It looks a lot like Android because it’s based on the Open Source Android code. But it took thousands of engineers and billions of dollars to replace Google’s apps and Google Mobile Services, which Google refused to make Open Source.
Harmony actually runs faster than many parts of Google’s Android. Software engineering has improved since Android was built 15 years ago. In particular, the file system is much faster.
Harmony is much more than an Android replacement. It’s already running cars, speakers, and TVs. It’s actually a remarkable achievement, a distributed operating system that can run on less than a megabyte of memory. Officially, Harmony can run on 128K, but all systems demonstrated to date require much more memory.
Android requires a minimum of 500 megabytes. Intel recommends 2 gigabytes. That requires substantial battery power and cost.
The low memory requirement should allow Harmony to run on $5 IoT modules, although I’ll wait until actual units ship to confirm that.
100 million devices will soon run Harmony. Before the chip blockade, Huawei hoped 700 million devices would run Harmony in the first year. It will start taking revenue from Google’s $30 billion in app sales.
Huawei’s App Store will soon become the favorite of developers. Google is still demanding 30%. Huawei’s fee is half.