During their annual developer’s conference, Huawei has now confirmed that the much-touted HarmonyOS 2.0 could come to smartphones as early as 2021.

While HarmonyOS initially launched as a distributed system for the likes of smartwatches, TVs, and IoT devices, HarmonyOS 2.0 development has clearly accelerated rapidly as Huawei has faced (and is still under) severe sanctions and lacks important access to US-developed software systems and hardware since mid-2019.

“The beta version of HarmonyOS 2.0 will be available on September 10th for developers, but will be available for smart TVs, watches and head units,” said Huawei head Richard Yu. “At the end of this year, the SDK tools and simulators of HarmonyOS 2.0 will be available to smartphones. Next year we will see smartphones running HarmonyOS 2.0,” he added.

HarmonyOS 2.0 release roadmap

HarmonyOS will also be open source in a similar manner to that of AOSP — which the firm has relied upon heavily for their smartphones since being effectively cut-off from Google services last year. Yu touted some of the upcoming features such as a fully adaptive user interface, with improved voice recognition, device-to-device file transfers, plus more.

Just what this means for current Huawei smartphone owners is unclear, but without a remedy for a lack of Google Play Services in Western markets, it’s unclear just how buyers and owners will take to this decision. However, Yu’s wording does hint that this might be a China-only OS, given that Chinese developers were mentioned extensively. No word was given on a potential global rollout of HarmonyOS 2.0.

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