HarmonyOS Next — the next-generation operating system for Huawei devices — is nearly ready and could be rolled out to users soon. According to a report, the native application for the upcoming HarmonyOS Next update have already been prepared for release. Instead of using Google’s Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code, HarmonyOS Next is reportedly built around the company’s kernel and system — which also means that Android apps won’t be supported on the operating system.
Huawei showed off HarmonyOS Next while it was in development earlier this year, after the number of HarmonyOS 4 installations crossed the 60 million mark. At the time, it was reported that the company had unveiled HarmonyOS Next as a “pure” version of the company’s mobile operating system that would not include Google’s Android libraries.
Ever since HarmonyOS was unveiled in August 2019, the company offered support for Android apps, thanks to the weak app ecosystem at the time. However, the Pandaily report claims that the company is finally set to drop support for Android apps.
As a result, not only will users be unable to install Android apps from official sources, but sideloading of apps in the popular Android package (APK) file format will also not work. Instead of APKs, HarmonyOS Next will support the company’s own HAP format, according to the report.
When HarmonyOS Next update arrives on eligible smartphones, users will no longer be able to run Android apps. The South China Morning Post reports that, Chinese firms like Meituan, NetEase, JD.com, and other Big Tech firms have been hiring HarmonyOS app developers via Liepin.com and Maimai — to build apps for Huawei smartphones. A developer preview of HarmonyOS Next is expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2024
While Huawei is yet to provide a launch timeline for HarmonyOS Next, it’s evident that Android apps will no longer be supported on the operating system and companies in China are already working on supporting the company’s new app packaging format. We can expect to hear more about the operating system update when the developer preview arrives next year.