Huawei’s New “HarmonyOS NEXT” Beta Drops Android and Linux Codebase

Huawei’s New “HarmonyOS NEXT” Beta Drops Android and Linux Codebase

Reading time: 15 min

  • Shipra Sanganeria

    Written by: Shipra Sanganeria Cybersecurity & Tech Writer

  • Kate Richards

    Fact-Checked by Kate Richards Content Manager

Huawei unveiled the latest beta version of its in-house operating system, HarmonyOS NEXT, at the Huawei Developer Conference (HDC) 2024 last week. According to GizmoChina, this iteration breaks away from the Linux Kernel and Android Open-Source Project (AOSP) codebase and features Huawei’s proprietary Hongmeng kernel and system architecture.

“HarmonyOS NEXT is a fully self-developed, independently controllable operating system originating from China,” said Richard Yu Chengdong, Huawei’s consumer business group chair, at the developer conference.

HarmonyOS Next will also feature “Harmony Intelligence”, Huawei’s take on Google Gemini and Apple Intelligence. This feature also brings proprietary AI capabilities to Huawei devices, integrating Xiaoyi as its virtual assistant.

Huawei’s new HarmonyOS will span its entire product lineup—from smartphones and smart wearables to tablets, headphones, smart driving vehicles, and smart home solutions.

“It’s different from other operating systems out there, where each type of device needs a specific OS. Harmony OS Next is one as all, all as one,” Yu said.

Currently, HarmonyOS Next is in a beta testing phase which is available to developers and select users. According to the company, the commercial launch is expected to be in the fourth quarter of 2024 with its flagship 5G smartphone series, the Mate 70.

Huawei developed its own operating system, HarmonyOS, as an alternative to Android in August 2019, following its addition to the US Entity List. This designation prevented Huawei from purchasing US-origin technologies, including software, chips, and other critical components, without approval from Washington.

Since its launch in 2019, HarmonyOS has been adopted on over 900 million devices, with more than 2.5 million developers creating apps for the platform, as announced by Yu during the conference.

This latest development aims to further accelerate the adoption of HarmonyOS, particularly after surpassing Apple’s iOS to become China’s second-largest mobile operating platform. According to Canalys, in Q1 2024, Huawei’s market share was 17% compared to Apple’s 15% in the same period.

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