How are Android and HarmonyOS different? Let’s analyze the most important differences and similarities between the two operating systems. Huawei is working hard to release HarmonyOS, its cross-platform operating system, in place of Android on the new devices in its catalog.
For some years now, the company has been developing its own platform capable of replacing Android at a time when the pressure of the United States government is simply unstoppable. And everything indicates that that moment is about to arrive.
But what are the real differences between HarmonyOS and Android? Although both are operating systems and how to use them on our phones won’t be very different, there are many inequalities between the two platforms. Today we want to analyze the most important.
What is HarmonyOS?
It is a multi-platform operating system, developed entirely by Huawei.
The development of this project began in 2012. However, it wasn’t unveiled until 2019, when pressure from the government led by Donald Trump began to wreak havoc on the company.
Since its inception, the company has referred to HarmonyOS as an embedded operating system intended for industrial applications or for use on devices in the Internet of Things field.
But the company’s plans were blocked (no one knows by whom ???) and Huawei was forced to allocate a large part of its resources to make HarmonyOS a much more complex operating system than initially planned, so that in the future it will not too far away he would have been able to give birth to more advanced devices, such as phones or even computers.
To date, we have already witnessed the arrival of HarmonyOS 2.0, a second version of this operating system that already offers an official development kit for several platforms, including smartwatches or televisions. But the mobile version is expected to arrive in December 2020.
Main differences between HarmonyOS and Android
Android and HarmonyOS find a bond in aspects such as the fact that they are cross-platform operating systems or that they are created by two of the most important companies in the field of information technology and electronics. But the truth is, they are two very different platforms.
If we compare the basics of both systems – taking into account, of course, that the HarmonyOS documentation is not yet complete, and there is a lot to know about the Huawei platform -, we can highlight the following differences :
Linux kernel vs Microkernel
If you’ve been using Android for a long time, or are closely following Google’s development of the platform, you are probably familiar with the fact that Android is based on the Linux kernel, or rather, a localized version, even if Google wants to change it.
And this is precisely the main difference between HarmonyOS and Android: Huawei’s operating system is not based on the Linux kernel, but rather the company has developed its own microkernel.
When we talk about a microkernel, we mean a kernel, generally much less complex – HarmonyOS has about 1/1000 the amount of code present in the Linux kernel – capable of decentralizing bugs so that an error in a system component does not spread to the whole system. It also facilitates the process of creating and debugging drivers.
One of its advantages is the increased portability between different types of devices, something fundamental considering that Huawei aspires to use HarmonyOS throughout the length and breadth of its product catalog.
The fact of using a microkernel also implies that communication between processes is much faster than other platforms, or the allocation of resources in real-time. Therefore, the performance of HarmonyOS-based devices should be higher.
Huawei is not the only one that has decided to bet on a microkernel: Google itself uses its own microkernel in its Fuchsia operating system, which apparently could replace Android in the not too distant future.
Many people choose Android for the ease of manipulation offered by Google’s operating system. How to root Android phones and tablets
After all, few operating systems are as easily modified through techniques such as obtaining root permissions or the ability to install third-party ROMs that completely change the experience with the operating system.
But this will be very different on HarmonyOS. Huawei itself has confirmed that in its operating system it will not be possible to jailbreak, obtain root permissions or something similar, claiming that these types of techniques threaten the security of the platform.
While there is no evidence to prove this and everything we know to date is based on existing documentation on HarmonyOS, everything indicates that Huawei’s operating system will run faster than Android. How to speed up your Android mobile
This is because the company has opted for a distributed operating system technique, which relies on the use of task scheduling and data management in a distributed manner to improve system performance.
Huawei said in this regard that, while Android uses very repetitive code, a task scheduling system obsolete, and fragmentation problems, HarmonyOS will be in a position to offer a faster experience.
To this end, the company also uses a mechanism called “Deterministic Latency Engine“, which analyzes the characteristics of each application in real-time to allocate system resources as efficiently as possible. In numbers, this should mean a 25.7% reduction in response time and a 55.6% improvement in latency jitter.
And the interface?
It is clear that there are big differences between the two operating systems if we focus on their more technical sections. But what about the user interface?
Ultimately, if Huawei’s idea is that this operating system is present in millions of devices, of people who are already used to using Android, the company should work to make the transition as easy as possible.
And that is why, although the base operating system will change, HarmonyOS will continue to use the EMUI layer, so that the menus, settings, and applications that Huawei mobile users are used to on Android will also be present on their phones. updated to EMUI 11.
The same will happen with third-party apps. Thanks to the ARK compiler, developers will find it much easier to bring their Android apps to HarmonyOS, giving users the ability to continue using them no matter what mobile they are using.
When can we try HarmonyOS?
Now, the differences between HarmonyOS and Android have become clear.
But when will it be possible to test Huawei’s new operating system?
The Chinese company is rather reluctant to release dates for the arrival of its new operating system. However, we know that December 2020 could be the month in which Huawei offers the possibility to install HarmonyOS on the first compatible phones, with the Huawei Mate 40 Pro the first lucky one.