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Huawei releases OS code in push for own ecosystem; six new products launched

Alvin R. Cabral/Dubai
Filed on September 10, 2020 | Last updated on September 10, 2020 at 10.48 pm
Richard Yu during the introduction of new products as part of the Huawei Developer Conference on Thursday.

HarmonyOS likely to be used by smartphones from early 2021

Huawei Technologies on Thursday debuted its newest major industry event and, more importantly,  announced that it will be making its very own OS source code available to developers in a push to create its own and alternative mobile ecosystem.

The Chinese tech giant - in its first-ever Huawei Developer Conference from Guangzhou - said that the second version of its homegrown HarmonyOS will likely be available on devices from early next year.

The announcement comes at a critical time for Huawei, which has been blocked from using the dominant Google platform. Huawei's resources and know-how puts it in a position to be independent and challenge the overall ecosystem, which also includes Apple's iOS.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's Consumer Business Group, said the company is "dedicated to introducing Chinese developers' work to global consumers".

HarmonyOS is already being used in a number of Huawei's products, including wearables, TVs and in-car systems, but not yet on its smartphones. Canalys had reported that Huawei became the top smartphone vendor globally in the second quarter.

New products

As part of the three-day conference, Huawei also introduced a bundle of new products as it continues to push forth with its mission of providing a 'seamless' experience backed by the latest technologies and as part of its 1+8+N ecosystem -

"We are trying to bring seamless AI life to all life scenarios," Yu said in his keynote.

Leading the launch were two new laptops. The MateBook X, which Huawei is positioning as a device to redefine mobile productivity.

It combines the flagship series design and technology with improved lightweight design and smart features. Overall smaller than an A4-sized paper, it weighs 1kg and is 13.6mm at its thickest point.

The MateBook X is also the first notebook to feature the 3K Infinite FullView Display with a borderless design. The display is also multitouch-enabled with gesture support mimicking those easy actions as on a smartphone. Inside is an Intel Core 10th generation processor and surround sound audio.

It is also the first Huawei notebook to support Wi-Fi 6, which features three times the data transfer speed over Wi-Fi 5 for faster connectivity and better productivity.

Meanwhile, the MateBook 14 features improved performance in an also compact design. It uses the AMD Ryzen 4000 H series processor, Huawei's Shark Fin Fans for better thermal performance and a 2K FullView display.

Both notebooks feature Huawei's Multi-screen Collaboration, enabling users to connect Huawei or Honor smartphones and work seamlessly between them.

Four wearables were also introduced, including the Watch GT 2, which has up to two weeks of battery life, over 100 workout modes, professional-grade fitness tracking features and Huawei's TruSeen 4.0+ that provides more accurate heart rate readings. New workout modes include skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding and golf driving range.

The new flagship smartwatch also comes with a rugged design featuring premium materials.

The Watch Fit, meanwhile, is the first Huawei sports smartwatch to feature a rounded rectangular watch face design. It has 1.64-inch Amoled HD display, feels as light as a sports wristband and provides up to 10 days of battery; five minutes of charging can provide enough charge to sustain the smartwatch for an entire day of typical use. It also has TruSeen 4.0+.

On the audio front, Huawei launched the latest iteration of its truly wireless headset, the FreeBuds Pro. Huawei says it is the world's first true wireless stereo earphones to support intelligent dynamic noise cancellation. Featuring a hardware and software integrated solution, it identifies the type of ambient noise based on the user's immediate surroundings and switches between three profiles to offer optimal noise-cancelling performance.

It features dual connection with Android, iOS and Windows smart systems so users can seamlessly switch between devices without being tied to one brand. It also has new gesture controls by swiping or pinching on the cubic earphone stem.

The neckband-style FreeLace Pro, uses leading algorithms to provide stable noise cancelling performance in any situation. Pairing and charging is seamless with HiPair, a Huawei-developed solution that lets users easily do both at the same time by plugging the headset to a smartphone with a USB-C port. A five-minute charge gives enough battery to sustain five hours of music playback, and a full charge offers a full day's use.

"Great user experiences are always founded on innovation, but our journey of innovation always begins and ends with consumers. In the future, we will continue working with our valued partners to offer more smart and high-quality experiences to consumers worldwide," Yu stressed.

Regional commitment

Huawei's dedication to developers in the Middle East and Africa has seen 95 per cent of the top apps in the region now available on the Huawei AppGallery. Of these, 88 per cent are compatible with HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) Core.

Huawei is firmly committed to supporting local developers in the UAE to increase their engagement and allow AppGallery users to access innovative apps such as PayBy. PayBy, a UAE homegrown fintech enterprise, is building a cashless ecosystem for consumers and merchants as well as creating a digital payment infrastructure facilitating the country's transition to becoming a cashless economy.

PayBy is aligned with Huawei's focus on security and privacy protection for its users. The app supports Huawei's robust safety and security kit infrastructure using biometric payment methods such as accurate 3D face recognition with 30,000 information points to guarantee security and accuracy within PayBy.

This means users can conveniently make payments through facial recognition without the need for credit cards or cash. These features have proved popular with UAE consumers and helped PayBy be on the list of top-rated apps on the AppGallery in August.


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