Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s Business Group, unveiled the new Huawei operating system, called Harmony OS. Yu said that it intends to continue to use Android moving forward for its smartphones but if not, Huawei is capable of rolling out its new OS within two days.
What is Harmony OS?
Harmony OS is not a mobile phone system to replace Android but rather is designed to work on devices from tablets to phones, smartwatches to cars and much else besides. And one other key thing: it’s open-source. It means that Harmony can be adopted by third-party manufacturers who want to ensure their Internet of Things devices can talk to others.
Harmony OS is microkernel-based and more of a competitor to Google’s upcoming Fuchsia. Yu said that Android isn’t as efficient due to its redundant codes, outdated scheduling mechanism, and general fragmentation issues. With a microkernel design, Harmony OS should be safer from the get-go as there is no root access available; the microkernel is protected by isolation from external kernel services.
In addition to being a lightweight system, Huawei says Harmony OS will offer some performance boosts. For one, it’ll feature a “Deterministic Latency Engine” that can better allocate system resources using real-time analysis and forecasting. Android, on the other hand, is stuck with the Linux kernel’s less-intelligent fair scheduling mechanism. HarmonyOS also allows for very fast “Inter Process Communication” — the link between its microkernel and external kernel services like file systems, networks, drivers, apps and more. Huawei claims that Harmony OS’s IPC performance is five times that of Google’s Fuchsia.
Yu said some features of Harmony have already been used in its premium smartphone models and other devices.
When asked whether Harmony can be used in its smartphones, Yu said, “Of course, it can be used in smartphones. But Android is still Huawei’s preferred choice for handsets, given the status-quo ecosystem. However, when Android is not available, Harmony can be applied to smartphones immediately.”