Huawei will roll out Harmony OS to existing devices after April

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(Pocket Ribbon) – There is still a lot of mystery surrounding Huawei's new Harmony OS software. It's still in beta, but when released after April, it will be available as an "upgrade" to the Huawei Mate X2 foldable smartphone launched today.

However, the Mate X2 – presumably like other Huawei devices after that – will still launch with HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) and Huawei's EMUI 11 user interface built on top of a Google-free version of Android. Huawei is currently unable to use Google apps due to the ongoing US trade ban and is clearly hoping Harmony OS will be a fresh start.

Harmony OS has already appeared on other devices, but we have known for a while that it would also appear on phones.

And indeed, it looks like Huawei will be offering a route to Harmony OS for new and existing Huawei phones after April 2021 – presumably only fairly recent flagships, though. It will likely be a pretty straightforward process because – wait for it – Harmony OS is remarkably similar to Android itself. Earlier in the month, ArsTechnica's Ron Amadeo got access to a developer build and to cut a long story short, it's essentially yet another Android fork.

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In a statement sent to Pocket Ribbon, Huawei says that “Huawei Mate X2 will run on HMS and EMUI 11 at launch. HarmonyOS is currently in beta testing, and our intention is to roll out the software to existing devices as soon as the software has been launched for consumers.

"Huawei Mate X2 will be part of the first batch of Huawei smartphones to be updated to HarmonyOS in April."

The question is, will the update to Harmony OS be optional or a common OS upgrade for existing flagship handsets?

Written by Dan Grabham.

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