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Huawei announces HarmonyOS NEXT, its Android-free OS

Huawei made it clear that it plans to ditch Android altogether. The company revealed its plans to focus on its own OS a while back, and that OS is now official. Huawei announced HarmonyOS NEXT, its Android-free OS.

Huawei made HarmonyOS NEXT official during HDC 2024

This announcement was made at Huawei’s annual developer conference, HDC 2024. HarmonyOS NEXT not only ditches Android but the Linux kernel as well. Huawei obviously wants to step away from the US software in every way, shape, and form. That’s not surprising considering how much damage the US has done to the company via various bans and limitations.

HarmonyOS NEXT uses a fully independent architecture built around Huawei’s Hongmeng kernel and system. This entire OS is made from the ground up, says Huawei. The company also says that this system architecture delivers a 30% improvement in overall machine performance and a 20% reduction in power consumption.

The company is looking for beta testers in its homeland

As part of the OS’ announcement, Huawei said that it’s looking for beta testers. It is also looking for developers to develop apps. The stable version of HarmonyOS NEXT is confirmed to come with the Huawei Mate 70 series in Q4 this year.

Huawei said that HarmonyOS NEXT can bridge the gap between different devices. In other words, it can be used on various different devices, including phones, smartwatches, tablets, cars, and more.

It also comes with ‘App Continuation’ feature. You can basically start a video call on one device, and simply jump on the other while continuing that same video call. That’s just one example, of course. The same goes for transferring documents from one device to the other, it’s seamless.

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AI is a part of the equation, of course

AI was also mentioned during Huawei’s presentation, of course. It’s the buzzword these days. Huawei does call it ‘Harmony Intelligence’, however. AI unlocks a number of features in HarmonyOS NEXT.

Those features are AIGC Image generation, AI sound repair, Xiaoyi Sees the World and AI-powered controls. The AIGC image generation can create images from line drawings, color existing photos, or enlarge them.

AI sound repair can assist people with speech disorders. Xiaoyi Sees the World is made for visually impaired users. It uses AI to “read pictures” by describing their content aloud. Xiaoyi is Huawei’s smart assistant, by the way, which is also getting smarter in HarmonyOS NEXT.

Security is Huawei’s top priority, and HarmonyOS NEXT is coming to global markets too

Security is the company’s top priority. HarmonyOS NEXT introduces the new Start Shield security architecture. It is designed to keep user data safe, says the company. It does use strict app vetting, multi-device data encryption, hardware-level encryption, and permission control.

Do note that all of this was announced in China, and it’s for the Chinese market. Huawei does plan to offer HarmonyOS NEXT with its global devices as well, we’re just not sure when.

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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