HarmonyOS… What is it? What can it do?
HarmonyOS is Huawei’s very own operating system that is also based on Linux. It is NOT Android, but the very nature of it is based on EMUI, which is based on Android. Huawei focuses on having a great ecosystem, and with what Huawei has shown us, indeed that HarmonyOS is flexible. This OS is available for tablets, smartphones and Huawei VISION TVs.
Luckily for us, and for you technophiles, Huawei has summarised the entire livestream into 3 minutes. But we will still summarise it for you.
One of the most prominent features is the control panel which is strikingly similar to iOS 14 control panel, and like iOS, it has everything including the navigation menu, music menu and even AIoT controls. From one HarmonyOS device, you can control many other devices so as long they are based on HarmonyOS.
HarmonyOS is available to devices for as low as 128KB RAM, which means the OS is versatile and can be installed to any smart home devices and appliances like blenders and microwave ovens. In addition to this, tapping your phone to a HarmonyOS-powered appliance lets you see vital information for said appliance, on the right for example, a user taps onto a HarmonyOS fridge, the user can now see multiple important information for the fridge including recommended storage temperature and even temp controls.
What’s more, HarmonyOS can be tapped to any transit reader, and from there, users can find useful information such as distance going to your destination, number of stops and so on.
Before we move on to other ecosystem features, let’s talk about performance. Huawei uses its own DGraphic Engine to render and process different graphics, processes and tasks. The company claims that it uses both the GPU and CPU to process different tasks. In addition, they use on what they call “decoupling” where one logic can no longer interfere from one another, thus making load times faster and refresh rates higher. This new graphic engine also does not do “repetitive rendering” meaning video and 3D rendering is faster and much smoother, since it does not have to repeat processing to what it has already processed.
Harmony OS also does not remove apps from the background, even when they are not in use for a long time. When going back to an app that you have not used for a while, you can always go back to the page where you left off, unlike iOS where it automatically brings you to the homepage.
The main focus of HarmonyOS is its seemless transfer and flexible ecosystem, and Huawei really pushed in for that. In fact, that’s what the entire livestream is. Just Huawei merging and conveniently moving files from phones to tablets to PCs.
For this, the company has created to what it calls “super devices”, in which, through a series of authentication processes, can connect to your phone through simple drag and drop. Though, you can only connect one device at a time, but it does not matter since you can see how many devices a phone can connect, and with this simple gesture, moving from one appliance or AIoT smart home device to another is a breeze. This is accessible through HarmonyOS’ Service Centre found on its control panel. One seamless transfer feature Huawei showed is the transfer of a PDF file into another phone without having to download an app. This feature is similar to Apple’s Air Drop so it is not exactly new.
Speaking of Apple, Huawei claims that HarmonyOS saves more battery life than its own EMUI system and even iOS. For one, HarmonyOS saves 5.1h of battery life vs EMUI’s 4.7h and iOS 14.4’s 3.9 hours. These are all tested on flagships and is probably torture-tested.
Through the multitask/menu button, users can easily integrate and choose which device they want to control, so as long it’s based on HarmonyOS. Here, the demonstration shows that users can simply move a task to a tablet thanks to the option at the very top. Also, did we mention that the UI looks strikingly similar to iPad OS? That’s what people are calling it at least.
HarmonyOS works on almost everything “smart” or AI-based. That is again, for the millionth time, the focus of HarmonyOS: to be as flexible to many AIoT appliances, vehicles and smartphones as possible. For now, HarmonyOS is available on a wide range of devices from Huawei including Huawei Vision, Huawei Watch and their smartphones. We will be listing upgrades for them later on.
Finally, OpenHarmony. OpenHarmony is a project created by the OpenAtom Foundation that lets other developers and smartphone makers work on HarmonyOS. This means a greater level of app development and app support. This could potentially rival both Android and iOS as the third sole OS. In fact, Xiaomi and BBK are interested in using Harmony and ditch Android, at least in China.
Source: HarmonyOS launch event (has ended)