Huawei’s replacement for Android inches closer as it files a trademark for the OS while calling on app developers to help fill its Play Store alternative.
The ongoing saga following Huawei’s ban from dealing with US companies, of which it's been granted a temporary reprieve, has had many twists and turns.
Reports over the past week suggested Huawei was looking at Russia’s Aurora OS as a potential alternative. Currently, however, Huawei looks set to go ahead with an in-house OS in development since 2012 called ‘HongMeng’ locally and ‘Oak’ in overseas markets.
Huawei has now filed HongMeng trademarks in the EU as well as several other countries, including Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, Cambodia, and Peru.
Until the recent ban, Huawei was quite happy using Android – it became the world’s second largest smartphone manufacturer using it. Google has been making the point to the Trump administration that banning Huawei would force it to create a forked version of Android that’s “more at risk of being hacked, not least by China.”
Richard Yu, Huawei Consumer Business CEO, recently said the new OS will be “open to mobile phones, computers, tablets, TVs, cars and smart wearable devices," and "compatible with all Android applications and all web applications."
The new OS is said to support Android apps. Yu has even claimed that, if an Android app is recompiled for the new OS, running performance is improved by more than 60 percent.
Losing access to Google’s Play Store would be disastrous for Huawei, its millions of users, and the Android ecosystem. Huawei’s own alternative, AppGallery, is incredibly sparse when compared to Google or Apple’s official app stores.
In a bid to boost its own app store, Huawei has been reaching out to developers with apps on the Play Store to request they also publish in the AppGallery. A leaked email shared on XDA Developers claims AppGallery has a 560,000-strong developer community.
Huawei is looking fairly prepared to deal with the fallout of losing Android access, but it will face more difficulty handling the loss of partnerships with ARM, Qualcomm, Broadcom, and Intel, and exile from important groups like the WiFi Alliance, SD Association, and Bluetooth SIG.
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