Huawei has not had an easy time trying to recover from their recent ban in the United States. This has since prevented them from using any companies based in the U.S. — including the usage of the popular operating system Android on their mobile smartphones. Since then, Huawei announced their very own distributed operating system, HarmonyOS, for which they have shared detailed plans to release it on all their devices, from smartphones and laptops, to smart TVs and even in your cars.
During their recent Huawei Developer conference in September, they announced updates to HarmonyOS 2.0.
Huawei are trying to create an operating system that can be used across all your devices. The idea behind this distributed operating system is to allow seamless integrations between devices, allowing users to continue actions from one device, onto the next.
This is going to help Huawei compete against the intricate ecosystem built by Apple, as well as help them recover from their losses of the usage of Android and all of Google’s services that come with it.
What does this mean for developers?
Currently Android apps will not be supported on HarmonyOS, so what does this mean?
Huawei plans to release HarmonyOS as an open-source project in the future, they will also be creating a community in which to support developers in this transition from Android to include HarmonyOS in their development efforts. The development plan is aimed at allowing developers to create one single application that will be able to run on all supported devices.
There is already a developer site set out by Huawei for users to get started on their projects, which can be found on Huawei’s Developer portal. But currently their tools are only available for developer accounts created in the Chinese Mainland. With the tools currently supplied, developers can only start making apps for watches, cars and TVs, although it has been announced that an SDK supporting smartphones will be released in December, hinting that next year’s line-up of smartphones could be getting released on the new OS.
HMS Core 5.0
The Huawei Managed Services, which replaces Google Mobile Services (GMS), has also been updated with better support for devices and adding a variety of functions for developers to take advantage of such as:
- Map support for metro and bus planning
- Smarter and more relevant push notifications
- Improved location services with indoor positioning, geofencing and networking positioning (crowdsourcing)
- Adds a range of new service capabilities, including audio, video, 3D effects, image processing, and animation, computer graphics, and AR.
This release promises to improve communications and transmissions making the HMS Core more accessible than ever before. With over 1.8 Million developers and over 96,000 apps natively supporting HMS Core, the AppGallery has confirmed more than 261 million app downloads for the first half of 2020. The HMS Core has also increased the Kits that it provides from 14 to 56 in the last year which includes an increase of over 10,000 new APIs.
This is an exciting time for the future of mobile development, with more competition in the market of mobile operating systems, we can only hope to see these systems greatly improve.