In religious art, we can often see a high tower that has stopped work. It is called the "Tower of Babel".
▲ Picture from: wikipedia
In the religious story, the Tower of Babel was made by humans, hoping to lead to heaven. However, in order to prevent human beings from this plan, God stopped human beings from speaking a unified language, making it impossible to communicate with each other. Therefore, the Tower of Babel project had to be abandoned.
The language barrier hinders human cooperation. Later, the story was often used to imply the importance of language and communication.
In fact, smart devices also have their own language. For example, the language of a mobile phone may be Android or iOS, the language of a computer may be Windows, macOS, and the language of a TV may be tvOS, GoogleTV… It is often very difficult to connect and collaborate with devices using different "language".
And HarmonyOS wants to become the "Mandarin" of these devices, eliminating the "language barrier" between devices and allowing them to connect seamlessly and freely.
HarmonyOS is not Android, and I don’t want to replace the latter
Regarding the features of HarmonyOS, we have already introduced them in detail in the summary article of the press conference yesterday . The most controversial topic is the relationship between HarmonyOS and Android.
Before analyzing the relationship between the two, let's take a look at the background in which HarmonyOS was born.
Many people believe that the reason why Huawei made HarmonyOS is because the Android system can no longer be used under numerous restrictions. In fact, this is not the case.
What Huawei cannot use is the GMS module in the Android system. In response to this problem, Huawei has already used the HMS ecosystem to deal with it. What HarmonyOS wants to solve is another dimension. As mentioned above, the fragmentation of the operating system.
We say that Windows was born in the PC era, and iOS and Android were born in the smartphone era. They can all get the best experience in the corresponding device category. But once the form of the equipment changes, the situation is completely different.
You will see that Android tablets have been very tasteless due to application compatibility. Because of the interface design of Windows, it becomes difficult to use on small screens and touch screens. iOS also indirectly limited the potential of iPad, so Apple had to create another branch of iPadOS…
In this context, Huawei has seen the predecessors of operating systems such as iOS and Android being unable to do so in the era of smart life in all scenarios. Therefore, Huawei wants to develop an operating system that allows devices with memory as small as KB to gigabytes to run smoothly and achieve the best performance.
For consumers, when all our smart devices are running the same operating system, it will be much simpler for so many devices to cooperate. The cost of learning will also be greatly reduced.
Based on the above objectives, Huawei began to verify the feasibility of HarmonyOS in 2017. And the code that everyone cares about is the means to achieve the above-mentioned purpose.
So the question is, HarmonyOS uses Google's open source code under the AOSP open source agreement. What is the relationship between it and Android?
The first thing to be sure is that HarmonyOS is not Android. If you have to get involved, then Android can be regarded as the predecessor of HarmonyOS.
In fact, there is almost no operating system, and all the code is written by our company. The proportion of open source code used by Android exceeds 80%. The same is true for iOS.
The important concept involved here is open source. As long as you comply with the open source agreement, use the open source code as the base, and build your own core code layer by layer, this is an efficient and legal way. There is nothing shameful.
It's like when making a beef bun, we don't go to grow wheat or raise cattle first, but go to the supermarket to buy flour and beef directly. Unnecessary duplication of work can be completely omitted.
For example, Apple's macOS is based on FreeBSD. But few people call macOS the "magic" version of FreeBSD. One of the reasons is because it has made new content and new functions on the basis of the former.
HarmonyOS, for the first time, has opened up the barriers between large and small smart devices, so that there is no longer a language barrier between hardware, and it can be assembled and spliced at will to form a super terminal. This is difficult to achieve with previous operating systems.
In fact, building an operating system is by no means as simple as stacking code. It also involves business models, legal risks, intellectual property rights, and so on. If HarmonyOS infringes Android, then Google's legal department would have long been unable to sit still.
So how do we understand the relationship between HarmonyOS and Android?
You can think of Android as Cantonese and HarmonyOS as Mandarin. Although both are essentially languages, their pronunciation, intonation, and pronunciation are different. There is also a big gap in the size of the groups covered by the two languages.
Just like the purpose of promoting Mandarin, it is by no means to eliminate local dialects. The goal of HarmonyOS is not to replace operating systems such as Android and iOS. It hopes to become the "Mandarin" between equipment and equipment, between people and equipment, and between people, so that communication will be unimpeded.
The ambition of HarmonyOS may be bigger than you think
Each generation of mankind will be more digital than the previous generation.
Negroponte said in his classic "Digital Survival".
In the last century, it is hard to imagine that fans can be controlled by mobile phones, soymilk machines can be controlled by speakers, and curtains can be opened by speaking to the TV. Nowadays, the popularity of smart homes makes the above scenes a reality.
The development of the communications industry has accelerated the popularization of digitalization. Smart homes such as smart TVs, desk lamps, stereos, and sweeping robots are pouring into ordinary households. According to the prediction of Zhiyan Consulting, by 2025, the number of global IoT devices will reach 25.2 billion.
This is a very promising market. Google’s Fuchsia OS, and Apple’s HomeOS, which is rumored to be developing, are all eyeing this big cake.
HarmonyOS, which has been officially pushed, is undoubtedly ahead of the two. At the beginning of its birth, its positioning and purpose have been very clear:
It can be deployed on different hardware capabilities and adapt to the operating system with rich capabilities in the IoT era in the Internet of Everything era. Through the distributed software bus of the operating system, multiple terminals under the same account can realize the transfer of hardware capabilities across terminals.
Simply put, HarmonyOS wants to be the sunshine and air in the era of Internet of Everything.
This is a very ambitious goal, and Huawei does not hide it. As an open source operating system, Huawei gave HarmonyOS a grand message:
HarmonyOS connects everything and opens a trillion-level market. Choosing Hongmeng means choosing the future.
In order to let other manufacturers see the value of HarmonyOS, understand and embrace HarmonyOS. Huawei has proposed a "1+8+N" full-scenario smart life strategy.
1 refers to smart phones, 8 refers to tablets, wearables, large-screen TVs, PCs, headsets, VR, AI speakers, car machines, etc. Around the eight key businesses, there are N satellites developed by partners nearby, referring to the extended businesses of mobile office, smart home, sports health, audio-visual entertainment and smart travel.
The role of HarmonyOS in the "1+8+N" strategy is to connect each other.
For consumers, you can imagine this scenario: the phone calls to get in the car, and the watch is used to check the driver's location. When I got home, the music played on the phone was streamed to the stereo with one click. Turn on the tablet, make a video call with your family, and stream to the big TV screen with one click. Sit in front of the PC and work, transfer unfinished tasks to the tablet with one click, and lie on the sofa to continue working…
These scenarios are just the tip of the iceberg of HarmonyOS's existing capabilities, and there are more scenarios to discover. There is still a lot of room for imagination about what killer features HarmonyOS will bring in the future.
This highly digitized and extremely convenient intelligent life reflects the goal of HarmonyOS.
Not only to facilitate consumers, another goal of HarmonyOS is to decompress developers. HarmonyOS uses the Java Script programming language, which is more efficient than Java. For the same application, the installation package of HarmonyOS is at least 40% smaller than that of Android.
At past developer conferences, Huawei repeatedly emphasized "one-time development, multi-end deployment." Huawei provides developers with a simple and easy-to-use development tool chain (IDE), which can be one-stop development/compiling/debugging/burning, which is equivalent to automatically helping the app to be compatible.
In other words, in the world of HarmonyOS, developers no longer need to specifically adapt to screens of different sizes such as TVs, mobile phones, and cars. Greatly reduce the developer's workload.
In addition, its atomic service (FA) feature allows developers to launch many small and beautiful services in the form of cards. The size of these atomized vertical services may be 2MB, and the development cost is several times smaller than that of the app.
Being friendly to developers, HarmonyOS can become bigger and stronger, and it will naturally attract more partners.
According to Huawei’s forecast, the number of devices with HarmonyOS installed this year is expected to reach 360 million units, 840 million next year, and 1.23 billion the next year. Among them, Huawei's own equipment will account for smaller and smaller proportions.
To achieve this goal, Huawei needs to let more third-party vendors see the value of HarmonyOS.
No one is an island
In 1623, London was enveloped by the plague. The 51-year-old John Donne was unfortunately infected with the plague and his life or death is uncertain.
In the intertwined emotions of fear and despair, Donne wrote the ancient "For Whom the Bell Tolls: Contemplation on the Edge of Life and Death". One of the passages is "No one is an island".
At the HarmonyOS conference last night, Huawei's consumer business CEO Yu Chengdong borrowed the phrase "No one is an island" by the poet Donne to express Huawei's attitude in the darkest moment.
How to understand this sentence? From the perspective of the characteristics of HarmonyOS and Huawei's situation, this sentence may contain several important meanings.
We know that the mission of HarmonyOS is to break through the barriers of smart devices. When they use the same language, the communication becomes much smoother. The device is connected to the device to form a hyper terminal. No device will become an island.
As technology continues to advance, some groups seem to be forgotten by digitalization. They may not use smart homes, and the cumbersome connection steps make them prohibitive.
HarmonyOS's main "touch connection" makes smart home use extremely simple. You only need to tap the Hongmeng device with your mobile phone, and you can connect with one button for easy control. In this way, no one will become an island in the digital age.
▲HarmonyOS connects at the touch of a button
Let us look farther. Under the combined influence of epidemics, bans and other reasons, the shortage of chips has become the number one problem for manufacturers this year. Companies in any country cannot avoid being affected.
The globalization of the economy makes the butterfly effect particularly obvious. The world's technology industry is a community with a shared future, and no country, company, or individual can be alone.
Despite the many sanctions and hardships, Huawei remains optimistic and open, announcing that HarmonyOS is open source and sharing it with the world. Cry out "Hongmeng is not only Huawei's, but also the world's."
Huawei believes that the future must be an open, inclusive, and intelligent world with all things connected.
As Negroponte said: "The best way to predict the future is to create it." Now, HarmonyOS is on its way.
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