Huawei to launch HarmonyOS while Google Nest Hub to get Fuchsia OS: Why are tech giants reinventing operating systems?

Smart Applicances Operating Systems
Google and Huawei launching new operating systems. Pic credit: CODE_n/flickr

It appears alternative operating systems are facing a revival. While Huawei has confirmed HarmonyOS, Google is launching Fuchsia OS.

Huawei has officially confirmed on Twitter the arrival of HarmonyOS. Meanwhile, Google Nest Hub will receive Fuchsia OS. Both the tech giants had completely different intentions behind developing their respective alternatives to the Android operating system.

Huawei confirms HarmonyOS will arrive on June 2 with an unknown list of products:

Huawei unveiled HarmonyOS in 2019. The operating system extended way beyond smartphones. Huawei intended the OS to power various smart devices including smartphones, wearables, wireless earbuds, laptops, tablets, and self-driving cars.

Today, the Chinese smartphone company posted a new video on Twitter teasing the upcoming launch of HarmonyOS. Huawei also indicated it would launch several products that, presumably, run on HarmonyOS.

It is not immediately clear if Huawei plans to take HarmonyOS international. After all, the company was pressured to develop the operating system as a replacement for Android.

Huawei has been aggressively trying to move away from Android, and more specifically, Google Mobile Services. In other words, Huawei had no alternative as it didn’t have official access to the Google Play Store.

Besides Android, Huawei also doesn’t have access to several critical U.S. technologies. Several key technologies necessary to manufacture its own Kirin processor belong to either U.S. companies or companies that have ties with America.

Google’s Fuchsia OS to arrive on original Nest Hub:

Google’s Fuchsia OS is even older than Huawei’s HarmonyOS. Reports indicated the Fuchsia OS’s existence way back in 2016.

Google did acknowledge the OS’s existence and added that it would eventually replace Android and Chrome OS. Although unconfirmed, Fuchsia OS could be a singular platform that unifies the two operating systems.

Google has confirmed that it’s rolling out an update to Fuchsia OS to the original Nest Hub. The update will reportedly replace the Linux-based “Cast OS” with Fuchsia, but users may not see any big changes – or any visible changes too.

There might not be any cosmetic changes to the User Interface (UI) simply because Google designed the frontend with Flutter. The search giant intends to keep the user experience consistent across smart displays.

Google held its developer-focused event, Google I/O, last week. The company never mentioned Fuchsia OS during its keynote. This strongly suggests Google is being extremely cautious with the deployment of the new OS.

Fuchsia OS is capable of running Android apps natively and it could run on phones and PCs. Hence, it is a versatile, lightweight operating system whose applicability is similar to Huawei’s HarmonyOS.

Several reports claim Huawei’s HarmonyOS is a fork of Android OS. While Huawei’s intentions are understandable, Google could be looking at simplifying the development and maintenance of operating systems.

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