With Google cutting ties with Android, albeit within 90 days, Huawei is now facing their next challenge; coming up with their own OS. It seems that Huawei had already been working on this for a while now since their relationship with the US began to sour. Now it's official that the name for this OS is called Hongmeng.
Not a lot has been revealed about Hongmeng as it's still in the midst of development. But Huawei Central has some revelations on what the new OS has to offer, but also the many challenges it's facing.
The new OS will run all Android apps
Earlier today, Huawei Central reported that the new Huawei OS will run all the Android Applications that has now been confirmed with a proper source. Even Huawei’s consumer business CEO Yu Chengdong has confirmed the same thing.
Instead of going with a separate architecture, Huawei will likely come up with a “Mutual Approach” that will be compatible with most of the current Android software design patterns.
According to the source: “This approach will make developers to re-develop the app according to Hongmeng, so it can work in fluently in a stable environment and will also set another big hurdle for this operating system in an early stage public release but once the system environment continues to make progress, this situation will be different.”
One of the many concerns Huawei users would have is whether they would have access to popular Google apps; particularly the Play Store.
It turns out that Huawei already has its own app store for Huawei and Honor smartphones as “App Gallery” and that the company is in the midst of developing its own version of Google Play Store. Sadly, this was suspeneded due to the recent ban in the US.
According to Bloomberg, Huawei told its partners that by the end of 2018, it would have 50 million Europeans using its own version of app store instead of Google’s. The company also asked mobile carriers in Europe to spread this new app store even more.
There are still plenty of challenges to face
As it's still in the midst of being developed, it still has plenty of challenges to deal with. According to an internal source revealed by Huawei Central, "the most challenging issue for Hongmeng is to come at the establishment of its core ecosystem and if the company leaves Android’s Linux + Java frameworks and instantly adopts a new system architecture, it will make Hongmeng’s system incompatible with the current Android-based Apps."
With the process of developing their own play store also being suspended, efforts to make the process for Huawei users to move to their new OS as smoothly as possible won't be the same for the company itself.
Building an operating system “is exceptionally difficult to do well and to do successfully“, said Ryan Whalen, deputy director of the Law and Technology Centre at the University of Hong Kong.
“Just look to players like Nokia, BlackBerry and Microsoft that have all failed recently in similar endeavours,” he told AFP, adding that Huawei would have to deal with a “competitive disadvantage” as its rivals will feature core Android services.
Microsoft pulled the plug on its Windows Phone platform earlier this year, and Samsung’s Tizen system is barely known compared with Android and Apple’s iOS, which runs iPhones and iPads.
Huawei knows “that being a big telecom company, you have to have your own core technology eventually“, Wong Kam Fai, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told AFP.
“They have it, but they are not ready for production yet. It would have been better if this thing happened two or three years later, but it is happening now so they just have to speed up.”
If you like this, be sure to read our thoughts on whether other Android smartphones outside of Google should be afraid.