When the sanction hammer was dropped on Huawei, forcing it to change course in terms of using Android, the company chose to create a fork of Android called HarmonyOS. This uses the company’s own services for things like an App Store and integrating other features without using Google’s version of Android.
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The company released its first phone with HarmonyOS, but if a new rumor is to be upheld, more companies could look to Huawei for software. Google’s version of Android dominates the market, bringing a whopping 87% market share. However, outside of Google Pixel, phone makers are creating different skins on top of the AOSP version to include features that integrate with the hardware for a more cohesive experience.
A new rumor suggests that some phone makers have reached out to Huawei to bring HarmonyOS to their devices. Shortly after, another rumor claimed that the companies in question included Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and others. However, we would be surprised if this came to fruition in every sense of the word.
Outside of China, all other Android phones depend on Google services for everything from messaging and phone calls to the biggest, the Play Store. Google’s Play Services serve as the backbone for almost all of the features we use on a daily basis.
But is HarmonyOS really a completely separate version of software built from the ground up? Or is it like something we’ve seen on other devices like Amazon’s Fire operating system that sits on its tablets. It’s no exaggeration to think that Huawei could really build a separate operating system, but the time lapse between the enforcement of the sanctions and Huawei’s announcement of HarmonyOS has us a little questionable.
Ron Amadeo at ArsTechnica went ahead with HarmonyOS and found there was “no noticeable difference” when comparing Huawei’s software to Android. That’s not to say that Huawei hasn’t worked with its new operating system, and that it isn’t impossible for another company to take an interest in it, either. However, if this is just a fork of Android, what would be the real benefit for Xiaomi, Vivo or Oppo to jump on the HarmonyOS bandwagon?