The Trump Administration took many steps over the last four years to isolate China in general and Huawei in particular. In one of its last official actions in January, it revoked chipmaker Intel’s licenses to sell to the Chinese company. Previously, in May 2019, President Trump placed Huawei on the list of companies that may not do business with any organization that operates in the United States, Qualcomm, Google and Intel, in particular.
“With the Huawei-U.S. ban in effect, the company has had to completely revamp how it creates and releases smartphones. It also faces mounting scrutiny from other nations, many of which rely on Huawei for wireless networking equipment,” according to Android Authority.
On June 2, in Shenzhen, China, the world caught a glimpse of how Huawei will design, build and market its products in the future if the digital iron curtain stays in place.
Shut out from the Apple and Android operating systems, Huawei had to create its own, so it launched the HarmonyOS 2 operating system, which powers a whole slate of smartphones, smart watches, tablets and even earbuds.
Roughly 100 other Huawei devices – including both smartphones and tablets – will be upgraded to run on HarmonyOS 2, providing a single platform for consumers to access the same experience across multiple devices in different scenarios, the company announced.
“There are more smart devices in our lives than ever, but the experience they provide often isn’t smart. Siloed systems tend to complicate interconnectivity and operations, which have ultimately led to a fragmented user experience,” Huawei said.
HarmonyOS is designed not just to promote connectivity between users, but also to connect the devices that the user accesses. A common computer code language allows different kinds of devices to connect and collaborate, providing users with a more convenient, smooth and secure experience, according to Huawei.
“Multi-device interaction with HarmonyOS makes working across multiple devices as simple as controlling one,” Huawei said. “The new control panel supports simple and intuitive connections through a drag-and-integrate feature that allows users to freely connect the devices they want based on specific scenarios.”
HarmonyOS also combines previously independent devices into a “Super Device” that integrates all hardware and resources, which matches devices’ capabilities to the user’s real-time needs, Huawei said. For developers, HarmonyOS allows cross-platform development and cross-device deployment of apps.
“Smartphone apps written in HarmonyOS will exchange data with cloud-based AI servers over high-speed broadband. The same software will control automobiles, industrial automation, smart home technology and other functions. The potential pushes the envelope of imagination,” wrote Asia Times. “If Huawei’s program succeeds, billions of smartphones will link seamlessly to server farms, uploading real-time information to big data processing driven by artificial intelligence.”
For example, the Huawei MatePad Pro is supported by the distributed data management and task scheduling capabilities that allow it to work with smartphones and laptops.
The whole reason Huawei was banned in the first place is the fear that its networks would spy on users and collect information for the Chinese government. In the HarmonyOS announcement, the OEM repeated its commitment to protecting user privacy and security.
“HarmonyOS inherits and further builds on the leading privacy and security technologies found in EMUI,” Huawei said. “Our core design principle is to ensure that only the right person can access the right data with the right device, ensuring the security of each access to each device, as well as the security of each act of storing, transmitting, and using data across all scenarios.”