01 March 2021
Ever since the U.S. trade ban made it impossible for Huawei to make use of Google's applications and services, it has been busy developing and promoting its home-grown operating system. It is called HarmonyOS (HongMeng OS in China) and most recently, HarmonyOS 2.0 beta was released for developers. The software is being touted as completely different from Android and iOS but as per a new report, the reality is exactly the opposite.
The report is coming from Ron Amadeo of Ars Technica who tried his hands on the latest HarmonyOS beta and did some deep investigation to discover the truth. The first thing to note is that it is not as easy and straight forward to get beta access as it is with other operating systems. One needs to go through a two-day background check process which includes sharing photos of passport and credit card for "identification" purposes.
Once Amadeo's request to access was approved, he discovered that there is no physical emulator to download and run on a local machine. The beta version instead gets video streamed like you stream games through Google Stadia. It is speculated that the actual device running the software is somewhere in China. But the most important bit of information is that Harmony OS is nothing but a fork of Android and is based on Android 10. This is similar to what Amazon has done with FireOS available for select devices.
Huawei is said to have simply taken Android and give it slight tweaks here and there which is something many companies do. However, it has not been open about it and instead has been describing HarmonyOS as a completely different operating system. It has even replaced the term "Android" with "Harmony" to give an impression that it is not Android. You can read the detailed report on these new discoveries by clicking the source link below.