- A recent comment by Huawei about HarmonyOS indicates that Google’s rumored Android replacement may have a new exciting feature.
- Huawei confirmed that its phones that still run Android versions stripped from Google’s mobile services will be upgraded to the new operating system.
- Such functionality would have to be supported by Fukia: to allow owners of Android phones to upgrade to the next version of Google’s mobile software without spending money on new hardware.
The US government’s ban on Huawei, which is going to be worse for the Chinese conglomerate, forced the company to create its own flavor of Android for Western markets. Huawei uses Android as the base OS for their phones, but cannot use any Google applications on top of that, which is actually the magic of Android. As a result, Huawei had to come up with its own App Store, as well as the app’s options for everything you’d expect to find or install on Android phones. There is no Search, Gmail, Map, or YouTube on Huawei’s phone, and you’ll have to download the option instead. But having Huawei Mobile Services on Android is a big problem.
Huawei will start replacing Android as soon as next year, with HarmonyOS 2.0 getting support for smartphones in late 2020. This can be seen as a defeat for Google, because it is. Prior to demonetisation, Huawei had sold hundreds of millions of phones running Google apps outside of China. Once HarmonyOS becomes the default operating system for Huawei, Google stands to lose a portion of the advertising money coming from those phones. But Google has begun its operation to replace Android with something better: Fuchsia. And Huawei just confirmed what could be one of its key features.
Android fans are already familiar with this name. We saw it in leaks and rumors for years, before Google confirmed its existence. Fuchsia is the OS that will fix the worst things about Android.
First, Fukia will end fragmentation, giving Google the same freedom of updates as Apple has with iOS. Secondly, the OS will run on different devices, regardless of screen size, or whether the device has a screen to begin with. This will allow Google to provide a better tablet and laptop experience with Android and Chrome with Fuchsia. Also, Google will make it easier for developers to code apps for multiple platforms through the Flutter SDK, which is already out. And Fukia will have better privacy and security features that will be available to all users at the same time. As of now, Android 10 and Android 11 privacy features are available only on devices that can receive those software updates.
At least that’s what we’ve learned from previous reports – and there’s no guarantee that Google’s plans won’t change. It is clear that Google has not stopped developing Fukia, and a time will come when Android will not have the next generation. Fukia will handle. All of the existing Android apps will also run on Fukia, so the following operating systems should not have infection problems.
But there is an exciting aspect of Fukia that I had not considered before. When the first Fuchsia device launches, existing Android handsets will be stuck, which may be the latest Android version at the time. This can be a major problem for Android buyers who have just purchased the latest Galaxy S or Pixel phone. Unless Google plans to support a seamless transition from Android to Fukia on some handsets, they won’t receive Android updates with a three-year guarantee. That way, you won’t have to worry about your expensive phone becoming obsolete when Fukia launches.
Android and Fukia will cohabit for many years. But Google should make it possible for Android phones that have hardware compatible with Fukia to move to the new OS. This is all speculation, as Google is not ready to confirm Fukia for smartphones. But this is where Huawei’s recent comments are in trend.
Harmonios will behave just like Fukia – well, based on the unfolding of Fukia rumors. Huawei OS will support a wide range of devices from smartphones and tablets to wearables, TVs and car systems. The UI will adapt to whatever screen size is available, and the devices will run apps of the same suite.
Huawei told Android Authority Huawei’s phones running on EMUI 11 will be upgraded to HarmonyOS if users wish to follow such an upgrade path. A Huawei spokesperson said, “Devices running EMUI 11 based on the new distributed technology will be eligible for future Harmony OS upgrades.”
EMUI 11 is the Huawei version of Android which will run on Android 11 in the future. EMUI 11 was also unveiled during Huawei’s Developers Conference just after Huawei’s HarmonyOS earlier this week. This allows Huawei to upgrade this Android-to-Harmony on their devices for the same reason that allows Google to support Android-to-Fukia transition. Imagine buying the latest Huawei P Pro model running the latest version of Android with Huawei’s EMUI and HMS, only to find that there won’t be a next version of Android. In such a case, a HarmonyOS upgrade path would be necessary. Reducing its dependency on Google, not to mention that Huawei has an additional reason to support this type of upgrade.
There is no reason to get excited about Fukia on the phone until Google leaps. But it may not be long until Google solves its Android problems.