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Here’s why Huawei’s ‘HarmonyOS’ won’t be replacing ‘Android’ anytime soon

Users of @Huawei smartphone in Nigeria and across Africa need not to jubilate yet to the announcement of the newly developed Operating System (OS) by the Chinese tech company. Huawei unveiled its much publicised HarmonyOS touted to replace Android recently, but there are no plans to replace Google’s ‘OS’ – at least not in the next three years.

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Users of Huawei‘s smartphones in Nigeria and across Africa need not jubilate yet to the announcement of the newly developed Operating System (OS) by the Chinese tech company. Huawei unveiled its much-publicised HarmonyOS which is expected to replace Android. Information available however states that there are no immediate plans to replace Google‘s ‘OS’ – at least not in the next three years.

The HarmonyOS is an interconnected system that is tailored to meet the advanced setting of devices, connecting home devices to cars, smartphones and wristwatches. It is Huawei’s answer to Donald Trump’s clampdown on the growth of the biggest Chinese tech firm.

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[READ ALSO: Huwaei boss makes one request from the government for the ICT sector]

But while the world expected the HarmonyOS to hit the ground running, Huawei has announced that the Operating System won’t be used on its Huawei smartphones in the next three years.

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Huawei’s Harmony is not Android replacement, at least not yet (Photo Credit: Vulcan Post)

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Test run period? The Operating System seems to still be on a test run as the company did not include its smartphones among the devices the OS will be deployed on. The company announced the timeline for the deployment.

  • Huawei watches and bracelets will be equipped with HarmonyOS by 2020.
  • Huawei intends to launch some notebook models with HarmonyOS.
  • HarmonyOS will be incorporated with Huawei’s connected speakers and headphones in 2021.
  • Huawei’s augmented reality glasses will be launched in 2022 with HarmonyOS.

[READ ALSO: Young and creative Mayowa Okegbenle creates innovative approach to building apps for professionals]

Empty Wallet: The HarmonyOS is nothing compared to Google’s AndroidOS which is home to multiple Apps (applications). HarmonyOS does not have many Apps. It’s still empty. Despite being an ecosystem, its lack of applications makes it inferior to Android’s Google Play Store which provides consumers with more than 2.5 million downloadable applications.

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For Huawei to have many apps like Google, it has made sure HarmonyOS supports applications developed in Java, C/C++, JavaScript/HTML5 and Kotlin. Apps developed for Android are also suitable for HarmonyOS but developers will still have to recompile their Apps specifically for HarmonyOS. This is where Huawei is expected to hit a rock trying to convince developers.

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HarmonyOS is a credit card without money inside (Photo Credit: Livemint)

Not developers’ taste? While HarmonyOS is the talk of the town, it’s not yet popular enough for developers. This judgement appears to be coming too early but it factors in future occurrences like a sudden deployment of HarmonyOS on Huawei’s smartphones if the Chinese company loses complete access to Android.

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The operating system is currently a credit card without money inside. This means that while Huawei’s OS is a dream-come-true open-source and supporter of Internet-of-Things (IoT) compared to Android, its value is currently next to nothing without apps present.

[READ ALSO: Nigeria’s leading smartphone maker, Transsion, set for Chinese IPO]

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Huawei’s Internet of things (Photo Credit: Internet of Business)

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A blessing and a curse: What makes HarmonyOS a blessing for users is also its curse. While it’s expected that Huawei will spend big to lure developers to produce applications for its OS, developers might find the multi-functional tendency of HarmonyOS as a problem. It was learnt that developing an app that is suitable for all devices might result in poor user experience.

“For instance, when I put an experience on a TV that also needs to work on a phone, I either have to have a massive amount of conditional logic —in essence, building two separate user interfaces — or I build to the lowest common denominator, making both experiences look poor,” the Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, Michael Facemire, explained.

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It was also added that the uniqueness of an app drops if it’s multi-functional.

[READ ALSO: What can Nigeria learn from M-Pesa’s partnership with Google?]

But Huawei says it’s battle-ready: Despite the doubt trailing HarmonyOS, when push comes to shove, Huawei says it’s battle-ready to withstand a negative outcome of the trade war between China and the United States.

The company says while it is not ready to equip its smartphones with HarmonyOS, with the intention to continue depending on Android, if the company loses its right to Android due to the trade war, HarmonyOS is a suitable alternative and capable of replacing Android by 2020.

“If we cannot use [Android] in the future, we can immediately switch to HarmonyOS,” Richard Yu, CEO of the company’s Consumer Business Group said.

However, as easy as Yu made it seem, such switch or transition is not a walk in the park as the HarmonyOS is believed to be created differently from that of a smartphone’s Operating System. Also, it is unsure if any developer is willing to take a bumpy ride with Huawei’s HarmonyOS in its early days.

Patricia

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Entertainment

FG hands over National Theatre to CBN, Bankers Committee, to create 1 million jobs

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CBN issues guidelines to Finance Institutions on establishment of Subsidiaries and SPVs, CBN injects $2.63 billion to defend naira in one month, CBN’s COVID-19 N50 billion targeted credit facility, CBN’s heterodox policies buoys credit growth

The Federal Government has announced the official hand over of the National Arts Theatre Complex at Iganmu Lagos, to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Banks under the aegis of the Bankers’ Committee, in order to commence the renovation of the facility.

This was contained in a tweet post by the Presidential Aide to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi, on his official Twitter handle on Sunday, July 12, 2020.

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During the event which was attended by the Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the bankers were targeting 1 million jobs from this project in the next 5 years.

In the tweet post, Tolu Ogunlesi said, ‘’The Nigerian Government on Sunday officially handed over the National Theatre complex in Lagos to Central Bank of Nigeria and Banks under the aegis of the Bankers’ Committee, to commence the renovation of the facility.’’

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Emefiele said the handover of the facility to the committee was timely, considering the external headwinds facing the country’s economy at the moment. He said that the renovation of the facility which would be completed in 18 months, would have transformed the facility into Nigeria’s Creative Industrial Centre.

According to the CBN boss, the National Arts Centre will be comparable to other world-class entertainment and convention centres in any part of the world. He said the activities in the centre which would include music, movies, fashion and ICT, could be a very important source of growth and reduce the dependence on revenues from crude oil.

He pointed out the creative industry has the potential to generate over $20 billion annually for Nigeria with its human capital resources and an enabling environment that would harness the creative talents of her youths.

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Emefiele said: “We must do more to encourage the innovative works of these young talented Nigerians as they can make significant contributions to the growth and development of our country.’’

“Secondly, given our growing population of close to 200m people, out of which 60 per cent are under the age of 35, it is imperative that we strive to create opportunities that will keep our youths engaged, as it would portend great dangers for the progress of our nation if we allow these talents go to waste”

Emefiele said that the Creative Industries Financing Initiative which was set up in December 2018 was to support startups and existing businesses as well as foster development of Nigeria Creative Industries Centre in 4 major cities in Nigeria. He said the bankers’ committee would support the creative industry with about N25 billion of initial funding.

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He said upon the completion of the renovation works at the theatre with the supporting facilities, the committee intends to set up similar creative industries centres in Kano, Port-Harcourt or Enugu.

He also said that the theatre would support skills acquisition and job creation for over 1 million Nigerians. These Nigerians will be empowered with funds at a single digit interest rate, high-level training using state of the art tools and networks that will enable them to turn their ideas into a reality.

He revealed that the supporting facilities like retail outlets, hotels, entertainment centres and an international conference centre would also help to reposition the centre as a viable location for high-level international meetings and conventions.

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Economy & Politics

FG disburses N349.5m in Conditional Cash transfer to poor households in Kaduna 

The disbursement was done under the federal government’s Conditional Cash Transfer.

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The Federal Government has successfully disbursed a total of N349.5 million to 34,946 poor and vulnerable households in Kaduna State, under the conditional cash transfer programme. 

According to the Head of Cash Transfer Unit in the State, Hajiya Hauwa Abdulrazaq, the disbursement lasted a period of 10 days, from July 1 to July 10.  

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Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, Abdulrazaq explained that the benefiting households were drawn from 9 local government areas in the state – 4,470 from Kajuru; 8,032 in Birnin Gwari; 1,963 in Kauru; 1,406 in Sanga, 4,380 in Lere2,021 in Kachia; 5,478 in Ikara; 2,784 in Chikun, and 4,412 in Kubau LGAs.  

She noted that the disbursement was done under the federal government’s Conditional Cash Transfer, a Households Uplifting Programme targeting poorest of the poor households in the country, and that each of the households received N10,000 each, being payment for the months of May and June at N5,000 per month. 

“The households uplifting programme is one of the national social investment programmes which implementation began in September 2016,” she said. 

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NAN reports that the programme began in 2017 in Kaduna state with about 10,000 beneficiaries, but expanded to 22,380 in April 2020.  

In May, a total of 12,566 new beneficiaries were added summing the figures to 34,956 beneficiaries in the state.   

The state government had also commenced the process of capturing poor and vulnerable households into the social register in the remaining 14 LGAs, from which beneficiaries of the cash transfer would be extracted in subsequent months.  

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Coronavirus

Evacuation: 247 Nigerians arrive home from Malaysia, Thailand 

The returnees were evacuated with a chartered Air Peace flight APK-7813.

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Evacuation: 247 Nigerians arrive home from Malaysia, Thailand 

The Federal Government of Nigeria has safely evacuated and returned home, two hundred and forty-seven Nigerians who were stranded in Malaysia and Thailand 

The returnees were evacuated with a chartered Air Peace flight APK-7813 which arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 11p.m. on Saturday. 

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According to Mr Gabriel Odu, the Head of Media and Public Relations Unit of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) who spoke to NAN, some of the returnees disembarked in Abuja, while the others proceeded to Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. 

READ ALSO: Nigerians willing to travel abroad will wait a bit longer – Aviation Ministry

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In line with the protocols announced by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, all of the returnees presented a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding the evacuation flight, and upon arriving Nigeria, are expected to proceed on a 14-day self-isolation 

Since four weeks ago, from the federal government, through the ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the resumption of evacuation flights, hundreds of stranded Nigerians have been returned home to their families from different countries including the United States of America, United Kingdom, Egypt, Malaysia and Thailand.  

READ ALSO: COVID-19 could impoverish additional 5 million Nigerians – World Bank  

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The returnees bear the cost of their flight tickets and are expected to self-isolate for four weeks, upon their return to Nigeria. Returnees who receive a clean bill of health after the isolation, are given their passports and allowed to go home.  

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