Huawei has been in troubled waters for the past 2 years since the fuzz with the US Government started and led to what now is known as the “ Huawei Ban “. There are a lot of factors around how the ban came to be and how it affected Huawei’s business practices since then.
Huawei is one of the biggest telecommunication companies in the world and before the ban, words were that it could even take over Samsung’s title as the biggest phone manufacturer in the world. However, the ban made it impossible for the company to continue working with other companies such as Intel & Google. What this means is that they couldn’t ship Google-owned applications anymore and can not take advantage of the Android System in full. The main problem with this, was for example no longer having access to PlayStore, and the apps that come exclusively from it. Up till recently, Huawei device users could not use Google Maps services.
Even though smartphones are a big part of the company’s business, the strategy to move forward regardless of the ban lies in its ability to excel in telecommunication and cloud services. As Fu said: “ That will be crucial in Huawei’s self-rescue.”
Thus a more practical solution would be developing its own system called HarmonyOS. Huawei announced in 2019 that this system would be available in some selected devices. Version 1 of HarmonyOS was revealed last year and its main purpose was to be used on other devices, not mobile phones, especially Internet of Things gadgets.
As of June 2021, HarmonyOS 2.0 was launched for all Huawei devices. What does this mean for the company and its users?
It is a big step forward in what Huwawy wanted to do. Creating its own operating system that can unify its devices and allow cross-functional abilities without other software services such as Google. The company hopes that by the end of the year 2021, the new operating system will be adopted by over 200 million devices. The goal is that other partner companies adopt the new OS as an alternative to Android.
While there are still shortcomings such as no access to PlayStore, this is already a huge step up in the ladder. Huway is already on a good track with substituting Google services. We saw this when they launched Petal Search to combat the abstinence of Google Maps.
What do you need to know about Harmony OS 2.0
- What are the phones compatible with this system
Currently the company announced that only smartphones with up to 4GB RAM are supportable. However by the end of 2021, the goal is to expand this list of smartphones to those with over 4GB RAM, putting thus the Harmony OS 2.0 on the map for many manufacturers. The goal in the long run is to become a decent substitute for Android Operating System.
It is definitely challenging to create a new system different from Android, especially since the Huawei devices have been using it since they first came to market. Many experts have compared the Harmony 2.0 with Android’s old (version 10).
- How to get Harmony OS 2.0
The newsest models of Huawei such as Mate 30 , P40 will automatically upgrade to Harmony 2.0
If you have a device which is compatible with the OS, then you can manually add it as well. All you have to do is download it from My Huawei app. Then follow the steps into installing it. The company promised that in the second term of 2022, the system will be available for update even for the older version of devices such as Mate 10 and Mate 9 series.
- Can I still use Android Apps on Harmony OS 2.0 ?
According to Huawei, the system will still support android apps, however its main downside is that it wont give access to Play Store, as it is Google Owned. Instead users have access to more than 134 000 apps that over 4 million developers have put on the Harmony platform. The new system still uses the AppGallery, which was first introduced in Huawei devices using AndroidOS.
We see that other companies such as the e-commerce giant JD, are also embracing the new system that has been in the global spotlight during this year. Earlier in May, they launched an app, accessible from AppGallery, entailing that all services will be accessible from Harmony ecosystem as well.
- What did the 2.0 version fix ?
Above the overall speed, bug fix and the system consumption, it has been reported to have the following updates :
- Audio effects on certain games
- Wlan connection stability
- Display issues with lock screen
- Finger verification feature
- New service widgets to improve user experience
- How easy is Harmony 2.0 to use ?
Aesthetically speaking, the system has mixed elements from iOS features and the EMUI Android all together. This can be seen for example, swiping down from the left side of the screen, pulling out the notification tray, while on the right side will show you the control center, just like iOS.
The same applies when talking to widgets. Elements from Android 12 and iOS 14 are to be found everywhere. You can add a widget by holding the tap on apps on the homescreen. Automatically offering to put apps for you in folders of the homescreen, once you have created them.
A worthy to mention improvement is also its collaboration with Huawei’s Windows 10 laptops. You can now set up another device using Windows as a second screen, and mirror your screen to any device.
For more information and features on the new update on all devices check the detailed guide on here.
There is a lot of potential for the new OS system to continue upgrading and expanding its services in applications such as smart watches and other home gadgets. If in the future Harmony OS wants to be a competitor of Android in every aspect, Smart Homes is an important area they need to cover.
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