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Harmony OS 2.0 announced: Will debut on smartphones next year

A beta version of the platform will be available to developers from today.

Published onSeptember 10, 2020

HUAWEI HarmonyOS 2
HDC 2020
  • HUAWEI has announced Harmony OS 2.0, the latest version of its homegrown platform.
  • The firm points to smartphones with the platform coming in 2021.

HUAWEI announced its Harmony OS platform at its developer conference last year, and it’s now announced Harmony OS 2.0.

The Chinese brand confirmed that a beta version of the Harmony OS 2.0 SDK will be available from September 10 2020 on smartwatches, TVs, and head units. The firm added that a beta version of the developer tools will come to smartphones in December 2020.

“So maybe starting from next year, we’ll see smartphones with Harmony OS,” HUAWEI consumer business group CEO Richard Yu was quoted as saying at the HUAWEI Developer Conference (HDC). Following the publication of this story, a company representative tweeted that we will see phones with the new platform in 2021, seemingly removing all uncertainty.

OpenHarmony roadmap
HDC 2020

The firm also revealed a roadmap for its OpenHarmony project (seen above), being its open-source take on Harmony OS (ostensibly akin to the AOSP). HUAWEI says that from today, the open-source project will support devices with 128KB to 128MB of RAM, while it’s aiming to open up to devices with more RAM by April 2021 and October 2021. Furthermore, the company says it will fully open Harmony OS before October 2021.

The Chinese brand touted various features for Harmony OS 2.0, such as an adaptive user interface depending on the device, improved security, and “AI audiovisual” for smarter voice recognition. The firm also focused on cross-device data transfers, claiming faster remote read/write performance and faster search performance than Samba and iOS Spotlight respectively.

HUAWEI multi screen collaboration harmony os
HDC 2020

HUAWEI has also been pushing multi-screen functionality in the last year or two, and it provided several examples of this in Harmony OS 2.0. One example, seen above, sees a TV with a webcam being used for an online video lesson, displaying the teacher and child’s video window. Meanwhile, a tablet is used during the lesson to interact with course material.

Next: What is Harmony OS? HUAWEI’s ‘Android rival’ explained

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