In May 2019, the US banned Huawei from using American technology. It meant that the company could not use Android anymore, which was used by many products from the brand, including smartphones. So, in August 2019, Huawei announced its own operating system, HarmonyOS. It was based on AOSP and supported applications made for Android. However, that’s going to change soon. Reportedly, the upcoming version of HarmonyOS, called HarmonyOS Next, will not support apps made for Android.
Last August, Huawei held the Huawei Developers Conference 2023, and during the event, the company announced a new version of Harmony OS, called HarmonyOS Next. The developer preview of the upcoming version of the OS is scheduled to be released in Q1 2024, which will be followed by a public launch of the OS. Now, according to reports from South China Morning Post and Pandaily, HarmonyOS Next will not support apps made for Android, as the operating system does not use Android libraries.
According to the reports from the two publications, HarmonyOS Next will only support the ‘HAP’ installation package (instead of the Android Package (APK) that is supported by Android). The reports also claim that many companies in China are hiring developers to make native applications for HarmonyOS Next, which is another hint that the upcoming version of the OS will not support applications made for Android.
This change impacts companies and end users. As for companies, they will now have to spend money on developing apps for HarmonyOS Next as well. As for end users, they might not find their favorite apps on Huawei AppGallery upon the arrival of HarmonyOS Next, as many companies would still be developing apps for the platform. Currently, there’s no information on what this change would mean for markets outside China.