Huawei’s new HarmonyOS is now official and it is a show of ambition and cautiousness mixed up. Why? Getting a backup OS for Android is a point and HarmonyOS is a multi-platform operating system. Since the initial rumours were that the Harmony software was going to replace Android, let’s compare HarmonyOs vs Android and see which is which.
Huawei actually intends to do more with its new OS, from cars to speakers to televisions and watches. Obviously, these aren’t the only things the company will use the software for. As there were smartphone depictions in the launching presentation, it definitely has plans of using it in mobile phones, probably later.
The comparison will be more what HarmonyOS is and isn’t. Let’s see.
HarmonyOS vs Android
It’s not based on Linux kernel — like Android
Unlike the Android operating software, HarmonyOS is not being developed from the Linux kernel. And that’s what fundamentally differentiates the two. Huawei has developed an entirely new microkernel for its operating system.
The company claims its microkernel offers up to 5-times faster Inter-Process Communication (IPC) than Google’s Fuchsia, which is based on the Zircon microkernel, and 3x faster than the QNX microkernel.
Not competing Android
Initially, we thought it was going to be HarmonyOS vs Android, but the company has declared that as the new OS stands now it’s not a competitor for Android. They are probably going to work on it for a couple more years before they switch from using Android in their phones. This is the cautious part of the HarmonyOS.
HarmonyOS will start in smart speakers, smart screens, cars, etc. Though, given the trade war between China and the US, Huawei is rumoured to use HarmonyOS in the upcoming Mate 30 smartphones.
It is faster than Android, theoretically
Huawei claims its HarmonyOS is going to be faster than Android. The company says it uses a technique called “distributed OS”, which makes HarmonyOS use distributed task scheduling and distributed data management to improve its performance.
Its microkernel deploys a new scheduling mechanism called “Deterministic Latency Engine” that uses real-time load analysis, app characteristics matching, and forecasting to allocate system resources in a better way.
Huawei also claimed that HarmonyOS resulted in up to 25.7% improved response latency and 55.6% improvement in latency fluctuation.
No root access
For many Android users, rooting is the way to get more “unlocked” features in their devices. Unfortunately, there won’t be any rooting access in Huawei’s Harmony operating software. This is done to tighten up the overall security of the devices it will run on and the microkernel.
For more layers of security, Huawei says it has deployed “formal verification methods” to up the microkernel’s security. These are mathematical methods used in security-critical fields like chipsets and aerospace.
Bringing in a new operating software and having plans of going independent in the mobile market in the future may be a bright move. But Huawei is obviously against a very big war as companies that have the most apps are kings of the mobile phone industry. Google and Apple have already taken the lead in that.
In the light of that, trying to attract developers to create apps for its app store, AppGallery, (which we’ve heard Huawei is busily trying) may be a hefty task.
One way they could breakthrough is probably to make the HarmonyOS in such a way that it will support Android apps.