HarmonyOS (HongMeng OS): Everything you need to know

On May 20, 2019, we were the first company to report on Huawei’s own operating system, Hongmeng. After some rumors and news, Huawei finally released the Harmony OS AKA HongMeng OS at the 2019 Huawei Developer Conference.

On September 10, 2020, Huawei released HarmonyOS 2.0 at the 2020 Huawei Developer Conference (HDC 2020), and added new distributed functions, including software bus, data management and security. Huawei has also introduced an adaptive UX framework that allows developers to quickly reach tens of millions of new devices and users.

According to Huawei, this new operating system will become an important aspect of Huawei’s ecosystem and will gradually enter most of its equipment in the next few years.

What is HarmonyOS?

HarmonyOS (HongMeng OS) is a new distributed operating system based on microkernel, designed to provide a new user experience in all devices and solutions.

“We are entering an era where people expect a comprehensive smart experience in all devices and scenarios. In order to support this, we believe that it is very important to have an operating system with improved cross-platform functions. We need one that can support all The functional operating system can be used on a variety of devices and platforms, and can meet consumers’ needs for low latency and strong security.” said Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group.

“HarmonyOS is completely different from Android and iOS. It is a microkernel-based distributed OS that provides a smooth experience in all situations. It has a reliable security architecture and supports seamless collaboration across devices. You can develop in one go Applications, and then flexibly deploy them to a variety of different devices.” Richard added.

HarmonyOS is based on the following four technical functions:

1. Seamless experience:

By adopting distributed architecture and distributed virtual bus technology, HarmonyOS provides a shared communication platform, distributed data management, distributed task scheduling and virtual peripheral equipment. With HarmonyOS, application developers will not have to deal with the underlying technology of distributed applications, allowing them to focus on their personal service logic. Developing distributed applications will be easier than ever. Applications built on HarmonyOS can run on different devices while providing a seamless collaboration experience in all scenarios.

2. Smooth performance:

HarmonyOS will solve the challenge of poor performance through a deterministic delay engine and high-performance inter-process communication (IPC). The deterministic delay engine can set task execution priority and time limit in advance for scheduling. Resources will be prioritized for tasks with higher priority, thereby reducing application response latency by 25.7%. Microkernels can make IPC performance five times higher than existing systems.

3. More secure:

HarmonyOS uses a brand-new microkernel design with enhanced security and low latency. The microkernel aims to simplify kernel functions, implement as many system services as possible in user mode outside the kernel, and add mutual security protection. The microkernel itself only provides the most basic services, such as thread scheduling and IPC.

The microkernel design of Harmony OS uses formal verification methods to reshape security and trustworthiness from the ground up in a trusted execution environment (TEE). Formal verification method is an effective mathematical method to verify the correctness of the system from the source, while traditional verification methods (such as functional verification and attack simulation) are limited to limited situations. In contrast, formal methods can use data models to verify all software paths.

HarmonyOS is the first operating system to use formal verification in the equipment TEE, which greatly improves security. In addition, because the HarmonyOS microkernel has less code (approximately one thousandth of the Linux kernel), the possibility of attacks is greatly reduced.

4. All in one:

With the support of multi-device IDE, multi-language unified compilation and distributed architecture suite, HarmonyOS can automatically adapt to different screen layout controls and interactions, and supports drag-and-drop controls and preview-oriented visual programming. This allows developers to more efficiently build applications that can run on multiple devices. With the help of a multi-device IDE, developers can code an application once and deploy it on multiple devices, thereby creating a tightly integrated ecosystem among all user devices.

The Huawei ARK compiler is the first static compiler comparable to the Android virtual machine, enabling developers to compile multiple high-level languages ​​into machine code in a unified environment. By supporting unified compilation of multiple languages, Huawei ARK compiler will help developers greatly improve work efficiency.

Development plan and ecosystem: (Announced on August 10, 2019)
HarmonyOS 1.0 will be first adopted in its smart screen products, which will be released later this year. In the next three years, HarmonyOS will be optimized and will gradually be adopted in a wider range of smart devices, including wearable devices, Huawei Vision, and car hosts.

Version schedule:

  • HongmengOS 1.0 – 2019 (for TV)
  • HongmengOS 2.0 – 2020 (for PC, SmartWatch/Band, car system)
  • HongmengOS 3.0-2021 (for smart speakers and headphones)
  • HongmengOS 4.0 – 2022 (for VR glasses, etc.)

Open source:

Huawei plans to release HarmonyOS as an open source platform globally. Huawei will also establish an open source foundation and an open source community to support deeper cooperation with developers.


Huawei will open up and share its core functions in areas such as connectivity, cameras and AI. It will work closely with ecosystem partners to provide applications and services that provide consumers with the best experience.


Changes in HARMONYOS 2.0:

HarmonyOS 2.0 is officially open source, and developers will be able to access the emulator, SDK software package and IDE tools. The open source project will be donated to the OpenAtom Foundation and will be launched in phases. It is planned to provide Chinese developers with a beta version of mobile HarmonyOS for the first time at the end of 2020.

HarmonyOS 2.0 open roadmap, it will support the following storage device types:

  • From September 10, 2020-devices with 128KB to 128MB RAM (including IoT devices, such as smart TVs, wearable devices, cars, etc.)
  • From April 21, 2021-devices with 128MB to 4GB RAM
  • From October 2021-devices with 4GB or more RAM

HarmonyOS 2.0 Beta release date for developers:

  • September 10, 2020-Smart TV, Watch and Host
  • December 16, 2020 – Smartphone

Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG) CEO Richard Yu said that Huawei will launch its first HarmonyOS smartphone in 2021.

Wang Chenglu, president of the Software Department of Huawei Consumer Business Group (BG), said: Users who upgrade to EMUI 11 will get HarmonyOS updates “as soon as possible.” Users can also choose to purchase new HarmonyOS devices before next year (2021).

HARMONYOS 2.0 mobile developer beta release:
On December 16, 2020, Huawei announced the mobile Beta version of HarmonyOS 2.0 for developers. On the same day, Huawei also opened up HarmonyOS 2.0 test recruitment for Huawei P40, Mate 30 and MatePad Pro devices in China.

The initial hands-on of this beta version shows that Huawei has made major changes to the HarmonyOS infrastructure and made it the basis of the EMUI 11 user interface to test its functionality.

However, Huawei insiders revealed that with the launch of the stable mobile device HarmonyOS 2.0, the company will make changes to the user interface.

Huawei plans to install HarmonyOS in 300-400 million devices in 2021:

On December 16, 2020, Huawei also shared its plan to install HarmonyOS in more than 300 million smart devices by 2021. To achieve this goal, the Chinese technology giant has cooperated with many industry partners to include HarmonyOS. In their respective devices.

Harmony timeline:

On May 21, 2019, log in for more details:

The latest news shows that Huawei’s operating system is based on Linux and the name of Hongmeng is related to Chinese myths. This is in line with the name of the processor series “Kirin”, which also derives from the name of the mythical chimeric creature “Kirin”.

In addition, the operating system will also be used as a universal operating system for multiple platforms including smart phones and laptops.

On May 21, 2019, the problems in the early application ecosystem:

In addition to the operating system, an application ecosystem is always required, which is marked with some issues, including compatibility and bugs,Here, we focus on the main issues that Huawei has in the development of applications that support this new operating system.

On May 21, 2019, get a first look at usability and compatibility:

According to Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business, Huawei’s first self-developed operating system will be launched as early as this fall, and no later than next spring. Interestingly, the new Huawei operating system will be compatible with all Huawei phones, tablets, TVs and wearable devices.

He also revealed that Huawei’s operating system is also compatible with all Android applications and all web applications.

Interview with Huawei CEO on May 23, 2019:

The CEO of Huawei reconfirmed the CNBC release date. The operating system will be ready in the fourth quarter of this year and will be released to the global market in the first or second quarter of 2020.

This sentence also increased the possibility that the company may have a different name for the global market, but it was not officially confirmed at the time.

He also said that the operating system will support all android applications and use its “App Gallery” as the default application store.

However, Huawei executives emphasized that the company will only activate its operating system if the use of Google or Microsoft products is permanently prohibited.

On May 24, 2019, Huawei registered the “Hong Meng” trademark in China:

Huawei has registered the “Huawei Hongmeng” trademark with the Trademark Office of the State Intellectual Property Office of China. The application submission date is August 24, 2018. It was publicly announced on May 14, 2019, and the registration is valid for May 14. , 2019 to May 13, 2029.

The application has been registered in multiple categories, including-operating system programs, computer operating system programs, computer operating system software. All these categories prove that “Hong Meng” is the name of Huawei’s operating system.

In addition, the category also includes-smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc., indicating that the company is ready for all its device ecosystems, and we have also reported on this.

If you are interested in viewing the trademark application details.

On May 28, 2019, Huawei registered ARK in Europe:

Huawei has registered the “Huawei ARK OS” trademark on EUIPO on May 24, 2019, and submitted it in the same category including operating systems.

It seems that we can use the global name of “Hongmeng OS”. The Huawei ARK operating system may be the name of the upcoming Huawei operating system, which will run on all devices in the world except China.

On May 28, 2019, there is currently no such statement:

There are false reports that Huawei’s self-developed operating system will be 60% faster than the Android operating system and will also support IOS applications.

So far, based on our information, we want to confirm that no Huawei executives or officials have made such statements on these issues.

May 29, 2019, Huawei filed new UI designs patent

On March 26, 2019, Huawei filed a design patent at DPMA (German Patent and Trademark Office) and published on May 14, 2019, the same day as Huawei filed a trademark for “ARK OS”.

Check more details in a dedicated article here.

June 2, 2019, Huawei is testing Hongmeng OS and its compatibility with Android Apps

A report revealed that Huawei has allegedly shipped 1 million smartphones with the software onboard for testing, and with the compatibility to run all Android applications.

Hongmeng OS will come with increased security functions.

Rosenblatt Securities revealed in a smartphone supply chain report that Huawei has allegedly shipped 1 million smartphones with the software on board for testing, with the software also said to be compatible with all Android applications and has “increased security functions to protect personal data.”

June 3, 2019, Hongmeng OS to launch in September inside Huawei Mate 30 Series

June 7, 2019, Google thinks Huawei’s OS would be more susceptible to being hacked

Google believes that the Chinese company can not provide the level of security it has for the Android OS. A Huawei-modified version of Android OS would be more susceptible to being hacked.

June 7, 2019, Huawei to launch ‘Hongmeng OS’ in Q3 2019: Report

Huawei could launch a new self-made OS in Q3 2019. The name could be “Hongmeng OS” in China and will be known as “Ark OS” globally,

June 8, 2019, Exclusive: Huawei registers “HongMeng” trademark all around the globe

we’ve confirmed that Huawei has filed the “HongMeng” trademark applications in almost every possible intellectual property organizations around the globe.

June 11, 2019, Chinese smartphone makers including Xiaomi and OPPO are reportedly testing Huawei’s Hongmeng OS [Update]

June 13, 2019, Hongmeng is expected to launch in October, not ready for flagship phones: Analyst

Huawei’s self-developed operating system identified as ‘HongMeng‘ is yet to unveil by the company but a well-known industry analyst says this OS will be coming in October featuring in low-end devices.

June 14, 2019, Hongmeng OS reportedly in preparation for being launched

Andrew Williamson, vice president of Huawei’s public affairs and communications, said in an interview that the company will “presumably” trademark Hongmeng, which he said has likely been rolled out to a million devices in China.

June 26, 2019, Ark Compiler will be open source from August this year, could play a big role in Hongmeng OS

Xiao Ran, Vice President of Huawei’s Strategy and Industry Development, said that Huawei Ark Compiler will be officially open source in August this year and also invited partners and applications to join its ecosystem and create apps based on Ark compiler.

June 27, 2019, Huawei should develop Hongmeng OS ‘Open Source’: Qihoo 360 Chairman

At 2019 Nanjing Tech Week, Zhou Hongyi, Chairman and CEO of Internet security company Qihoo 360 Technology, delivered a speech, saying Huawei can develop Hongmeng operating system in an open-source platform, and similar to the Android OS, Hongmeng can easily be spread throughout China’s IT sector.

July 5, 2019, Breaking: Huawei is testing Hongmeng OS in Mate 30, planning to launch together

Huawei is inviting peoples to test its operating system on a new device (possibly Huawei Mate 30). The email also mentioned that the company is planning to release the operating system alongside Huawei Mate 30 series.

July 6, 2019: Huawei’s OS supports different devices, already operational for some phones in China: Ren Zhengfei

Frech ‘Le Point’ magazine posted an interview of Huawei Founder and CEO, Ren Zhengfei, who talked about the company’s business and issues with the U.S., as well as the company’s self-developed Operating System.

July 6, 2019: Huawei founder says our OS needs a vast application ecosystem, will take few years to establish

Founder Ren told in an interview published on French Magazine “Le Point”, compared to Apple and Google, we still lack a good application ecosystem. That will take a few years to be established at a high level with the help of developers.

July 8, 2019: Breaking: Here are the leaked features Huawei is bringing to Hongmeng OS

Huawei has recently been recruiting internal testers in China to test its software in the name of ‘new features software’ testing, as one of the testers has contacted Huaweicentral.com and revealed some of the key feature details of that software on condition of anonymity.

July 12, 2019: Android is still the first choice, undecided on Hongmeng OS

Huawei Chairman Liang Hua said the company still prefers Android over its self-developed OS.

July 13, 2019: Report: Huawei is creating confusion on Hongmeng OS, developing for smartphones or Not?

Recently, we’ve seen variations in Huawei’s announcement regarding its self-developed operating system, the OS that expected to replace Android in its device ecosystem but now it seems like the company is trying to hide something away from us on this matter.

July 17, 2019: Hongmeng OS to be used in Honor TV, potential launch at HDC 2019: Industry Source

Since the start of Hongmeng OS’ story, there are different statements made by the company officials that differentiate from each other on this subject and creates infinite confusion but in the midst of all of this misconception now we have got a new report that hints the company is planning launch this OS in its upcoming smart TV.

July 19, 2019: Hongmeng OS is not for smartphones, it’s for industrial solutions: Huawei Director

Huawei’s self-developed operating system reportedly called as Hongmeng OS is widely speculated to be a replacement of Android but this allegation has already been denied by two Huawei executives and now we have a new statement from a Huawei that also confirms the denial.

July 24, 2019: Huawei officially teases an all in one software solution ahead of HDC 2019, Hongmeng OS?

Huawei previously confirmed that Ark Compiler will be a topic of discussion at Huawei Developer Conference 2019 and today the company has dropped a hint that may create some high hope for Huawei fans waiting to see something new.

July 30, 2019: Here’s some clarification on Hongmeng OS and its future in Huawei’s device ecosystem

We’ve been arguing about the fact that Huawei has also developed Hongmeng OS for smartphones but the company has denied it and today we’ve got some real light on this matter.

August 5, 2019: Huawei smartphone with Hongmeng OS to go on sale in Q4 at 2000 yuan, under testing: Source

Although top executives from Huawei has denied that they’ve not developed for Hongmeng OS for the smartphones but a new report has once again started the conversation on Android’s alternative.

August 9, 2019: Huawei officially announced Harmony OS/Hongmeng OS

August 9, 2019: Breaking: Harmony/Hongmeng OS is open source

August 9, 2019: Huawei says Harmony/Hongmeng is ready for smartphones but still want to use Android

August 9, 2019: HarmonyOS/Hongmeng OS can run Linux, Unix, Web and Android operations

August 9, 2019: HarmonyOS is tested on Huawei smartphones, migration will be easy if prohibited from using Android

August 10, 2019: HarmonyOS: Here are the four technical features that defines this Operating System

August 10, 2019: Harmony OS: Here’s the roadmap for developer plan and ecosystem development

August 10, 2019: Huawei will invest $1 billion to build HarmonyOS’s app ecosystem, will also cut intake fee from developers

August 10, 2019: Honor Vision with HarmonyOS officially unveiled, check out the price

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