Of the new HarmonyOS operating system, with which Huawei was supposed to create a third alternative pole to Google and Apple in the smartphone market, we have been talking for about two years now.
It was a candidate to be the Chinese company’s answer to sanctions imposed by the Trump administration in the spring of 2019 and still in force today. Those who expected a completely alternative version to Android, however, will be disappointed: HarmonyOS, meanwhile, arrived at a version 2 without the first having ever really seen outside China, is something different. On some IoT products it is a real integrated system, while on smartphones it is an advanced customization of Android Osp (the acronym stands for Open source Project) with Huawei’s services instead of Google Mobile Services and functions dedicated to integration with the brand’s IoT devices.
This is at least what is understood from the official communications of the company, in which a direct comparison between HarmonyOS 2 and the EmUi, that is, the customization of the Android interface available until today on the Chinese giant’s smartphones. In Huawei’s intentions, HarmonyOS is therefore a meta-system, which is grafted onto various devices as a superstructure that unites and facilitates them interconnection (if they are all Huawei devices). The look of the interface is also different, which now dangerously resembles Apple’s iOS.
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How HarmonyOS works
“HarmonyOS uses distributed technology to flexibly unpack system software and combine previously independent devices into a cohesive and holistic super device,” the company said. This meta device “It freely leverages the capabilities of the individual products that are part of it according to the user’s needs, thus offering a new type of connected experience through the integration of hardware and service widgets”. In practice, the interaction results in a new multi-device panel integrated on the various gadget which allows you to connect the various devices of the ecosystem based on specific scenarios.
The example they made from the company is this: from the smartphone you can drag a movie onto the smart tv icon to play the video on the big screen; at the same time, by dragging the same film on the icon of the new Huawei FreeBuds 4 headphones, the system is communicated to send the audio to the earphones, all potentially without interruption.
The novelty is the aforementioned concept of Super Device enabled by HarmonyOS 2, that is, that sort of virtual meta-device that unites in a single interface all the connected gadgets that make up the mosaic of our digital life. An interesting idea and a commendable purpose, in a technological world where many products do not yet speak adequately to each other. Too bad, however, that the pieces of this mosaic can only be Huawei devices, and that only a very small number of these devices will be available in Europe in the short term. Huawei has announced the availability of HarmonyOS 2 on the new Mate X2, Mate 40 4G, the Huawei Watch 3 series and Huawei MatePad Pro. Only the last two will be exported outside of China, but the availability dates in Italy and Europe will not are still known.
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That tablet that is so reminiscent of the iPad
Of all the new gadgets, the MatePad Pro tablet seems the most interesting: it integrates a 12.9 ”OLED FullView display with excellent optical characteristics, wide chromatic range and an aspect ratio of 16:10. However, the design, the name and even the accessories (Huawei M-Pencil 2 and Smart Magnetic Keyboard) are a little too closely reminiscent of Apple’s iPad Pro, which Huawei has certainly “inspired” for the creation of the product. Among the features enabled by HarmonyOS are a quick connect interface with computers and monitors and new ones Service Widget for quick display of information in real time. Huawei explained that this feature is only available for compatible applications. Among the graphic novelties of the interface there is instead a new dock that can be called up with a swipe from the bottom on the screen to quickly access the apps: who knows the interface of iPadOs he will probably recognize this feature right away too.
In addition, Huawei has announced that from 2 June HarmonyOS can be obtained as an update on 16 devices, including the Mate 40, P40 and Mate 30 series. Also in this case, availability concerns only and exclusively the Chinese market, while for now the company has not made known anything about the possible dates of availability of the update on the international versions of smartphones and tablets.
Among the other products that instead arrive immediately also in Europe there are FreeBuds 4 headphones, true wireless earphones with noise cancellation, and the curved MateView Gt gaming monitor, the first display of the Chinese company available on international markets. The new headphones will cost 149 euros, and those who buy them from the Huawei Italy Store will receive also a Huawei Band 6 as a tribute for tracking sports activity. The 34 ”MateView Gt monitor costs 529 euros and will soon be available for purchase in Italy.