Yesterday Huawei officially unveiled HarmonyOS 2.0 and confirmed that it will power smartphones in 2021. Interestingly, you may not need to buy a new phone to make the switch – some EMUI 11 devices will be able to install and run the new OS.
It’s not clear which ones – all, perhaps, or just select models – and we don’t know if users will be able to roll back to the Android-based EMUI after trying out Huawei’s in-house operating system.
“Yes, devices running the new distributed-technology based EMUI 11 will be eligible for upgrade to Harmony OS in the future,” wrote a Huawei representative to Android Authority.
As of September 10, HarmonyOS is available for low-power devices – wearables, smart TVs, car infotainment systems. Next year, it will be opened up to mid-tier devices with up to 4 GB of RAM in April 2021 while flagship products with more than 4 GB will have to wait until October 2021. Huawei will help developers get a running start by giving them access to a beta version of HarmonyOS for smartphones this December.
Still, it could be a year before the flagship Huawei P40 phones are able to install the new OS. However, Huawei and Honor have a roster of Google-free mid-rangers that don’t stand to lose much – HMS Core already boasts 96,000 apps, which will presumably be supported by the new platform.