According to XDA-Developers, it looks like Huawei’s Harmony OS 2.0 seems Android-based. Back on December 26, XDA posted that Huawei’s own first-party operating system is still based on Android. Harmony OS is Huawei’s attempt to survive on its own after legal problems have kept the company from utilizing Google’s Android OS.
As a result of the U.S. Entity List, Huawei lost access to GMS services that are provided in Android by Google. These services allow access to Google’s suite of software including the Google Play Store.
In the original article, XDA-Developers mentioned a developer built a simple “Hello World” app targeting an older version of Android. The older version in question is Android 4.4.4. Better known as Android Kitkat.
On February 2 an update was added stating that there is “no discernible difference” between Harmony OS and Android. According to XDA-Developers, ArsTechnica released a report stating that there is no “discernible difference” between the Harmony OS 2.0 beta and Android.
Harmony OS 2.0 seems Android-based
ArsTechnica’s Ron Amadeo went through the lengthy approval process to gain access to the beta of Harmony OS. With his access, he was able to exactly how similar the two are.
One of the highlights the report points out is the similarity of the interface to Huawei’s own EMUI Android skin. Huawei says they ported EMUI directly into Harmony OS. Huawei wants to focus on keeping the software experience similar between Android and Harmony OS for their customers.
Another one of the highlights is the similarity between Harmony OS and a lot of Android system components. For example, “version 10” is the version of the “HarmonyOS System” app. This according to the report is likely a reference to Android 10 which is the alleged version Harmony OS is based upon.
However, the similarities do not end there. Sample apps built via Huawei’s SDK appear similar to Android APK files as well. For example, Huawei’s apps can be unarchived similar ZIP files, similar internal structure, and can even be decoded with standard Android decompile tools.
The publication goes further in-depth by saying that the beta is very “feature-complete”. Both Samsung’s Tizen and Google’s Fuchsia lag behind Harmony OS in this regard.
ArcTechnica poked around within the beta for an extended amount of time. However, they were unable to “point to a single substantive change compared to Android”. Now it is entirely possible that Huawei was able to port everything from Android to Harmony OS perfectly.
Huawei is very capable of rolling out a new OS easily and efficiently. But this undertaking is seemingly impossible considering there is a plan to launch a phone with Harmony OS soon. Harmony OS is Huawei’s big plan for survival. Hopefully, it can revive them back to their former powerhouse status.