HarmonyOS Next Beta Set to be Released on 21st at HDC 2024

The highly anticipated Huawei Developer Conference 2024 (HDC2024) will take place from the 21st to the 23rd of this month in Dongguan. The most anticipated news from this conference is that Huawei will officially release HarmonyOS Next (known as HarmonyOS Star River Edition in China), an OS that does not include AOSP code and only supports HarmonyOS applications (HAP).

The HDC2024 promotional page had previously gone live on Huawei’s official website, and we were pleasantly surprised to see the recruitment notice for the HarmonyOS Next beta, along with a “stay tuned” button. Unfortunately, a few days later, the content in this area was replaced, leading many to speculate that HDC2024 would not open beta recruitment.

However, today on Weibo, a Huawei user shared a snapshot of a conversation with official customer service. The snapshot confirms that Huawei will officially start consumer beta recruitment testing at HDC2024.

The conversation shows the user asking if the HDC on June 21st will open the upgrade channel for HarmonyOS Next beta version. The official customer service responded that HDC will be held from June 21-23, 2024, and HarmonyOS Next will also officially begin beta testing.

The user then asked if the upgrade would clear all data. The customer service replied that it would not, it is a normal update. However, there is a risk of data loss, and it is recommended that users back up their data in advance if they plan to update.

From this conversation, we can see that the consumer beta version of HarmonyOS Next will definitely be released at HDC. It is not yet known whether all current Huawei phones will be able to upgrade. Additionally, it is unclear whether eligible models will be able to upgrade all at once or if, as per usual practice, upgrades will be rolled out in batches by model.

Moreover, Weibo users have engaged in heated discussions about the current lack of native apps supporting the HarmonyOS Next system on phones. If users upgrade to HarmonyOS Next, how will this issue be handled? Some are concerned that the system might indicate incompatibility and delete these apps. Other Weibo users suggest that Huawei must already have a solution, likely using a virtual machine/emulator to ensure that existing incompatible apps can run normally on Next with certain compromise on performance. The exact method of handling this remains unknown, but we tend to believe that Huawei has a second solution, which would also ensure that future HarmonyOS Next for PC can run programs from Windows, macOS, and other systems on laptops, tablets, and other devices, thereby addressing the ecosystem’s immaturity at the launch of HarmonyOS Next.

Regardless, let’s look forward to the surprises Huawei will bring us at next week’s HDC2024!

Source: Weibo