Illustration by William Joel / The Verge
Huawei has officially announced HarmonyOS, the operating system it was rumored to be developing to replace its reliance on Android. In China the software will be known as HongmengOS. The company says the operating system can be used in everything from smartphones to smart speakers and internet-of-things devices like sensors.
There’s been a lot of speculation about Huawei’s in-house operating system ever since Google suspended the company’s Android license back in May, following the US government’s decision to put Huawei on the Entity List. Huawei has made no secret of the fact that it’s been working on its own OS, but the extent to which it would be able to act as a substitute for Android is unclear.
— Huawei Mobile (@HuaweiMobile) August 9, 2019
However, it isn’t yet clear how much need Huawei will have for its own in-house operating system going forward. Since placing Huawei on the Entity List, the Trump administration has since indicated that it’s willing to ease the restrictions on the company. In July, senior officials said that the administration would grant licenses to deal with Huawei in instances where national security wouldn’t be impacted. However, yesterday Bloomberg reported that the White House is delaying its decision about issuing these licenses in the wake of China’s decision to halt purchases of US farming goods.