Huawei can go with the Android OS on the Russian “Aurora” — such headlines were full of the Russian media in mid-June. And, to put it mildly, an exaggeration. Of course, completely exclude the possibility of Russian-Chinese project in this area is not worth it, but today the situation looks more like this: our officials suggested that Huawei’s native OS, but the Chinese politely did not immediately refuse. How viable transition plan major manufacturers of gadgets to “Aurora” if they have alternatives and as Affairs with Russian OS in General, understood the “Profile”.

Where floated “Aurora”

Opposition of one of the largest Chinese corporations, Huawei with the US government — a story that is happening before our eyes. Briefly the chronology is as follows. The US prohibits American business cooperation with Huawei. Google, the developer of the most popular mobile OS in the Android world, renounces the Chinese company. Huawei says that’ll be fine without American partners. Finally, Google asks the U.S. government to turn down the heat and return all as was. The end of the story at the time of preparation of the material.

And here on stage, “Huawei will manage without Google” interfering with Russian officials. Supposedly at the St. Petersburg international economic forum in early June, the Minister for digital development and communication Konstantin Noskov invited the Executive Director of Huawei, the Pins go to OS “Aurora”. There are even reports that this possibility was discussed between the heads of Russia and China. These two anonymous statements published by the online resource of The Bell, and make all ground for reasoning on the topic.

But regardless of that, there are in reality negotiating with the Chinese IT giant and will take advantage if he’s generous offer of the Russian authorities, the effect of an information bomb is reached. Many of our compatriots first heard about the existence of Russia’s own OS. Where did it come from?

It’s simple: in 2018 Rostelecom bought a mobile operating system Sailfish OS, developed by Finnish company Jolla (partly consisting of ex-Nokia employees). At that time already two years OOO “Open mobile platform” and OOO “Votre” was developing the Russian version of this system — Sailfish OS RUS; these structures are also passed under control “Rostelecom”. In 2017, the market was released Inoi R7 — operating on this OS smartphone assembled in China under Russian order. Much success the new product is not won, and the following devices of a domestic brand came out with the usual Android.

Finally, in February of 2019 became known that RUS Sailfish OS will be called “Aurora”. “Of course, the domestic mobile operating system should be called in the Russian language, which is easy to remember, filled with energy and a positive (originally by Aurora — dawn). Ahead of the “Aurora” great prospects”, — said media, the President of Rostelecom Mikhail Oseevsky.

It is difficult to imagine that in 2016 and even in February 2019, the Russian officials were aware of the upcoming difficulties Huawei and prepared to come to the help of Chinese partners. In that case why would Russia need this development?

Development is not for everyone

The original meaning of the acquisition of Rostelecom Finnish OS is to provide the state apparatus, which in 2016 is obliged to use domestic and Russian business. The message is that foreign development cannot be trusted (by the way, on the basis of the same allegations in Washington and “banned” Huawei), and thus need their own OS, though necessarily protected.

“Authorities are working with state secrets and other sensitive information, it is vital to ensure their full safety, — explains Igor Yankovsky, head of mobile development, Digital Design, company, writing software including for Sailfish OS. — Existing operating systems of Western development does not give such guarantees. And in “Aurora” already built-in means of encryption of the data using the domestic GOST 28147-89, GOST R 34.12–2015, GOST R 34.13 2015 and supporting different cryptographic service providers”.

Respondents “Profile” the experts agree that with remedies for the intervention of Russian developers and limited. “More or less reliably known that the Russian developers of Sailfish OS Russified and adapted it to work with encryption, a certified FSB”, — says Ashot Oganesyan, founder and technical Director of the company DeviceLock, working to protect corporations from data breaches.

It is widely believed that Aurora will be able to work almost one and a half times faster Android. But check this is not possible due to lack of free access to devices on the current software version. At least work with previous versions of Sailfish OS such fantastic results not shown. The current developers of the “Aurora” on request “Profile” on the technical characteristics have not responded.

Meanwhile, the “Open mobile platform” and has developed its own Suite of applications for enterprise data and programs. This is stated on the official website, but, alas, without any details. By the way, there’s also the “Aurora” still called Sailfish OS E — obviously, due to the fact that under this name she entered in the national registry (No. 1543 of 5 September 2016.), and only under it can be used by Russian corporations.

To summarize the facts, then there is the absence of any determination of the “Aurora” for the average user, which, in theory, and should in future buy a Huawei device with Russian OS. The head of “Rostelecom” is not denied: in his words, “Aurora” must first become a helper of the state and business. But even if we imagine that Russian users will appreciate the certification of the FSB, and a set of enterprise applications, to assume that this can somehow attract Huawei, at least naive. First, they and their developers enough, and secondly, Android is not so uniquely bad.

Ridiculous sanctions

For about five years rumor has it that Huawei is developing its own operating system. This gave the opportunity to the head of the company Ren Janvey, commenting on the prospects after the announcement of U.S. sanctions, to look to the future with optimism. They say, push as you want, we have a plan B. According to recent Chinese media reports, to testing OS launched Huawei not only myself, but colleagues in the “shop gadgets” Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo. Everything is logical: if you “flew” one Chinese brand may at any time to hit the rest. By the way, the sum of these four vendor by may 2019, is about a quarter of the mobile market.

Formerly known as Kirin OS, and now appearing in the media primarily as HongMeng OS, the development of Huawei world are not yet available. Most likely, it will show in the fall along with next flagship smartphone of the company. All information about OS that is in the public domain at the moment — a few insights that deserve a moderate trust, and three screenshots from settings menu. While more or less clear that the OS looks very similar to Android with a proprietary shell Huawei EMUI.

According to rumors, the OS will work 60% faster Android. Most likely, this value came from tests: according to unconfirmed reports, Huawei is already testing pre-release version of HongMeng OS on a million devices. Sounds promising, but what happens in fact, while one can only speculate. One thing is certain: your own operating system from Huawei is.

If suddenly something doesn’t work out, the Corporation has a backup plan — Android Open Source Project (AOSP). This is the most “pure” version of Android — without Google services, the app store and even without a user interface. Any developer can write over it’s own programs and try to promote in the market. One of the most illustrative examples of LineageOS, which is loved by many users due to features which are not available in the standard version of Android (although from the Google developers did not give up).

For the domestic market, Huawei and other Chinese companies use it to AOSP. The reason is simple: Beijing blocks Google services, forcing Chinese users to work with local counterparts of each of them, from the app store and ending with the messengers. That is, theoretically, Huawei is able to remove all the unnecessary other countries the Chinese program and release the smartphones “in the world” with a record minimum of preinstalled software.

However, such a scenario is unlikely, because it would be inconvenient for consumers. Knowledge required advanced user to install Google Play or any other app without appropriate services. Most buyers will prefer the same characteristics, but more expensive smartphone not from China, which will be familiar, stable and updated Google services. Or equivalent, but less efficient unit.

How to conquer Elbrus

The appearance on the horizon of the Russian operating system prompts to ask the question: how to do, in our country the situation with software? In short, the reasons to be proud of for our IT industry a little bit. In the same national registry in the section “Operating systems” there are more than 50 points. That’s just the majority of it is either add-ons to the existing Linux kernel (same as “Aurora” was built on top of Sailfish OS) or niche systems designed for internal use by one company or even in a single device.

Of particular interest is OS “Elbrus” (registry No. 3199 dated 29 March 2017), which was developed by MCST for personal computers with the same processor of its own production. It is the opportunity to work on a PC with Russian chips is the main feature of the system: at the heart of “Elbrusy” is a fundamentally different architecture compared to Intel and AMD, and no existing OS on them will not start. So even given the fact that the “Elbrus” still is a revised Linux kernel, it is really mostly of Russian design for PCs with chips of the Russian production. But not for mobile devices.

You can, of course, to assume that the major Russian IT-Corporation is able to provide its own mobile software. The same “Yandex” last year launched a smartphone under its own brand (it works on Google Android with integrated services “Yandex”). So why not to write under his own system? Or, for example, “Kaspersky Lab” presented in the spring KasperskyOS that focuses on security, transport and energy systems, Internet of things, integrated electronics. Theoretically, the company could easily adapt this system for smartphones. In the national registry it is not yet available, but surely the application to the relevant authorities have been filed.

While for smartphones in Russia, there is only “Aurora”. But if Huawei it can hardly be interested, why do you need to offer? In fact, Russian officials killed several birds with one stone. First, raised Russia’s prestige in the eyes of the world, saying, if anything, even such a large international Corporation can help. Secondly, once again clearly positioned Russia in a trade war the US and China. Finally, a free hyped “Aurora” in the press. So, the course was good. That’s just to high technology, he has nothing.

©Profusion Stock / Vostock Photo

What is Sailfish OS
Is an operating system based on Linux kernel with a partially open-source. That is, any developer can modify the OS at their own discretion, with the exception of some closed components.

In Sailfish OS integrated Java virtual machine Dalvik, which allows you to run any Android application. It can significantly expand the number of potential users who are not ready to abandon the familiar services and programs or to wait until the developers write their analogue for OS. The question of whether the Google app store to work on the “Aurora”, is still open.

From the user point of view the main difference between the Sailfish OS from the Android or Apple iOS — improved user interface. To manage operating systems and applications instead of traditional on-screen buttons are swipes — finger movements across the screen. The developer believes that it is more intuitive and natural way to interact with a smartphone, once you have a chance to get used to it.

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