Harmony OS

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Written inC, C++
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source, Free software
Initial releaseAugust 9, 2019; 14 months ago (2019-08-09)
Latest releaseHarmonyOS 2.0
Marketing targetInternet of Things
Smart TV
Kernel typeMicrokernel
Official websitewww.harmonyos.com/en/home/
Harmony OS
Simplified Chinese鸿蒙
Traditional Chinese鴻蒙

Harmony OS (Chinese: 鸿蒙; pinyin: Hóngméng), styled as HarmonyOS, is an open-source,[1] free, microkernel-based distributed operating system developed by Huawei with a BSD 3-Clause license.

Unveiled on 9 August 2019, the platform is designed primarily for Internet of things (IoT) devices. Version 2.0 of Harmony OS was announced in September 2020 with support for smartphones, head units, watches and smart TVs.



Reports surrounding an in-house operating system being developed by Huawei date back as far as 2012. They intensified in May 2019 after Huawei was subjected to export restrictions by the United States government for alleged violations of United States sanctions against Iran. Huawei executive Richard Yu described an in-house platform as a "plan B" in case it is prevented from using Android on future smartphone products.[2][3][4][5]

Prior to its unveiling, it was originally speculated to be a mobile operating system that could replace Android on future Huawei devices (in response to financial sanctions imposed on Huawei by the United States government in May 2019), but by July 2019, some Huawei executives were describing Harmony as being an "industrial" embedded operating system designed for IoT hardware, discarding the previous statements for it to be a mobile operating system. These details were confirmed upon the official unveiling of the platform in 2019, with Huawei listing use cases such as smart TVs, in-car entertainment, and wearable devices.

Some media outlets reported that this OS, referred to as "Hongmeng OS", could be released in China in either August or September 2019, with a worldwide release in the second quarter of 2020.[6][7][8][9][10] On 24 May 2019, Huawei registered "Hongmeng OS" as a trademark in China.[11][12][13] The name "Hongmeng" (Chinese: 鸿蒙; lit.: 'Vast Mist') came from Chinese mythology that symbolizes primordial chaos or the world before creation.[14] The same day, Huawei registered trademarks surrounding "Ark OS" and variants with the European Union Intellectual Property Office.[15] In July 2019, it was reported that Huawei had also registered trademarks surrounding the word "Harmony" for desktop and mobile operating system software, indicating either a different name or a component of the OS.[16]

In June 2019, Huawei communications VP Andrew Williamson told Reuters that the company was testing HongMeng in China, and that it could be ready "in months". However, in July 2019, chairman Liang Hua and senior vice president Catherine Chen stated that Hongmeng OS was not actually intended as a mobile operating system for smartphones, and was actually an embedded operating system designed for Internet of things (IoT) hardware.[17][18][19] In July 2019, Huawei chairman Liang Hua stated that the OS was intended for "industrial" use and that Huawei "[had not] decided yet if the Hongmeng OS can be developed as a smartphone operating system in the future" (preferring the continued use of Android for these devices).[20] Building upon the statement, Huawei's senior vice president Catherine Chen stated that it was an embedded operating system designed for Internet of things (IoT) hardware.[21][22][23]


On 9 August 2019, Huawei officially unveiled Harmony OS at its inaugural developers' conference in Dongguan. Huawei described Harmony as a free, microkernel-based distributed operating system for various types of hardware, with faster inter-process communication than QNX or Google's "Fuchsia" microkernel, and real-time resource allocation. The ARK compiler can be used to port Android APK packages to the OS. Huawei stated that developers would be able to "flexibly" deploy Harmony OS software across various device categories; the company focused primarily on IoT devices, including "smart displays", wearable devices, and in-car entertainment systems, and did not explicitly position Harmony OS as a mobile OS.[24][25]

Harmony OS 2.0 launched at the Huawei Developer Conference on 10 September 2020. Huawei announced it intended to ship the operating system on its smartphones in 2021.[26]


Huawei stated that Harmony OS would initially be used on devices targeting the Chinese market. The company's subsidiary brand, Honor, unveiled the Honor Vision line of smart TVs as the first consumer electronics devices to run Harmony OS.[27][25] Now, a few devices are supported by Harmony OS, they are: Honor Vision, Honor Vision Pro, Huawei Vision (65/75), Huawei Router AX3.

Harmony 2.0 supports cross development for smartphones, in-car head units, smart watches and smart TVs. A single user interface can be developed that will automatically adapt between different devices.


OpenHarmony is an open-source HarmonyOS project launched by the OpenAtom Foundation. The project is hosted on gitee platform.[28]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ "Addition of Entities to the Entity List". Federal Register. 2019-05-21. Archived from the original on 8 June 2019. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  3. ^ "Huawei confirms it has its own OS on back shelf as a plan B". South China Morning Post. 14 March 2019. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
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  5. ^ Kharpal, Arjun (15 March 2019). "Huawei built software for smartphones and laptops in case it can't use Microsoft or Google". CNBC. Archived from the original on 22 May 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  6. ^ Warren, Tom (May 23, 2019). "Huawei's Android and Windows alternatives are destined for failure". The Verge.
  7. ^ Kharpal, Arjun (May 23, 2019). "Huawei says its own operating system could be ready this year if it can't use Google or Microsoft". CNBC.
  8. ^ Cherrayil, Naushad K.; phones, John McCann 2019-05-28T15:33:46Z Mobile. "Huawei says its Android OS replacement launch date is still undecided [Updated]". TechRadar.
  9. ^ phones, John McCann 2019-05-28T09:07:56Z Mobile. "Huawei may be building an Ark (OS) as it prepares for life after Android". TechRadar.
  10. ^ Blumenthal, Eli. "Huawei's HongMeng Android alternative launch date uncertain". CNET.
  11. ^ Reichert, Corinne. "Huawei OS may be called 'Hongmeng,' but it's reportedly 'far from ready'". CNET.
  12. ^ "Who Needs Google's Android? Huawei Trademarks Its Own Smartphone OS". May 24, 2019 – via www.wsj.com.
  13. ^ Jaszly, Airyl (May 24, 2019). "Huawei trademarks Harmony name, possibly for their upcoming OS".
  14. ^ Uy, Ed (17 August 2019). "No Google, no problem? Huawei unveils its own OS - Ed Uy". BusinessMirror. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  15. ^ Lucic, Kristijan (2019-05-27). "Huawei's Android Alternative May Be Called "Ark OS"". Android Headlines. Retrieved 2019-05-30.
  16. ^ Lakshmanan, Ravie (2019-07-15). "Huawei wants to name its Android OS replacement 'Harmony' in Europe". The Next Web. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  17. ^ "Android remains our 'first choice': Huawei chairman". TechNode. 2019-07-12. Archived from the original on 19 July 2019. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
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  19. ^ Byford, Sam (2019-07-19). "Huawei says its Hongmeng OS isn't an Android replacement after all". The Verge. Archived from the original on 19 July 2019. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  20. ^ "Android remains our 'first choice': Huawei chairman". TechNode. 2019-07-12. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  21. ^ Keane, Sean. "Huawei says Harmony OS isn't designed as an Android replacement". CNET. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  22. ^ Byford, Sam (2019-07-19). "Huawei says its Harmony OS isn't an Android replacement after all". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  23. ^ Cuthberston, Anthony (9 July 2019). "Huawei reveals Android alternative, claiming it is 60 per cent faster". The Independent. Archived from the original on 10 July 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2019. Ren Zhengfei said his firm's Harmony OS would be up to 60 per cent faster than Android and would connect across multiple smart devices – ranging from cars to phones.
  24. ^ "Huawei reveals HarmonyOS, its alternative to Android". Engadget. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  25. ^ a b Porter, Jon (2019-08-09). "Huawei's new operating system is called HarmonyOS". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  26. ^ Kharpal, Arjun (10 September 2020). "Huawei says its own operating system HarmonyOS will come to smartphones next year". CNBC. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  27. ^ Porter, Jon (2019-08-10). "The Honor Vision TV is Huawei's first HarmonyOS device". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
  28. ^ https://openharmony.gitee.com/openharmony