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A Whole New World: Everything You Need to Know About Huawei HarmonyOS

1st July 2021

There’s a lot happening in the world of Huawei, and not just because of impressive foldable phones and flagships like the Huawei P40 series. The company is making the switch from Android to HarmonyOS, their very own operating system that promises to usher in a new era for the brand. It’s not just for phones and tablets, either: HarmonyOS is already being used on some devices and is set to be the standard for the company’s smartwatches, smart TVs, car head units and even home appliances. 

So what does this mean for those of us who carry a Huawei around in our pocket? Let’s take a look at what we know about HarmonyOS and how it could change the future for Huawei. 

When will HarmonyOS launch?

HarmonyOS is currently in open beta for developers, which means it’s going through its final tweaks before it’s expected to roll out as standard on new Huawei phones over the next year or so. This means Huawei phones still come with EMUI for now (a custom version of Android) but will probably start selling with HarmonyOS in the near future. 

What’s different about HarmonyOS?

Since Huawei’s range of tech goes far beyond phones, seamless connection between devices is a big focus for HarmonyOS. In the near future, expect a smooth and fluid experience switching between your Huawei phone, tablet, smart TV and smartwatch, kind of like a souped-up version of what you get when you buy different Apple products. It’ll aim to make it as easy as possible for your favorite apps to be designed perfectly for the different gadgets you use, so you can easily switch devices without missing a beat. That’s good news for Huawei’s foldable phones, which will benefit from apps that can adapt to the display as it unfolds and changes size. 

Huawei also says security and performance are high on the priority list, achieved by basing HarmonyOS on a ‘microkernel’ system. We wouldn’t be surprised if it also comes with a fresh design of the home and app screens, plus a bunch of cool tools and features to play with. 

Which Huawei phones will get HarmonyOS?

There’s yet to be an official announcement on which Huawei phones will come with or be upgraded to HarmonyOS, but there’s a good chance that any upcoming launches in 2021 will come with it as standard. If you already have a Huawei phone, it will probably stay on EMUI for the foreseeable future if not permanently. 

Will I still get to use my favorite apps?

You may have heard that Huawei’s new phones don’t come with Google apps after a trade ban in the United States. This means these phones don’t come with official apps like Gmail, Google Drive, YouTube and the Play Store. But Huawei’s AppGallery is rapidly growing in its place, offering stacks of alternatives to use in their place. There may also be some workarounds to using Google services, such as by linking a Gmail account with your phone’s email app. 

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