In May 2019, Google stopped offering its services to Huawei because of it American trade ban which entered into force. Unable to have the Google Play Store on its phones or any of the known services such as Maps and Gmail applications, sales of new devices in international markets began to decline.
Huawei had to quickly find a solution - a complete suite of operating system and services that would serve its users and persuade them to stay on Huawei devices.
Thus was born HarmonyOS - an operating system that Huawei has been working on for years, but was primarily intended for IoT devices, such as smart TVs, smart cars and more. Following the 2019 ban, Huawei had to quickly convert the HarmonyOS smartphone operating system.
His official announcement HarmonyOS 2 came for Huawei smartphone users in June 2021. After the first week of release, the operating system reached 10 million devices. Today the company reports that in the last 3 months, the operating system is present in 70 million devices and is well on its way to reaching 100 million devices long before the end of the year.
Let us mention two things here:
First, most of these users are in China and
secondly, the devices mentioned by the company include smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.
However, there is also a global version of HarmonyOS 2 being launched on international devices.
In the last two years, Huawei AppGallery has grown quite a bit. Developers and service providers worldwide seem to have realized that there are millions of Huawei users on the planet. Of course AppGallery is not Google Play, but it is something. If the application you are looking for is not available in the Huawei app store, it will automatically search for known .apk distribution sites such as ApkPure.
In terms of the availability of the new operating system, Huawei seems determined to support older devices as well. The company claims that even the Huawei Mate 9 and Huawei P10 will get the HarmonyOS 2 version, despite the fact that these phones were released in 2017.
Also note that HarmonyOS is a fork of Google's Android operating system, but does not have the Google framework installed (so Maps, Gmail, Assistant, etc. do not work on it).
Can you install Google Apps on HarmonyOS 2?
Technically yes, but there is no easy way to do it. The company states in the official announcement that HarmonyOS 2 does not work with Google applications. Obviously - Huawei will prefer to distribute its own applications instead of solutions available on the Internet.
In any case, it would be very interesting to see if Huawei devices can recover and start a slow climb to the top in the coming years, without the support of the Google framework.