Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Huawei's "I don't believe it's not Android" HarmonyOS

To an untrained eye Huawei’s HarmonyOS looks like the Android phone operation system. Officially the company says it is not a copy of Android. But that’s not what your eyes will tell you if you give it try.

HarmonyOS is the company’s response to changed market conditions. Huawei aims to establish it as a third phone OS alongside iOS and Android. It hopes HarmonyOS will reach beyond phones to tablets, watches and smart speakers.

Soon owners of recent Huawei phones including the Mate 40, P40 and Mate 30 models will be able to upgrade to HarmonyOS. The word upgrade needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Few users will see much of an improvement.

Why is this happening?


It took 18 months for Huawei to go from the top rank of phone makers to become a distant runner up.

Two years ago the US government put sanctions on Huawei. It is no longer allowed to licence or otherwise use US technology. Most of all, it can’t use Google Mobile Services.

This is the glue that makes an Android phone useful. Among other things it gives users access to Google’s cloud, to the Play Store and to Gmail. Google Maps and YouTube are off limits. Users can’t buy things with Google Pay.

Losing Google Mobile Services hit the company’s phone business hard.

IDC’s New Zealand market report for the first quarter of 2021 suggests that Huawei now accounts for about one phone in 20 sold. Between them, Apple and Samsung account for 17 phones in 20. The rest are rats and mice.

At its peak Huawei was close to a quarter of the New Zealand phone market.

In 2019 Huawei was in third place both in New Zealand and worldwide. There were quarters when it shipped more units than Apple. Mind you, a lot of those units were low-end devices.

Huawei pivots


In recent months Huawei’s New Zealand business has turned to selling solar power technology and headphones where it once sold premium phones and mobile network hardware.

At Ars Technica, Ron Amado takes an in-depth look at HarmonyOS. He had to jump through ridiculous hoops to get a copy of the software.

His conclusion is that it is an Android fork. Or to be more accurate, he says: “It’s Android but slower”.

There’s a lot of technical material in the story. It’s something of a treat for a certain kind of Android fan. Amado concludes by saying HarmonyOS is potentially China’s version of Android.

Huawei's "I don't believe it's not Android" HarmonyOS was first posted at billbennett.co.nz.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Binoy Kampmark: Vague Alternatives And G7 Summitry: The Build Back Better World Initiative

Summits often feature grand statements and needless fripperies. In Cornwall, the leaders of the G7 countries were trying to position and promote their relevance as the vanguard of democratic good sense and values... More>>


Suicidal Games: Tokyo’s Coronavirus Olympics

A pandemic crisis. A state of emergency. Overwhelming public opinion bristling with alarm. Notwithstanding these factors, Tokyo is still on track to host the Olympics that was cancelled last year in response to the global pandemic. The first sports team – Australia’s softball crew – has touched down. Is all this folly, bravery or self-interest?.. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Burned By The Diana Cult: The Fall Of Martin Bashir

The interview was infamous, made his name and was bound to enrage. It also received a viewing audience of 23 million people who heard a saucy tale of adultery, plots in the palace, and stories of physical and mental illness. But the tarring and feathering of Martin Bashir for his 1995 Panorama programme featuring Princess Diana was always more than the scruples of a journalist and his interviewing methods... More>>


How It All Went Wrong: The Global Response To COVID-19

The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response was never likely to hand down a rosy report with gobbets of praise. Organised by the World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last May, the panel’s gloomy assessment was grim: the COVID-19 pandemic could have been avoided... More>>



The Conversation: Is Natural Gas Really Cheaper Than Renewable Electricity?

Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change... More>>

Keith Rankin: The New Zealand Government’s 'Public Finance Rabbithole'

Last week, out of left field, the government placed a three-year embargo on normal public sector wage bargaining, essentially a salary freeze. While there has been a certain amount of backtracking since, it is clear that the government has been ... More>>