjjS— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) June 7, 2019
It means we might get to see Huawei's new OS within a matter of two months. The speculated timeline also falls in line with the expected Huawei Mate 30 series launch. It suggests that we might see the new OS make its debut on the next-gen Huawei flagship. If it happens, it would not be too surprising considering that the combination of a new flagship phone and a new OS does have a nice ring to it.
As for what exactly Oak OS will bring to the table, it is expected to be based on AOSP, the open-source part of Android. It means there is a possibility that it might look very similar to the currently available EMUI and Magic UI. The only major difference would be it will miss out on native support for Google product and services. Since it will still be Android at its core, users should be able to install apps via sideloading i.e. using APKs.
Huawei was recently reported to be inviting developers to port their apps to its own app store called AppGallery. It is clearly an attempt from the Chinese tech giant to reduce the app gap as much as possible. But all of this is Huawei's backup plan for the time when it might actually lose access to Google's Android. It is currently under 90-day reprieve from the U.S. which offers it temporary access to Android until August 19th. Additionally, Google has asked the Trump Administration to allow it to keep working with Huawei as the latter's own OS might posses a bigger risk to national security.
All in all, this whole sage is far from getting over in the near future. There are still at least two months for the reprieve to get over and we might see a lot of turns in the story by then.