Is the Huawei "Harmony" new OS better than Android OS for smartphones?

Is the Huawei "Harmony" new OS better than Android OS for smartphones?

by Sawab Allaladé on 10/10/2019 |

Updated at 22/02/2020


Huawei, just recently, officially announced its "HarmonyOS" after much speculation due to the currently ongoing US-China trade war. But prior to an earlier report which stated that Huawei would launch its new operating system with a smartphone as an Android replacement , Huawei revealed that the new HarmonyOS would be used for much more as Android is still their go-to mobile operating system for now. 

Huawei, the second largest smartphone company in the world experienced a massive hit by the ban on Google services and it birthed the "Harmony OS". This has caused a lot of questions as to whether this new OS is/will be better than Android and IOS. 
As revealed by Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business division, the HarmonyOS is a microkernel-based operating system designed to provide the best user experience in comparison with Google’s in-development Fuchsia OS which is Zircon microkernel-based.
A microkernel is smaller in size than a monolithic (like Linux), only including the minimum code needed to run the operating system. The HarmonyOS microkernel has approximately 1/1000 of the code on the Linux kernel including just the thread scheduling and IPC. Other system services like the device drivers, network drivers, file systems,etc., run in the userspace making the Inter-Process Communication (IPC) the important factor in the overall performance of the OS.
Much like the Android, the HarmonyOS is said to offer a smooth experience with claim of 5 times faster IPC than the Fuchsia and 3 times than the QNX microkernel with low latency and improved efficiency.
The Chinese tech giant (Huawei), however has made it clear that the Android still remains their go-to operating system for their smartphones except there is a fall-out with the ongoing trade war. So the HarmonyOS is not a competitor with the Android (at least for now). The HarmonyOS which according to Huawei is “a distributed OS for all scenarios,” will run for their smart displays like the Honor Vision Tv, smart watches, and in-car devices.
Another interesting thing about the HarmonyOS is that it won't support root access. A large number of Android users are aware of what rooting is and what miracles (and mayhem) it can cause to their phones. So the HarmonyOS provides an improved security to your device.
They also introduced "formal verification methods” for maximum security of the microkernel and devices which provides an optimum advantage over functional verification and attack simulation which address a limited number of situations.
The main problem Huawei faces now will be the "app ecosystem". As we all know that he who owns the app market owns the smartphone market of which Google (Android) and Apple (IOS) are the major and biggest owner of that marketplace.
Since the HarmonyOS doesn't support Android apps, it is trying to attract developers to its play store known as AppGallery. Huawei has provided all the tools (Huawei’s ARK Compiler) needed by developers to recompile their apps to be compatible with the HarmonyOS.
Unlike the different creation or re-creation of apps for the various types of OS and platforms, the HarmonyOS  is an ambitious multi-platform OS which supports collaborative processes meaning developers only need to create one version of their app and it will conveniently be compatible with all the range of devices and platforms either the smart TV, wearable, smartphone or tablet. Sounds interesting!
The HarmonyOS will be available as an open source platform to aid broader acceptance. Easier for developers, it is automatically responsive to various systems and platforms. Preview-oriented visual programming and drag-and-drop control are all valid with the OS which aids efficient work and focus for developers.

Now we know that the HarmonyOS is real and the Chinese tech giants are ready for anyhow the tides go. They have a major advantage in their home market, the biggest smartphone market in the world - China, if there is a mass acceptance which can help in getting the interest of developers. 
However, the end result can’t be predicted until the actual OS comes into the hands of the people.

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