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Turns Out Huawei’s “Brand-new” Harmony OS is Just an Android Fork

Huawei's all new OS is not new after all


Huawei has been hyping its brand new, and upcoming Android competitor, HarmonyOS (or Hongmeng OS in China) since the US ban that restricted the company from using American technology. Including software, which has prevented the company from shipping its phones with essential Google services, significantly affecting its business.

The company learned that it should be dependent since and has been making efforts not only for software – to rid itself of Android – but also for Hardware; the company is developing in-house chips from ground up.

The first version of HarmonyOS didn’t ship on smartphones; instead, it was only available on an Honor-branded TV (before Huawei spinoff Honor last year). However, the company’s pitch said it was a multi-platform OS that could run on nearly every device you could throw at it.

Smartwatches, smartphones, speakers, laptops, VR, and perhaps any other smart device you can think of.

But the Chinese tech company has been keen to separate its in-house OS from Google’s Android, which isn’t true.

It turns out Harmony OS is an Android fork, according to this shocking revelation from ArsTechnica. There’s no substantial difference between Harmony OS and Android.

In fact, HarmonyOS is based on Android 10, and the app info screen details confirm this.

The only significant difference is some core items have been renamed, according to the report. Some staple Android apps like “Android Services Library,” “Android Shared Library,” “com.Android.systemui.overlay,” “Androidhwext,” are all available. And every single Android 10 feature is available on Harmony OS.

Check out this HarmonyOS screenshots with EMUI on top.

“After hours of poking around on HarmonyOS, I couldn’t point to a single substantive change compared to Android. Other than a few renamed items, nothing is different,” the publication noted.

While forking Android is not bad, being upfront about it is no crime. But that is not the case with Huawei, and it’s “all-new” multi-platform OS. Besides, the report says HarmonyOS is “way, way too complete for a beta.”

Last year, Huawei promised that its first HarmonyOS powered smartphones would be launching in 2021.

The report also reveals disturbing details on the intrusive bureaucratic process it takes to verify a Huawei developer account required to test the OS.

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Source
ArsTechnica

Alvin Wanjala

Alvin is a freelance tech journalist. Talk to me via email at alvinwanjala[at]pm[dot]me

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