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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Harmony OS – Huawei’s Answer to Google Aggression

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Following reports of a technological tale of intrigue that would make even Charlie Brooker blush, Chinese company Huawei has found themselves blacklisted by both the US and Google.

Being placed on a trade blacklist by the US will undoubtedly hit Huwaei’s sales, but Google’s decision to exclude Huawei from its Android operating system had the potential to be catastrophic for the Chinese company.

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Fortunately for Huawei they have developed their own Android operating system – Harmony OS. In this article, we take a look at the new system to see what it means for users and predict whether or not it will be a success.

What Does Google’s Exclusion Mean?

In essence, Google has excluded or banned Huawei from using the framework of its Android platform, which is the main rival to Apple’s iOS. That means that Google itself or any other app owned by the company will not be available on Huawei phones.

Furthermore, the vast majority of apps on the market will not be able to run on Huawei as they are designed for use on Android or iOS devices. The Google exclusion caused a major headache for Huawei, causing real concerns over its long-term viability as a company.

The Response – Harmony OS

At the time of writing Huawei has recently announced the launching of their very own operating system known as Harmony.

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The company is planning to focus its Harmony efforts in China for the foreseeable future before opening it up to the rest of the world.

For users in China, the new operating system allows them to avail of any apps that have reintegrated themselves for use on the new system. Huawei users in the rest of the world will have to continue relying on the goodwill of Google.

The multinational technology company promised to allow existing Huawei users to continue using Google Play on devices bought prior to the trade exclusion. If however Google change their mind, millions of users outside of China could find themselves with almost obsolete mobile phones.

Will Harmony Be A Success?

The outlook isn’t particularly bright for any company looking to break the duopoly of Android and iOS. The main obstacle in the viability of a new challenger is convincing app developers to sign up for their new operating system.

Most app developers already believe that producing two different apps for Android and iOS is laborious. Having to tweak existing apps for an unproven operating system that may or may not be a success may prove a step too far for many.

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If history tells us anything, Huawei will struggle to sign up app developers to its new operating system, much like Blackberry did. The once-popular phone brand fell to the wayside after failing to convince brands like Instagram to adapt to its own operating system.

As a global brand, Huawei’s days as a leading brand are seemingly numbered. Their decision to focus Harmony in China indicates that they may be refocusing all of their future endeavours on a domestic basis.

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