Huawei announced its Android replacement HarmonyOS with much fanfare and confidence last month. The company boasted it's on-par with Google's OS, if not better. Still, as a brand new OS, it has to solve the problem that defeated Windows Phone: app availability. This is why HarmonyOS can run ported Android apps through Huawei's so-called ARK Compiler, a program allowing developers to easily convert existing applications. Apparently, this software is far from ready, and many Chinese firms testing it report it can't even compile its own demo app properly at the moment.

Abacus managed to get some insight from programmers using and testing the ARK Compiler, saying the program feels buggy and unfinished. In a forum, one developer writes that "not only can’t the Ark Compiler compile all the standard benchmark samples, it can’t even compile its own demo sample!" The program apparently misses vital components. While it can compile the assembly language, it can't go further than that and can't create an executable file, another developer describes. Even though the ARK Compiler is supposed to be open source, thus far, Huawei hasn't released the code, making it difficult to judge where exactly the culprits lie.

One developer tells Abacus they're wondering if the early reveal of HarmonyOS was nothing but a publicity stunt to demonstrate strength: "Maybe they're doing it to help in the PR and trade war, adding leverage against the US."

Of course, it takes a lot of time and many development resources to jumpstart a brand-new OS, but Huawei implied HarmonyOS was good to go, ready to replace Android on all of its products should it have to. As you can tell from the issues surrounding the compiler, this is not the case. It's understandable Huawei has to demonstrate it's capable of creating its own OS, but hopefully, the company chooses a more honest approach going forward.