All applications that work on Android will work on the new operating system, according to Huawei
Huawei has confirmed that it will launch its home-grown mobile operating system next month, as Google prepares to cut off the Chinese smartphone maker’s Android license.
A Middle East executive for the firm told TechRadar that the new operating system, code-named HongMeng, will be commercially rolled out in June – two months before the Google ban comes into force.
“Huawei knew this was coming and was preparing. The OS was ready in January 2018 and this was our ‘Plan B’,” Alaa Elshimy, Managing Director and Vice President of Huawei Enterprise Business Group Middle East, told the tech news site.
“We did not want to bring the OS to the market as we had a strong relationship with Google and others and did not want to ruin the relationship. Now, we are rolling it out next month.”
Elshimy added that users will have to download apps from the Huawei AppGallery, rather than the Google Play app store, but said that no further customisation would needed.
The news comes after Google announced it would block Android updates on Huawei phones to comply with a US government order blacklisting the Chinese firm, as part of an ongoing trade war between the two countries.
The ban was initially announced on May 20, but the US Commerce Department later announced a 90-day grace period for Huawei, to give operators time to make other arrangements.
Google said that “Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices”.
Key Google apps such as the Google Play Store, Gmail and Google Maps may also not appear on future Huawei devices.
The company’s executive vice president in the UK, Jeremy Thompson, revealed last week that the company was developing its own operating system that could be used instead of Android.
However, he described the new software as a “plan B” in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s World At One, claiming that the company “would rather” work with Google.