Huawei’s upcoming HarmonyOS Next is almost ready. However, there’s one major feature that’s missing, the support for Android APKs. This means that you’ll not be able to install Android apps on the operating system. It seems that Huawei is trying to fill the gap and enter the mobile market as the third OS, besides Android and iOS.

Huawei boss Richard Yu announced HarmonyOS Next in September, touted as the successor to HarmonyOS. Two months later, the in-house OS is set to roll out. It is fully self-developed and ditches the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) code. Hence, APK support has been removed and the new OS now only supports HAP file apps, which is Huawei’s answer to APKs.

Huawei has big plans for HarmonyOS Next

HarmonyOS Next looks the same as the current HarmonyOS, but Huawei has removed support for Android libraries. The Chinese phone maker appears to be prioritizing its operating system. The company is actively hiring, GSMArena reported, for multiple roles in software development and overall OS experience.

Notably, Huawei’s development of HarmonyOS Next is likely an outcome of the US-China tension. The US government has banned Huawei from dealing with US companies, including Google. This is why Huawei is serious about HarmonyOS Next.

Before the update, Huawei phone users could still download and run Android apps with the exception of Google apps. However, with this update, Huawei is dropping support for Android libraries, meaning that only HAP file format apps will be compatible.

Huawei may be trying to create its mobile OS, but this could cause problems for users if their favorite apps are not available. Similar instances have taken place for Windows Phone, which failed to gain traction and lack of dev support. Huawei’s HarmonyOS Next is likely to roll out to eligible devices by the end of 2024. However, the specific timeline for each device remains under wraps.

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