Huawei launched the first beta of HarmonyOS 2.0, its alternative to Android, in December 2020. Only a handful of very recent smartphone and tablet models are currently compatible. The operating system seems to do everything to look like Android, down to the code level, presumably not to lose too many developers along the way.
Huawei offers to join HarmonyOS 2.0 beta programalternative to Android operating system that the firm has been developing behind the scenes for almost years. The goal for the moment is above all to seduce developers, without which the usefulness of the mobile operating system will remain limited. Huawei claims HarmonyOS 2.0 comes with “over 15,000 APIs”, those programming interfaces that facilitate the development of applications. But also a new development suite called Huawei DevCo Studio IDE (in version 2.0 beta 3).
And straight away we notice that developers and customers of the Android era should generally feel at home in the HarmonyOS ecosystem (formerly called HongmengOS). The first captures via the development suite emulator show that the design of HarmonyOS 2.0 resembles (not to say it is identical) to that of the EMUI 11 Android overlay. And the resemblances are not just cosmetic: applications are coded in Java and structures are defined in XML files, just like on Android.
HarmonyOS 2.0: here’s how to test the new operating system before everyone else
In the coming months and years, a total of 42 Android smartphones launched by Huawei and Honor will be able to migrate to HarmonyOS. Eventually, Huawei will also offer its OS to other Chinese manufacturers to help them emancipate themselves from Google. But at first, only a handful of terminals can switch to the OS.
However, we do not recommend installing it at this stage. This first version is only of interest to developers. It remains nevertheless still possible to switch back to Android / EMUI 11 if you have installed it by mistake or are disappointed. Note, however, that the operation will erase all of your files and settings. If that doesn’t scare you, and you still want to test the operating system on a dedicated smartphone, follow these steps:
You can also test the system by clicking here to simply install the development suite and use the included emulator. Note that all documentation is in Mandarin. For now the source code of HarmonyOS 2.0 has not been made public by Huawei. Enough to promise hours of exploration for the most assiduous hackers, with perhaps the key some discoveries !