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What differences do we know for now?

How are Android and HarmonyOS different? We analyze the most important differences and similarities between both operating systems.

Huawei is getting closer to starting to use HarmonyOS, your own cross-platform operating system, rather than Android on the devices that make up its catalog.

For some years now, the company has been developing its own platform that can replace Android at the moment the pressure from the United States Government is simply relentless. And everything points to that moment is about to come.

But, What are the differences between HarmonyOS and Android really? Although both are operating systems, and the way to use them on our phones will not be very different, there are many inequalities that exist between both platforms. Today, we want to analyze the most important ones.


HarmonyOS, Huawei's new operating system.

What is HarmonyOS?

In our guide with everything you need to know about HarmonyOS we already explained that it is a multiplatform operating system, developed entirely by Huawei.

The development of this project began in 2012. However, it was not presented until 2019, when pressure from the government led by Donald Trump began to wreak havoc on the company.

Since its inception, the company has referred to HarmonyOS as a embedded operating system, and intended for industrial applications or to its use in devices within the field of Internet of Things.

But the firm's plans were truncated, and Huawei was forced to allocate a good part of its resources to making HarmonyOS an operating system. much more complex than expected at first, so that in the not too distant future it would be able to give life to more advanced devices, such as mobile phones or even computers.


HarmonyOS, the new operating system developed by Huawei.

To this day, we have already witnessed the arrival of HarmonyOS 2.0, a second installment of this operating system that already offers an official development kit for different platforms, including smart watches or televisions. But the mobile version should arrive sometime in December 2020.

Main differences between HarmonyOS and Android

Android and HarmonyOS find a nexus of union in aspects such as the fact of being multiplatform operating systems or be created by two of the most important companies in the field of information technology and electronics. But the truth is that they are two very different platforms.

If we compare the bases of both systems - taking into account, of course, that the documentation on HarmonyOS is not complete yet, and there is much to know about the Huawei platform -, we can highlight the following differences:

Linux kernel vs Microkernel

If you have been using Android for a long time, or closely following the development of the Google platform, you are probably familiar with the fact that Android is based on the Linux kernel –Or, rather, in an adapted version, although Google wants to change that in the medium term.

And that's precisely the main difference between HarmonyOS and Android: Huawei's operating system it is not based on the Linux kernel, but the company has developed its own microkernel.

When we talk about a microkernel, we mean a kernel, usually much less complex –HarmonyOS has about 1/1000 the amount of code present in the Linux kernel– capable of decentralizing bugs so that a bug in one component of the system does not spread to the entirety of the system. In addition, it facilitates the process of creating and debugging drivers.

One of its advantages is the greater portability between different types of devices, something key considering that Huawei aspires to use HarmonyOS throughout the length and breadth of its product catalog.

The fact of using a microkernel also implies that communication between processes much faster than other platforms, or the allocation of resources in real time. Therefore, it is expected that HarmonyOS-based devices perform better.

Huawei, in addition, is not the only one that has decided to bet on a microkernel: Google itself uses its own microkernel in its Fuchsia operating system, which apparently could replace Android in the not too distant future.

Huawei Mate40 Pro with Pixel 4 XL

The Huawei Mate40 Pro, along with a Pixel 4 XL.

No root

There are many people who choose Android due to the ease of manipulation offered by the Google operating system.

After all, few operating systems are so easily modifiable through techniques such as obtaining root permissions or the ability to install third-party ROMs that completely change the experience with the operating system.

But this will be very different in HarmonyOS. Huawei itself confirmed that in its operating system it will not be possible to perform jailbreak, obtain root permissions or anything similar, arguing that these types of techniques threaten the security of the platform.

More speed

Although there is no evidence to prove it, and everything we know to date is based on the documentation that exists about HarmonyOS, everything points to Huawei's operating system will run faster than Android.

That is because the company has bet a technique of distributed operating system, which is based on the use of task scheduling and data management in a distributed way to improve your system performance.

Huawei explains in this regard that, while Android uses a lot of boilerplate code, outdated task scheduling system and has fragmentation issues, HarmonyOS may deliver a faster experience.

To do this, the company also uses a mechanism called "Deterministic Latency Engine", which analyzes in real time the characteristics of each application to allocate system resources in the most efficient way possible. In numbers, this should be a 25.7% reduction in response time, and a 55.6% improvement in latency jitter.


Some of the devices on which HarmonyOS would be available.

What about the interface?

It is clear that there are great differences between both operating systems if we focus on its more technical sections. But what about the user interface?

At the end of the day, if Huawei's idea is that this operating system is present in millions of devices, of people who have already become accustomed to using Android, the company should work to make the transition as smooth as possible.

And that is why, although the operating system base go to change, HarmonyOS will continue to use the EMUI layer, so that the menus, settings and applications that Huawei mobile users are used to on Android, will be present once their mobiles are updated to EMUI 11.

The same will happen with third party apps. Thanks to the ARK compiler, developers will have it much easier to port your Android apps to HarmonyOS, giving users the possibility to continue using them regardless of the mobile they are using.

When can we try HarmonyOS?

Now the differences between HarmonyOS and Android have already become clear.

But, When will it be possible to test Huawei's new operating system?

The Chinese company is somewhat reluctant to offer dates for the arrival of your new operating system. However, we do know that December 2020 could be the month in which Huawei offers the possibility of install HarmonyOS on the first compatible phones, with the Huawei Mate 40 Pro being the first lucky one.