what's new and when is it coming to
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(Pocket Ribbon) – Huawei's latest software update is called EMUI 10 and has been rolling out gradually to customers in recent months – for a full list of compatible devices, see the bottom of this article.
EMUI is a Huawei-designed user interface that sits on top of Google's Android. In this case, EMUI 10 works on top of Android 10.
Do I get Google Play?
The relationship between Huawei and Google has been a major challenge since 2019 due to the US trade ban on Huawei.
As Huawei has existing licenses / agreements for pre-existing devices, anything that launches before the Huawei Mate 30 series will be fully Android, with Google Play services and everything that comes with it: the Play Store, Play Movies, Play Games and any other Google apps that require Google Play services to function.
For devices launched after May 2019 (such as the Mate 30 and P40 series), you will not get a full Google Play experience. That means you are relying on the Huawei App Gallery to download your apps and games, and you are missing out on some basic Android core apps.
This applies to any new Huawei or Honor device until the situation between the US, China and Huawei is resolved and the trade ban is lifted.
This version is the biggest visual overhaul of EMUI in a few years. That said, it's still very plain Android. In fact, it looks more like pure Android than ever before.
Despite this, you can't in any way confuse it with the vanilla Android experience you'd find on the Pixel or Android One phone. It keeps its own sense of style. There is no identical Android skin, but the most similar from recent memory is the OneUI skin that Samsung uses on its most recent smartphones. There is also a full, system-wide dark mode.
EMUI 10.1 has now also been released as an extra update, with some additional improvements.
Magazine influence and minimalism
EMUI 10 has been designed visually, from the ground up, to derive its influence from the principles of magazine design. What that means is that there seems to be a clear hierarchy of headings, lists and content. In reality, that means a lot more empty space.
Like magazines, the titles are large and bold, taking up a large portion of the top of the screen. That's right whether you are in the Settings, Calendar, Contacts app, or any other pre-installed Huawei app. They all have a clean, well-spaced look that is uniform and all goes together nicely. It feels less cramped than before.
The same approach is also applied to the drop-down menu that loads at the top of any screen you're on. The quick settings tiles have been completely redesigned, turning them into a more standard grid of dense circle icons, similar to what you'd find on the Pixel. However, once again getting inspired by the magazine theme, drag the quick settings all the way down, seeing the time and date in the top half as that heading, with the toggles and controls at the bottom, within easy reach of a thumb.
The minimalist approach is continued in the Settings menu, where Huawei has drastically reduced the number of main settings. Likewise, if you open a contact card, you will now get a subtle pastel card at the top. Huawei was inspired by the Italian artist Giorgio Morandi, who was known for using fairly muted colors in his still lifes. We can certainly see the resemblance.
If you've taken a lot of photos with Huawei's flagship Leica cameras, you've no doubt encountered the skeuomorphic look of the camera app, complete with a fake leather panel on the bottom. That's gone now, replaced with a much cleaner black and white minimalist user interface.
It's 2019, so of course any new software should come with the option to switch between a system-wide dark theme. Like the new magazine style UX design, it penetrates all pre-installed Huawei apps once activated.
All backgrounds go completely black, basically turning off all those individual pixels to save battery, while headlines and titles are given a slight shade of gray to contrast and be clearly legible, but without getting too bright and uncomfortable to handle. to look at.
The aforementioned Morandi-inspired pastels take on a much darker shade. So instead of green, pink and orange, you get darker shades of gray and brown with hints of blue, orange and green.
In addition to looking cool, the dark mode has actual benefits, such as helping your eyes relax and reducing your time staring at bright white screens with lots of blue light. As mentioned earlier, it also helps to conserve the phone's battery. So it is a win-win.
Another element that Huawei was happy to point out was the new fluidity and natural movement of its animations. It mainly focuses on closing an app and returning to the home screen by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.
As you swipe the app, it calculates the trajectory and speed at which you move the app, then moving in that direction will jump back to where the app icon is on the screen. All in all, it certainly feels and looks fluid and smooth. It helps to create a sense of cohesion and take away any slight abruptness you may have felt before.
Another much more subtle animation is when you tap something on the screen or launch an app. Watch an icon while tapping the app to launch it, and you'll notice a very light spring animation, almost like pressing a real button.
It's almost like being pushed down before you let go and the app launches. The same happens when you select a photo in the Gallery app. It's just very subtle, but there's something remarkably pleasant about it once you notice it.
AI smarts and device interoperability?
Away from the visual aspect of its changes and to AI, Huawei has done a lot of work to not only make the overall UI smoother, but also building the structures to make it work well with an entire ecosystem of products. Huawei wants the smartphone to act as a kind of hub that seamlessly connects to other devices. The realization of that is in the future, but it starts with the way it works with Huawei's Matebook laptops.
It's also very similar to the continuity features Apple has for seamless integration between macOS, iOS and other devices.
By connecting a Huawei phone to the Matebook, you get a virtual smartphone screen on the laptop screen, so you can easily and quickly copy and paste text with your keyboard and mouse. You can even drag and drop files between your phone and laptop while sending messages to friends, colleagues and family using the same keyboard.
The foundation on which EMUI10 is built could mean that – in the future – app developers can develop an app for EMUI one time, and it will work immediately, tweaking and optimizing the look and layout to fit the screen what it says on: whether that is an in-car entertainment system, TV or smartwatch.
When will EMUI 10.1 come to my phone?
We first knew about EMUI last September 2019 when Huawei announced a beta version. But that was not the announcement of the full rollout. However, these phones and tablets can now get the update and you also get EMUI 10.1. Huawei has announced that the following phones will be released in the coming months:
Huawei P30 Pro Huawei P30 Huawei Mate 20 Pro Huawei Mate 20 Huawei Mate 20 X (4G and 5G versions) Porsche Design Huawei Mate 20 RS Huawei Nova 5T Huawei Mate Xs Huawei P40 lite, Huawei nova 7i, Huawei Mate 30, Huawei Mate 30 Pro Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G Huawei MatePad Pro Huawei MediaPad M6 10.8-inch
Phones apparently get EMUI 10 later
These devices will get EMUI 10 "in later months" – a timeline that could use a little more certainty, as many phones from 2017 and 2018 are included, notably the very successful P20 Pro.
Porsche Design Huawei Mate 20 RS Huawei Mate 20 X (5G) Huawei P30 lite Huawei Nova 4e Huawei P20 Huawei P20 Pro Huawei Mate 10 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 Huawei Mate 20 lite Huawei P Smart 2019 Huawei P Smart + 2019 Huawei P Smart Pro Huawei P Smart Z Huawei Nova 4 Huawei Nova Lite 3
When will Android 10 come to my phone?
Written by Cam Bunton and Dan Grabham.