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Huawei’s HarmonyOS is the iOS-iPadOS mashup we want Apple to make

Since the US government banned Huawei from using Google’s Android OS as the basis for its EMUI operating system, the China-based tech giant has been testing several beta versions of the mobile operating system locally. Huawei finally revealed HarmonyOS for phones and tablets at an event on Wednesday and it will sound very familiar to Apple fans.

But while it’s easy to snap photos of Huawei to take a lot of “inspiration” from Apple, HarmonyOS is also a solid reimagining of Apple’s iPadOS, especially on the MatePad Pro. Icons can be moved anywhere within the network so they don’t have to be pinned to the top. iOS-style widgets themselves make their way to the tablet screen, where you can tap an icon to expand its widget. And when you launch the Task Center — which looks a lot like Apple Control Center — you’ll be able to see the features and services available on all of your Harmony devices.

Apple fans will scoff and say that Huawei completely ripped up Apple’s operating system and should be sued. We will admit that there are many similarities. Widgets float on the home screen like iOS 14. The dock is split into favorites and re-sorted. And split screen apps let you drag and drop between screens.

But despite the obvious copying as you can see in the images here, HarmonyOS is very similar to iOS but more integrated and upgraded. Transitions and fonts are unified across all HarmonyOS devices, including phones, tablets, and watches. Use two Huawei devices and you can drag and drop controls and features between them. So, if you are watching a movie on the Mate phone, all you have to do is open the task center, drag the phone icon to the viewing icon, and the movie will go straight to your TV and continue. Huawei calls it the Super, and while you can sort of do that with iOS and Apple TV, Huawei seems to have made it more Apple-like.

 

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