Huawei’s HarmonyOS: A Guide to App Development, Android Migration & More
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Huawei’s HarmonyOS: A Guide To App Development, Android Migration & More

Ajay Kumar By Ajay Kumar | April 15, 2021
huaweis harmonyos appears to be based on android

Are you worried about whether your Android app can be switched to HarmonyOS or not? Since many people are curious to seek answers to such a doubt, this article is solely created with the purpose of solving such qualms. Hence, stick to this one till the end.

It was Google who first launched the microkernel-based OS with Fuchsia and that had been the hotshot in the market for a while. Now, many software development companies and bigwig developers, following the same promenade, are trying their fortune with the launch of a new operating system. This is what exactly Huawei did two years ago with HarmonyOS development. I know that many of you might be wondering what is the new Huawei operating system and how it works. Launched in the year 2019, the HarmonyOS becomes Huawei’s own first-party operating system.

Huawei is one of the Chinese technology giants that dominate the mobile app distribution platforms with a huge market share. Earlier Huawei smartphones were using Android OS but when, due to American national security reasons, the president of the USA, Donald Trump called off business deals with a few foreign companies which resulted in Huawei’s business getting affected. This is one of the unknown facts about HarmonyOS being publicized by the multitudes ever since its release.

On the other hand, the major reason behind the launch of HarmonyOS was clarified by Ren Zhengfei at the time of release. It is believed that other Android app development software proves to be insufficient to propel the company’s smartphone prospects and this rationale impelled the creators to bring the idea of launching their own operating system into reality.

In this article, I will pay heed to discuss the bits of Huawei HarmonyOS, how HarmonyOS works, and whether it possesses the power of holding a significant market share in the future or not. We will also cover the topic “How to convert your Android app to Huawei HarmonyOS operating system” and if it is possible then how it can be processed. So, let’s take a dive into the world of HarmonyOS.

Also, read – 30+ Hacks of Android App Development

Global Smartphone Market Share Data

Huawei has witnessed exponential growth in terms of the global smartphone shipments market share. In the second quarter of 2020, Huawei occupied a 20% share which is the highest for the company so far. Let’s take a peek into last year’s smartphone market share across the globe for four quarters where Huawei is making strides. The figures for this year are yet to be released.

latest global smartphone market share

Check this post – Top Google Play Store Statistics 2021

What Is HarmonyOS? – A Brief Introduction To Huawei’s New OS

Huawei’s HarmonyOS was initially launched in September 2019 as a cross-platform app development OS (compatible with multiple devices). However, the company keeps on releasing updates frequently. The operating system was named “HongMeng” during its initial launch, however, the title later gets revised with “Harmony” as the manufacturers thought it might be uneasy for some people to pronounce such a tongue-twisted name. While many developers want to build an app for Huawei smartphones putting HarmonyOS to use, the major section is seeking an answer to the conversion of Android apps to HarmonyOS.

Since Harmony is a universal OS that supports all kinds of devices, it would be incisive for developers to know the bits of Huawei’s HarmonyOS first and come to terms with what is Huawei operating system/OS all about. Written in C, C++, and Java, HarmonyOS could easily be regarded as a breakthrough in the OS community as it represents itself as a step ahead of many traditional operating systems prevailing in the market. (Go through – List of Top Programming Languages).

Go through – List of Top Programming Languages

Those who know the fundamentals of the software development world can reckon the potency of HarmonyOS with the tagline introduced by the company – “An OS for a fully-connected world.” Marketed as a distributed OS, HarmonyOS operating system brings the role of AI in business and the real world more passionately. Moreover, HarmonyOS is backed by a multi-layered kernel and thus increases the chances of eliminating the process of redundant code using. It rather adopts a more efficient scheduling model based on real-time.

Since we have got a brief idea of what is the new Huawei operating system provisioning to bring to the table for developers and users, there are some interesting facts about HarmonyOS that we should not miss.

interesting facts about harmonyos

According to Huawei, the rise in IoT market trends and connected devices in the forthcoming years will give rise to HarmonyOS and become a household name for developers. While Harmony OS is expected to deliver powerful functionality across devices, coding enthusiasts are more interested and urging to know – what does Harmony OS look like and how does it operate? So let’s speed ahead knowing the whole mechanism of HarmonyOS.

Check this post – Top IoT Trends for Businesses in 2021

How HarmonyOS Works? – Decoding Huawei’s OS Workflow

The company claims that unlike Google and Apple, which use separate operating systems for different types of electronic products, Huawei’s HarmonyOS is a future-proof operating system that can be adapted for different devices and formulated acknowledging the IoT app development potential in approaching years. Since Huawei’s HarmonyOS has already garnered traction among developers, the biggest cause of concern for many is to understand the paradigm of the Huawei app which eventually leads programmers to cognize why HarmonyOS is different?

  • As the microkernel’s mechanisms of the HarmonyOS app work with smaller source codebases, the system eventually gets employed into a process and enhances the performance of the entire digital asset management. The thing that takes extended months, with HarmonyOS can be done within just two or three months.
  • Where it requires more than a hundred million lines of code to develop an Android app, Huawei’s Harmony runs only on just a hundred lines fulfilling the development requirement. This results in boosted communication channels between the software and the hardware strengthening Huawei’s vision of implementing an all-scenario strategy.
  • There are myriads of people seeking an answer to “How to develop Huawei app” in order to benefit their users with multi-device access with a single code. HarmonyOS functions on a single-kernel-across-various-device approach and provides a distributed architecture for development. 
  • There are myriads of people seeking an answer to “How to develop Huawei app” in order to benefit their users with multi-device access with a single code. HarmonyOS functions on a single-kernel-across-various-device approach and provides a distributed web application architecture for development. 
  • With multi-programming language APIs for application development, HarmonyOS expands the system functions and lets the developer soar the efficiency of dispersed platforms. A shared device ecosystem, also known as extensive-scenario space, further eliminates the unnecessary subsystems. This can truly be perceived as remarkable and revolutionary. 

Also, read about the Top Android App Development Frameworks In 2021

Look at the technical architecture of Huawei’s operating system that would help you to understand how the entire HarmonyOS framework functions.

harmonyos technical architecture explained

How to Convert Your Android App to Huawei HarmonyOS Operating System?

Before we jump headfirst to the “From Android to HarmonyOS” migration process, it is imperative to know what app migration entails and the challenges that may arise in the future if Android developers want to move their app from one platform to another. App migration is basically the practice of transferring data, accounts, and functionality from one operating environment to another. In this case, it would be from Android to HarmonyOS.  (Read – Mobile App Architecture Best Practices And How To Build One For Your Business).

Read – Mobile App Architecture Best Practices And How To Build One For Your Business

Since the app migration is a heavy task to pull off, this requires ensuring alliance among developers, IT operations, and other architectural teams to intervene and work together. There are plenty of software migration methods that developers employ, however, each method comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. As we know how HarmonyOS works, therefore, it is important to be careful while performing the migration.

Huawei has DevEco Studio that provides developers with a distributed platform. It empowers developers with multi-device development as well as migration. However, as per the latest update, the company has not yet come up with a tool that helps developers port from the Android app to HarmonyOS. That means, the developers only have specific mobile app development strategies to build an app for HarmonyOS from scratch as of now.

Huawei’s DevEco Studio IDE released version 2.0 in which they talked about the transition from Android. In this update, the developers clarify that the users can register to receive notification on their supported Huawei device to migrate to the Harmony OS 2.0 beta. Once the registration is authorized and approved, the instruction to install the software will be directed to the users. However, this update was available only for selected Huawei smartphones.

The official community of Huawei, last updated in September 2020, reveals that the Huawei development team is still working on the part to make the Android app to HarmonyOS conversion process work as soon as possible because there are so many owners and business leaders who are striving to move their app to Harmony. Since HarmonyOS appears universal in nature and harnessing the market by leaps and bounds, it is expected that the team will soon release the tool or IDE catering to the migration process.

Also, read – How Much Does it Cost to Develop an Application?

How To Develop Huawei HarmonyOS Apps In Four Easy Steps?

Huawei has a distributed architecture kit for HarmonyOS that documents the app development procedure (from development to deployment). Moreover, the application fundamentals along with the main module of themobile app development lifecycle are available in HarmonyOS’s App Pack. This app package includes – Ability, Library Files, Resource Files, Configuration Files, pack.info, and HAR. HarmonyOS follows a simplistic development process that needs to be executed in sequential steps. Hence, those who are wondering how to develop a Huawei app with HarmonyOS can follow the steps and witness the wonder of HarmonyOS.

STEP 1 (Understand the Basic Concept of HarmonyOS)

When it comes to deploying an appropriate OS and developing software for a particular platform, it is essential to comprehend the whole mechanism that works in an arrangement. Therefore, the first step for developers should be to get an overview of the HarmonyOS and know the development fundamentals.

STEP 2 (Install Huawei DevEco Studio)

After enlightening yourself with the HarmonyOS framework, the next step demands you to install the DevEco studio and get started with the top tech upgrades for businesses. The DevEco is the setup offered by Huawei in which the company offers two types of development abilities. The team before proceeding with the development process should understand the use of abilities and then begin the operation.

STEP 3 (Employ Functionalities in the App)

Developing service functionality is not an easy feat and in fact, considered one of the most challenging tasks in the development community. With myriads of development components, the developers can choose the service functions such as AI-ML development, network connectivity, data management, IDL, etc. depending upon the project requirement. Additionally, knowing what is Huawei operating system/ OS eases the job of throwing functionalities seamlessly.

STEP 4 (Debug & Deployment)

Once the team winds up the development undertakings, the major element that comes into the picture is to identify and remove the potential errors from the code. Since HarmonyOS is an advanced OS that does not require much consideration, still the testing is the most essential task to execute. (Read about – Everything You Need To Know About Mobile App Usability Testing). Once the bugs are fixed and resolved, apply for the releasing certificate for the app and submit a release request.

You can see that developing and releasing apps with HarmonyOS is not a REAL bear as many consider. However, since it is a new operating system that is conquering the mobile market gradually, it is better to analyze and clarify the doubts before integrating any file that is causing confusion.

Also, read – How to Finalize an App Development Company?

HarmonyOS Technical Features Explained

With promising and enhanced user experience across multiple devices, HarmonyOS bestows owners and a reliable software development partner with the given optimum features. These lineaments empower Huawei’s vision of outshining other operating systems and provide customers with improved multi-platform capability. Are you, like others, also contemplating common questions like – What is the new Huawei operating system holds for the developers and devices, why HarmonyOS is different from other operating systems, etc. Hence, being a seeker, you should be taking a glimpse at some progressive features HarmonyOS comes with so that you can understand what differentiates this OS from others.

1- Seamless Experience

Android and iOS development tools do not allow developers to zero in on individual service logic and rather compel them to rely on the underlying technology for distributed apps. HarmonyOS, on the other hand, adopts distributed channels whether it is about architecture, a communication platform, or employing data management. This smoothens the process of developing an app for multiple platforms.

2- Enhanced Performance

HarmonyOS is customized with a deterministic latency engine that is widely known to promote Inter-Process Communication (IPC) across the devices. The HarmonyOS 2.0 which was launched last year in September is even smoother and better in performance. The deterministic latency endows to prioritize the given events in advance. In fact, The coherent process has moved the application development greatly and reduced the process by quarter share. 

3- Multifunctionality

One of the wide aspects to consider by developers when it comes to deliberate over the attributes of a particular operating system is how many devices it can compile with. While OS like Android, Windows, and Apple caters to specific devices and limits their ambit to a single platform, HarmonyOS functions over multiple devices and embraces multi-language unification. Hence, if you want to convert your Android app into HarmonyOS, that process would clearly not be backbreaking with HarmonyOS.

4- Improved Security

It is not like other operating systems fail to provide a safe and secure environment and are unable to carry on with basic tasks like file management, memory management, process management, handling input, and output, etc. But HarmonyOS is a cut above which is what makes it a preferable choice. So if you find yourself asking why Huawei’s OS, this particular feature could emerge as an undeniable reason for you. (Read about –Steps To Enhance Mobile App Security).

Read about – 8 Steps To Enhance Mobile App Security

5- Cross-Device Design

HarmonyOS encompasses a cross-device design that goes from leveraging basic to distributed design interactives. The elementary design methods relate to the rudimentary app structure which includes layouts, visual styles, UI, etc. On the other hand, distributed design functionality gives rise to controllability across several cross-device models.

HarmonyOS Multi-Device Deployment Overview

Huawei’s OS is designed with a multi-layered architecture that includes a system service layer, framework layer, and application layer. So those who are wondering what HarmonyOS looks like, it is exactly how you can imagine the all-scenario intelligence integration working for your smartphone and other smart devices.

The UI and different layer distribution in the OS is an extension to the traditional operating systems. Moreover, the overall functionalities of the HarmonyOS are completely different from the ones you have been using so far. HarmonyOS’s UI framework supports the best programming languages for website development and thus provides extensive polymorphic components. This results in the system obtaining different UI effects on mobile phones, tablets, wearables, smart TVs, and head units. In order to gain an in-depth insight into how HarmonyOS provides responsive layout solutions in multiple device deployment, you can refer to the HarmonyOS complete documentation guide.

HarmonyOS vs Android: Which One Is Better?

Well, Huawei is yet to release a tool that will enable Android developers to migrate to HarmonyOS, there are many other traits like distributed data management, task scheduling that makes HarmonyOS a more optimal choice. Even though Android is in the mobile app development space for a long time, HarmonyOS’s versatility and scope of creating a dynamic impact of IoT for mobile app development help the latter gain a competitive advantage.

HarmonyOS is way advanced than Android and iOS in terms of growth area and development ecosystems. Furthermore, the president of Huawei Consumer Business Software, Wang Chenglu, himself clarified that HarmonyOS does not resemble either Android or iOS. Huawei launched Harmony as an alternative to Android and visions to offer panoramic opportunities in the forthcoming years. The given image demonstrates the difference between Android and HarmonyOS based on Kernel, Hardware Platform, Engine, and Root Access.

harmonyos vs android

Check this post – Android vs iOS App: Which one to choose!

How Appventurez Can Help You Develop An App With HarmonyOS?

With the right mix of like-minded people, we at Appventurez, aspire to bring our best to the table for the clients. Since our team of experienced professionals caters to each and every requirement actively, they also stand out when it comes to rendering insights to end-to-end digital and IT solutions for business transformation. Like many technologies already widespread in the business space, HarmonyOS is also positioning itself to revamp IoT services and smart devices.

Therefore, the enterprise looking forward to utilizing Huawei’s new OS for app development, it becomes very important to understand the in-and-out of Harmony OS. If there is any part that is leaving you perplexed such as what the development process would be for the Huawei app or the possibility of conversion from Android to HarmonyOS for your next project, connect with our experts right now.

Ajay Kumar
Ajay Kumar

A young entrepreneurial technocrat who is the Co-Founder & CEO at Appventurez Mobitech. After completion of his masters in Computer Application, he dived into the world of technology as an iOS developer. As a CEO, he firmly believes teamwork and collaboration are the essential tools for any company’s success.

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