Huawei Borrows Heavily From iPad Pro With New 'MatePad Pro,' 'Harmony OS,' and 'M-Pencil'
In an attempt to rival the iPad Pro and iPadOS, Huawei today launched three new tablets as part of its "MatePad" tablet lineup, including a new 10.8-inch and 12.6-inch MatePad Pro and the MatePad 11.
As The Verge reports, all three devices are the first Huawei tablets to run its own "HarmonyOS" operating system, announced earlier in 2019. In addition, the smaller 10.8-inch MatePad Pro and MatePad 11 also feature Huawei's own custom-designed Kirin processor, rather than processors made by Snapdragon.
Due to political tensions, Huawei devices are stripped of privileges usually accustomed to Android devices, such as Google apps for users. HarmonyOS includes Huawei's "AppGallery," the equivalent of Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store for finding, distributing, and downloading apps and games.
In terms of specific end-user features, HarmonyOS borrows many ideas from Apple's iPadOS. Alongside the new tablets, Huawei also offers the "M-Pencil" stylus, drawing stark similarities to the Apple Pencil. HarmonyOS and M-Pencil are integrated software side by a feature called "FreeNote," which automatically translates written text in any text filed across the system into typed text. The feature is identical to Scribble, introduced in iPadOS 14 last year.
Screenshots of HarmonyOS shared on Twitter by leaker Evan Blass also showcase visual similarities to Apple's iPadOS.
Alongside the new tablets, Huawei also updated the M-Pencil stylus with improved and lower latency of 9ms, matching improvements made to the Apple Pencil with iPadOS 13. The new tablets have yet to be given a release date in Europe, but the 12.6-inch MatePad Pro will launch in China on June 10 for around $790.