Huawei advances with HarmonyOS 2.0 and the new AppGallery Apps

Huawei advances with HarmonyOS 2.0 and the new AppGallery Apps
Huawei advances with HarmonyOS 2.0 and the new AppGallery Apps

Huawei is there. This is the strong and clear message that the company wanted to convey with the global event at the beginning of June in which it announced to the general public not one, not two, but 7 new products as well as confirming the design of its future top smartphone. range: Huawei P50 Pro, on the launch pad for 29 July 2021.

The undisputed protagonist of that event, however, was undoubtedly HarmonyOS 2.0, the new operating system of the Chinese house with which he officially launches the gauntlet to Google and Apple and thus decrees the birth of a real new ecosystem made of hardware and software.

HarmonyOS 2.0: at the basis of the rebirth of Huawei

It was predictable, with the commercial ban on Huawei imposed by Trump on American companies, Huawei was literally forced to become independent in the creation of its products, both in hardware and software. With the impossibility of collaborating with Google again to use the Android operating system and related applications, the Chinese house has rolled up its sleeves and completed the development of something of its own, to transform the crisis situation into an opportunity, thus was born HarmonyOS 2.0.

During the event, Huawei gave particular emphasis to this software product and its importance is not given so much by its birth as by its nature: being an operating system developed on hardware produced by Huawei and offer multi-device compatibility.

With a comparison, the company has declared that it does not want to make the same mistake as Apple (which only today it has solved thanks to the Apple Silicon M1 chip – Ed), that is to create an operating system for each device but the opposite: a single operating system capable to run on multiple types of products.

HarmonyOS 2.0 it is therefore capable of functioning without any problem su smartwatch, tablet, smart tv, smart things, in short, any technological product equipped with a processor and an input / output interface.

HarmonyOS and Android, what’s different

But what changes between HarmonyOS and Android? We have all asked ourselves the question at least once during these months and there has never been an official answer, on the contrary, Huawei has often officially declared that it is not Android but a real new operating system.

But now that everything is public and available we looked for the answer among the various kits and development guides, analyzing the HarmonyOS code and above all the development of applications through the official SDK. The answer is that HarmonyOS is not an Android clone but has taken inspiration and partial components of Android.

Huawei actually had two avenues in front of it:

  • completely reinvent the wheel, creating an operating system from scratch with development times of several years;
  • use and incorporate other freely available projects to dramatically shorten the time.

In 2021, reinventing the wheel is now superfluous as well as a waste of energy, Huawei therefore took what it needed from various open source projects and incorporated them to arrive at HarmonyOS 2.0. Android himself, actually, was developed with the same method on the part of Google, the open source community is for this and over time both Google and Huawei have made enormous contributions.

Without going into too much specifics, it is sufficient to specify that Huawei has mainly taken Android runtine, that is the “micro-environment” in which the applications are started, so as to maintain backward compatibility with the applications of the green robot.

The remaining components are libraries available to everyone, external to both Google and Huawei (albeit the same), while completely new are the Kernel (cleaned to contain only the bare essentials for Huawei hardware) and theapplication framework that is the communication layer between the operating system and applications, which although highly inspired by Android, has been rewritten from scratch.

A new ecosystem is born, is the life of developers complicated?

the Android applications continue to work but a new environment is actually born, a new ecosystem. This may require further work for game and application developers but in reality it won’t necessarily be the case.

In fact, developers have two choices currently:

  • develop your own app for Android and then adapt it for the Huawei world, as is already the case today with minimal development effort;
  • develop a dedicated app for the HarmonyOS world.

It goes without saying that until there is a widespread diffusion of this operating system on a large number of people, few companies will invest resources and time to write their own applications for HarmonyOS, and it is probably precisely for this reason that Huawei has decided to offer the HarmonyOS upgrade in the future not only for the latest smartphones but even for those with several years on their shoulders. To give some examples, the Mate 40, P40, Mate 30, MatePad Pro, Mate 20, Nova 7, Nova 6, Nova 5, Matepad, P20 series but also older smartphones such as the Mate 10 and Mate 9 series and the P10 series that dates back to 4 years ago.

In this way, Huawei will have a much larger number of products on which HarmonyOS is installed in a short time. In fact, China has released the update for a further 27 devices in these days.

This strategy is also excellent news for Huawei smartphone owners for various reasons:

  • they will receive new lymph;
  • gives us a taste of what it means to develop an operating system exclusively for your smartphones and, a bit like Apple does, Huawei could even offer 5 years of updates without any problem.

AppGallery grows more and more

Meanwhile, the one who continues to grow and expand more and more is the AppGallery, the application store that Huawei is pushing to the maximum. New applications arrive every week, also and above all among those we often use in Italy such as banking ones.

Among the most recent new entries in the Huawei world there are Petal Maps e Petal Mail. The first is obviously an application dedicated to maps to move around using geo-location; arrived on the store a few months ago but has already received numerous and important updates, now the map with satellite view is also available, weather information has been integrated, navigation is then available both on foot and by bicycle and the most important information for commuters they are provided automatically by simply setting the home and work address. Obviously, there is also an integrated navigator system to help us on longer journeys even while we are driving.
Petal Mail instead it is a mail client as well as messaging service: at the first start it will ask us to set a name and automatically we will be given an email address @ petalmail.com. Unfortunately, at the moment it is not possible to add other email clients to receive all emails on a single application but this feature may soon be introduced as well.

From laughter third party apps instead some new entry recent ones concern the banking system:

  • Bank of Bologna;
  • Intesa SanPaolo Mobile;
  • Widiba Bank;
  • Sella Invest (of Banca Sella);
  • Next Mobile POS (of the debtors pay);
  • Buddybank;
  • CartaLIS.

In addition to the already present: Fineco, Unicredit Mobile Banking, Satispay, NoiPA, RelaxBanking Mobile, myCartaBCC, YouApp di Banco BPM, Mediolanum, UBI Banca, Tap, Hype, Inbank, Binance, buddybank, Sella, BANCOMAT Pay, Tinaba, Bancaperta , WeBank, etc.

Not only that, even utilities such as car sharing services, news or multimedia:

Then there are all the applications in the world CityNews such as: MilanoToday, RomaToday, FirenzeToday, AgrigentoNotizie, MonzaToday, UdineToday, ParmaToday, PalermoToday, etc.

For gamers, on the other hand, the presence of important titles is still scarce but recently they have also arrived:

In short, in small steps the little big ecosystem of Huawei advances, both on hardware and software.

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