If you are a tech enthusiast then you must have known or heard about the new OS called Harmony OS launched by Huawei, a Chinese tech giant company. The company officially unveiled HarmonyOS on 9 August, 2019 at its inaugural developers’ conference in Dongguan. This OS was rumored to be called as Ark OS and a replacement to Android but the company surprised us all with the launch of HarmonyOS A.K.A Hongmeng OS in China.
Some media reported that the Huawei has been working on this OS for several years. The work on OS development intensifies after Huawei was subjected to export restriction by the United States government and trade war.
What is Harmony OS?
As I mentioned above, Harmony OS is the new operating system launched by Huawei to address future challenges and complication in smart devices like watches, televisions, mobile phones, tablets, and computers. Harmony OS is microkernel-based, unlike Android, iOS, and windows which is based on Linux kernel. Harmony OS will be open-sourced.
What is Harmony OS capable of?
With the use of a microkernel, Harmony OS is a completely different type of OS. After the introduction of 5G technology, we are getting more and more smart devices every day and for all these devices we will need different type of operating system for it to operate. Let’s imagine that we have smartwatches, and smart speakers only for now. So, we will need a separate OS for watch and a separate OS for speakers. But speakers and watches aren’t the only smart devices we have or we will need in the coming future, we have television, drones, car, etc. Developing separate OS for separate devices and unique app for each device won’t be easy in the future. Huawei has launched Harmony OS to prevent this future problem before it became problem. Harmony OS with its microkernel feature will be compatible for all the smart devices and the app developement for this OS is also comparatively easier as the developer wont be developing app for the specific device or OS but for the Hardware that software needs.
Harmony Os has more to offer its users as the microkernel allows different types of hardware or devices to work together as a single component. For example if you have a laptop and a phone and you need to make the phone calls then you can make the calls from your laptop using the phone camera because your laptop and phone will be using as single component or you can use your drones as a camera for video calling in laptop.
The use of microkernel also improves performance and security of devices, according to Huawei. Huawei claims that the products can achieve an EAL 5+ certification level running the new OS.
Regarding the performance of devices, Harmony OS is comparatively faster and better than Android and other Linux-based operating systems as per the presentation shown in HDC 2019. Harmony OS uses a deterministic latency engine that provides precise resource scheduling with real-time load analysis and forecasting and app characteristics matching. Huawei also says the microkernel can make Inter-Process Communication (IPC) performance up to five times more efficient than existing systems.
Harmony OS lacks Android app compatibility, but with the few modifications in code, the developer can compile the app for Harmony OS. The first Harmony OS devices will be TV specifically Honor TV, one of Huawei’s subsidiary company and they’ll be available later this year. Huawei plans to expand the use of Harmony OS gradually and is planning to use Android on its phones by keeping Harmony OS on Plan B.
Harmony OS represents an entirely new generation of Operating System. It is the OS for the future to face upcomming future challenges in smart devices and it is here to stay and rule.