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HarmonyOS from Huawei is just a version of Android


HarmonyOS is Huawei's alternative operating system that was created after the company was banned in the United States and lost its Android license.

But the truth is that the operating system is not a new alternative but is just a complex version of Android 10, according to a new report from Ars Technica.

HarmonyOS was initially introduced as a completely different operating system from Android and iOS and capable of running smart home devices, such as the company's Honor Vision TV, and smartphones.

HarmonyOS 2.0 appears to be a renaming of the EMUI 11 user interface, Huawei's custom version of Android 10.

The new operating system is based not only on the EMUI 11 user interface but also on Android 10 and all its core components.

The announcement was an optimistic promise that losing access to U.S. companies would not prevent Huawei from innovation, but the practical experience of the pilot highlights some disappointing discoveries:

  • Getting developer access requires sending your name, address, email address and phone number with a two-day background check to determine if you deserve to experience HarmonyOS 2.0 in a remote emulator.
  • Getting developer access includes sending copies to Huawei of your ID, driver's license or passport, as well as a copy of the front of your bank card.
  • Don't run the beta version of the local emulator's operating system via your device, but it's transmitted to you via a remote emulator, like Google Stadia, through a trial phone in China.
  • HarmonyOS seems to be a complex version of Android 10 with the word Android replaced by Harmony.

HarmonyOS (also known as HongmengOS in China) is likely to become the most common operating system in China.

But the fact that it's just renaming Huawei's EMUI 11 user interface with slower access to Android updates through the open-source Android project is a big blow against its use elsewhere.

It may be good not to offend the U.S. government and please the Chinese authorities, but quick editing of the text and the random application process does not make the operating system appetizing.