HarmonyOS 2.0，It works on a phone, but it’s not the second Android.
Movable type printing, one of China’s four great inventions, was the brainchild of a printer named Bi Sheng during the Qing Li period of the Northern Song Dynasty.But what many people may not know is that even before movable-type printing was invented, the clever Chinese had already found a solution to replace handwriting, namely “block printing”.We would carve words into stone tablets and wood, make plates, and then “copy” them on paper by rubbing, which was the earliest form of printing.Why, then, is movable-type printing the only thing more important?Call it even the greatest milestone in the history of printing?The technical principle says it all.
Generally speaking, movable-type printing is a subdivision of the plate, the text is divided into individual words, then the printer according to the content, pick out the type, make a plate.After printing, the printing plate can be reassembled, changed back to the font, continue to arrange other content.Therefore, the importance of movable type printing is reflected in this “live”.It is flexible, not fixed, can be divided, but also can close, but also greatly reduce the time of the producer, achieve a higher efficiency than block printing.
This kind of thinking of “I have three thousand water, when I use it, I will take a ladle” has also inspired later generations, and even opened up the idea of operating system design:”If we could break the system down into modules, combine them as needed, and change depending on the shape of the hardware and software, the scenario, would we be able to explore new possibilities?”Huawei’s HarmonyOS system incorporates this idea.This highly flexible technology structure, based on the concept of movable type printing, may also be the key to Hongmeng winning the market in the coming age of the Internet of everything.
Operating systems of the past were often born with a specific category of hardware.We say that Windows was born in the PC era, iOS and Android were born in the smartphone era, and they all have the best experience in their respective device categories.But once the device is changed, the picture is very different.As you’ll see, Android has always been a poor tablet because of app compatibility.Windows is difficult to use on small screens and touch screens because of its interface design.Over the years, iOS also indirectly limited the iPad’s potential, otherwise Apple wouldn’t have branched out into the iPadOS.
It can be predicted that with the development of the Internet of Things and the demand for intelligent devices, there will be more and more scenarios in which operating system will be used in the future. However, due to the constraints of cost and manpower, it is impossible to design an independent system for each device.How to solve the “phase problem” between the system and the device?This requires us to go back to the beginning and solve from the source.The fragmentation of the hardware ecosystem also forces the industry to think of new systems that are more flexible and scalable, rather than continue to think about the existence of systems from a hardware perspective.
HarmonyOS 2.0 is here to make a difference.
You will see that Huawei did not position HarmonyOS 2.0 as a “single device form system”, but directly proposed the “1+8+N” full-scene idea, aiming to cover the whole Internet of Things.Its system hierarchy is clearer and more modular, allowing developers to adjust system modules and change size flexibly according to the performance and memory of hardware processors.In such a design, it becomes very easy and convenient for developers to make all kinds of hardware use the same system.
But then a new question arises: compared with other systems on the market, there are also many cross-platform, what can HarmonyOS 2.0 bring different?Or what are some that are unique to the Great?This involves the application of distributed technologies.It sounds mysterious, but it is important to HarmonyOS 2.0, which is the key to Huawei’s attempt to create a “super virtual terminal”.
Before we talk about distributed technology, let’s talk about two examples.
On the Huawei smart screen equipped with HarmonyOS 2.0 system, you will see that when a Huawei mobile phone and a Huawei smart screen are linked together, we can project the video calls, games and other pictures on the mobile phone onto the TV screen, and vice versa. The whole linkage process does not need any data cable, but relies entirely on wireless access.
At the huawei developer conference, the company also cited an example of how its phones, watches and smart food processors work together.For example, if you want to cook a new food, the phone can not only interact with the food processor functionally, but also obtain the user’s body data from the wearable device and automatically recommend appropriate food materials.
These scenes sound nothing special, just data transmission between different devices, but they contain Harmony’s thinking and application of connected scenes.If you think about it, in the future, all brands of equipment will be able to connect to the Internet, from televisions, refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners at home to watches, bracelets, light bulbs and even door locks. All of them need to become intelligent. How should they coordinate to mobilize information and provide users with really useful functions?
HarmonyOS 2.0 out of the scheme, is distributed technology.
To be specific, HarmonyOS 2.0 system is to separate the hardware capability of the device and treat it as a Shared resource.When a user needs to invoke a capability, it can be extracted from the hardware library at any time and used across devices, thereby extending the boundaries of the device.Remember at the beginning when we talked about the principle of movable-type printing, which is flexible and variable?Distributed technology is very similar to it, and this is the most imaginative part of Harmony’s system.Under this logic, hardware such as mobile phone, TV or speaker is no longer an independent existence for users. As long as you have needs, you can always take the TV screen as the extension of mobile phone, or the watch screen as the extension of mobile phone.At this point for the user, they experience, is a multi-device capability composed of “super virtual terminal”.This is a concept that Huawei often refers to.
It is as if the user is using a cloud device, and the local hardware is no longer defined by its own capabilities, but by its software and scenarios.
In addition to hardware capability sharing, HarmonyOS 2.0 also USES distributed soft bus technology to simplify the connection process between HarmonyOS 2.0 devices and the data interoperability.For example, now rely on NFC “touch”, you can directly complete the distribution network between HarmonyOS 2.0 devices, mobile phones into the large screen fluency has also been enhanced, this is relying on the soft bus in the minimalist protocol layer, only to achieve high bandwidth, low latency, high reliability characteristics.At the same time, communication data between different devices can be managed with distributed technology, which not only makes cross-device data processing as convenient as local, but also allows data to flow smoothly from device to device, so that data changes you make on one device can still be automatically synchronized to other connected devices.Eventually, the cross-device connectivity of the HarmonyOS 2.0 system becomes very elegant and comfortable.It not only simplifies the preliminary network distribution process, data distribution and synchronization is smooth enough, but also provides a stronger security authentication capability, which is the better part of HarmonyOS 2.0 than other systems.
After a better user experience is established, more consumers will naturally choose Huawei’s products.
If we say, In the system composition and characteristics, HarmonyOS 2.0 has more or less reflected its advantages, but in the ecological level, HarmonyOS 2.0 needs to face many difficulties.
Developer support and hardware vendor cooperation are integral parts of a mature ecosystem.In addition to this, HarmonyOS 2.0 also needs to answer another question: since the emphasis is on cross-platform, what should the application adaptation do?How do you make them work on screens of different shapes, different sizes?
This is what the industry wants to achieve.Apple, for example, has said publicly in the past two years that it wants to integrate its iOS and macOS apps.Earlier, ambitious plans for Microsoft to unify in the Windows 8 era have fizzled out.For the ecological point, HarmonyOS 2.0 actually there is no shortcut to take, doomed to rely on time accumulation.
But for getting through the application of different platforms, Huawei puts its foothold on the development end, providing a set of simpler and easier to use development tool chain.For HarmonyOS 2.0, this development tool chain is even more important, because only with tools can HarmonyOS 2.0 have the opportunity to build its own ecology.Just as Wang Chenglu, President of Huawei’s Consumer BG Software department, said at the developer conference: “If it doesn’t become a programming framework and a compiler, then it is impossible to build an operating system without tools.”
One is UI level, HarmonyOS 2.0 multi-terminal IDE tool, can provide developers with a one-stop development environment, including the screen layout, UI control, automatic adaptation, as well as compilation, debugging and burning, is equivalent to say that automatic help APP to do compatibility, and the whole process is visual.Secondly, at the functional level, HarmonyOS 2.0 disassemps the applications into separate units and classifies them, and then allows developers to freely assemble the functions of the apps for different devices, so as to easily achieve the cross-device migration of the applications, which is similar to the distributed technology in many ways.
For example, the WPS application displayed by Huawei will automatically adjust the display area of the application according to the size of the screen, whether there is a camera, whether it can connect to the Internet and other hardware features when it is connected between the mobile phone and flat screen TV, and allocate the application capability to the appropriate hardware.
Another example is the linkage between A Huawei mobile phone and a watch. On a mobile phone, didi taxi app basically USES all its capabilities, but in the case of a watch terminal, only a small part of modules can be invoked.
Therefore, HarmonyOS 2.0 this plan is very considerate for developers, and the simplification of development process is also conducive to HarmonyOS 2.0 to make the ecology bigger and stronger.
What’s more, HarmonyOS 2.0 is now more of a light load. It has no baggage, no concerns, so it doesn’t have to worry about the possible costs of a unified system like other operating systems.
At this year’s developer conference, Huawei also responded to a sensitive question: HarmonyOS 2.0 is open source.
Huawei said that in the future, The System will be open source by donating to the Open Source Foundation, including the OpenHarmony project, which will be the first to be incubated by the China Open Atom Open Source Foundation, and open to Beta versions for large screens, watches and cars in September 2020.In December 2020, Hongmeng will further open a series of tools for mobile devices, including SDK, development documentation and emulator.
Finally, today’s Huawei, with annual revenue of more than 800 billion yuan, the top three mobile phone sales in the world, and nearly 200,000 employees, has no need or reason to push the operating system with a play-ticket mentality at this special time.Especially this year, HarmonyOS 2.0 has begun to land more equipment, not only Huawei’s own, but also third-party manufacturers, which indicates that Huawei has planned a very clear development path for HarmonyOS 2.0 System.So instead of speculating maliciously on the motives of the great, be more patient and objectively evaluate what it is doing and what it might do in the future.
Operating systems are never quick, opportunities happen occasionally, and challenges exist.We do not know how long it will take Huawei to transform the HarmonyOS 2.0 system from zero to substantial maturity. It may take several years just to achieve the interconnection mentioned above and organically link people and equipment together.But what is certain is that today huawei is trying to make up for the few remaining weaknesses in China’s telecommunications industry.Just as it will take years to invest in chip development, HarmonyOS 2.0 is an ambitious project.
If it succeeds, it will not just change Huawei, but create a new landscape in the Internet of Everything era.