Huawei announces Harmony update for its smartphones

The company is updating about 100 of its devices globally to the new operating system, which also includes tablets like the MatePad Pro. In theory, this is a big change from its previous phones. Previous Huawei phones worked with the open-source version of Android with Huawei's own services.

Huawei services have replaced Google's software, which it was unable to include on new devices as a result of US sanctions. Harmony is coming to its recent flagships such as the Mate 40, P40, and Mate 30 series, before launching it across more devices later in the year. The company says: Old phones such as the Mate 9, Mate 10, P20, and P10 will receive the update in the first half of next year.

Huawei announces Harmony

The company explained that Harmony allows its phones to offer a more seamless connection across different devices. Including easier pairing with compatible headphones and speakers via a drag-and-drop interface. There is also improved support for home screen widgets. Which has a similar look to what we saw with iOS 14 from Apple last year. The Chinese tech giant announced Harmony for the first time in 2019. The first device announced with the operating system was the Vision TV from its then sub-brand, Honor. The brand was later sold due to pressure from ongoing US sanctions.

However, CEO of consumer business Richard Yu hinted at Huawei's developer conference last year that the operating system could appear via smartphones in 2021. Despite being marketed as an entirely new operating system, reports have indicated that Harmony shares a lot of code with the open-source version of Android that it replaces. Earlier this year, Ars Technica conducted an investigation and reported that Harmony was essentially a version of Android. In addition to phones, Huawei also announced new MatePad tablets powered by Harmony, as well as the new Huawei Watch 3 smartwatch powered by Harmony.

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