20 July 2021
Huawei has officially announced its home-grown operating system HarmonyOS 2.0 for smartphones. The announcement was made at a dedicated event where it talked about the release timeline and future plans for the new software. There will be about 100 smartphone models that will be updated to the new OS. It also announced two tablets and two smartwatches that will come pre-installed with HarmonyOS.
HarmonyOS has been under development for years and we got to see the first beta of HarmonyOS 2.0 towards the end of the last year. It is now available for public usage through any of the eligible devices. The complete list has about 100 models but some of the well-known ones include the Mate 40 series, P40 series, Mate 30 series, MatePad Pro tablets, Nova 8, and Nova 7 series.
It will kick off the release spree with the newer models that belong to the current generation. The rollout will gradually expand to cover older models that have been launched in the last few years. It is likely to be an over-the-air (OTA) update that will bring HarmonyOS 2.0 to these devices and replace the currently used software build based on open-source Android.
Huawei felt the need for its own operating system when it was put on the entity list by the U.S. government. The move prohibited U.S.-based companies from dealing with Huawei as it was seen as a security threat to the country. This resulted in the Chinese tech giant losing various partners including access to Google apps and services. This is the reason it has been releasing new smartphones and tablets with its own apps and services for the past couple of years.
The company says that there are over 500,000 developers building apps for HarmonyOS. It is unknown whether any of the popular devs like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Instagram are also part of this yet. It should be noted that Huawei's ultimate goal is to build an operating system that enables seamless interactions between different devices including smart home and IoT devices.