HarmonyOS is owned by Huawei alternative operating system that was created after the company was out banned in the US and lost his Android license. The reality is that the OS is less of a new alternative and more a slapdash fork from Android 10 a new report from Ron Amadeo Ars Technica.

HarmonyOS was originally envisioned as a completely different operating system than Android and iOS, which would be just as at home with smart home devices (like the company’s) Honor Vision TV) like on smartphones. The announcement was a hopeful promise that losing access to U.S. companies wouldn’t deter Huawei from innovating, but Amadeo’s experience with the beta reveals some disappointing discoveries:

  • To gain developer access, a two-day background check is required, which includes sending copies of your passport, ID card, and credit card to Huawei
  • You are not running the beta operating system in its emulator. It’s streamed Google Stadia-style from (presumably) a phone that’s running the beta in China
  • Most importantly, HarmonyOS appears to be a fork from Android 10 with the word “Android” found and replaced by “Harmony”.

HarmonyOS has probably always been the most popular in China, but the fact that the new operating system appears to be a continuation of Huawei’s EMUI skin with potentially slower access to Android updates via the open source Android project is a huge blow to that Use anywhere else. It may be good enough not to offend the US government and please the Chinese authorities, but quick text changes and an invasive application process are not an appetizing operating system.

Read Amadeo’s full deep dive of detective work dissecting the beta, along with some bumps in the fluff-filled developer documentation from Huawei for a hypothetical “super virtual device” Ars Technica.

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