Huawei said to be planning own OS to free itself of Google

JC Torres - Jun 22, 2016, 8:35 pm CDT
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Huawei said to be planning own OS to free itself of Google

It seems that Samsung isn’t the only one thinking of breaking away from its dependence on Android and Google. Insider sources are now claiming that Huawei is also mulling over the possibility of creating its own OS, in the somewhat distant feature, in order to not rely on the crutch of Android. These latest “separatist” sentiments have been prompted by recent talk about Google planning to exert more control not just over its own Nexus devices but OEM devices as well.

To some extent, the fear is understandable. Google has built up the Android ecosystem on the foundations of openness and freedom, allowing OEMs to reshape Android to their particular tastes and goals. That has become both a boon and a bane, resulting in diversity but also in fragmentation. Reacting to criticisms about security and slow-paced updates, Google was reported to be considering exerting more control over Android or at least over the updates.

But on the other hand, it is questionable whether breaking free from Android would be the best path forward, for both the companies and their customers. Creating a different OS that has no roots in Android would automatically cut off the supply of hundreds of apps already available in the market, especially the most popular ones. Nevermind that users would have to get accustomed to a new OS and a new interface in the process. While Tizen does already have a head start in that regard, it isn’t out of the woods yet.

In an ideal world, Google and its partners will be able to settle their difference and iron out problems. Of course, we don’t live in such a world, but a middle ground is still possible. Custom ROM makers like Cyanogen, Inc. have been trying to break free of Google’s control while not throwing out Android entirely. Almost ironically for Cyanogen, part of that meant snuggling up to Microsoft instead.

It’s not clear what path Huawei will be taking, because the company hasn’t taken concrete action on such a measure yet, according to those sources. It is more of a “Plan B” contingency should things go south in the Android world. In the meantime, Huawei seems to be quite committed to still depending on Android, going as far as hiring Apple’s former head of mobile UI design, Abigail Brody, as its new VP of Design to work on its EMUI custom Android experience.

SOURCE: The Information


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