Huawei’s Harmony OS 2.0 is just a modified version


Huawei officially launched in October 2020 the second version of Harmony OS, the Chinese manufacturer’s own operating system, as a homemade and fresh alternative to dethrone Android. After all, thanks to conflicts with the United States government, it was banned from using Google’s ecosystem and was restricted to a limited open source version of the platform.

From the natural registration process, Arstechnica managed to obtain a copy of the system to understand exactly how this competitor plans to dethrone Android in China. And, in summary, what the team found is just a modification of Google’s own system. This accusation was initially made in December 2020, but has now received further support.

Even before starting work, journalists still complained about the registration process, which is quite time-consuming, invasive and detailed: the press needs to send even a photo of the passport and credit card to obtain approval for using the system, in a a process that takes two days and there is no guarantee that the information will be deleted later or stored securely.

I’ve seen this before

By downloading the SDK (development kit) and testing the released build, the Arstechnica team came to a simple conclusion: Harmony OS is nothing more than Android with Huawei’s own skin, EMUI, however with the name changed .

The whole look is very reminiscent of the Google system, from the menus to the organization of icons on the home screen. Even the app info screen “delivers” inspiration, with several files from the Android library found. And the main problem is misleading advertising: in all official material, the brand announces that this is a “totally new” system.

The biggest differences are in renaming certain sections and offering another development package, DevEco Studio – which is very similar to the Android Studio SDK, including in code, as confirmed by Arstechnica.


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