(Pocket-lint) – The next iteration of Huawei’s software is called EMUI 11. The numbering of Huawei’s software traces that of Android, although on many of Huawei’s most recent devices, this will be the open-source Android core, rather than the full Google Mobile Services.
Here’s everything you need to know about EMUI 11.
EMUI 11 release date
- Announced in September 2020
- Beta rolling out to specific devices from 10 September
During its HDC opening keynote, Huawei stated that the EMUI 11 update would roll out to a group of 10 smartphones and tablets in beta form from 10 September 2020. With some Honor models following at a later date.
EMUI 11 features
Always On Display
One of the most visual changes in EMUI 11 is the updated options in the always-on display menu. Huawei has added a host of new standby screen styles as well as giving it a bunch of customisation options.
Some of the new graphics for this always-on display animate, like the new Paradox and Memphis imagery which feature geometric patterns and gradients, while the Mondrian-inspired option makes use of those iconic red, yellow and blue rectangles from Mondrian’s famous abstract artwork. Except they don’t have to be yellow, red and blue. They can be any colour trio you like.
You can either manually choose a trio, or snap a photo of something nearby and it’ll choose the three primary colours from that image. You can even choose your own still image, or go for a gif and have a quirky little animation on there. Whatever floats your boat.
One emphasis Huawei was keen to make during its announcement centred on its research around human interaction and responses to animations, or audio and physical feedback from phones. That includes things like ring tones, bleeps, animations and even the haptic feedback from the vibration motor inside. With that in mind, it’s updated a whole bunch of those elements.
For instance, if you head into the new calendar app and move between layers and navigate to specific views, the animations are designed to pull your eyes to the right area of the screen. The way things zoom in and adjust to fill the screen, or certain elements are highlighted are made that way to make it easier to stay focussed, and not get distracted by any onscreen clutter.
In addition to that, the haptic engine vibration patterns have been updated to be more precise and subtle, in that the pattern of the vibration matches the pattern of the ringtone.
Floating windows, floating windows everywhere. Okay, so not really, but kind of.
EMUI 11 has brought with it a new way to load your apps, and have them floating over your screen. So if you’re messaging someone and want to keep the chat in view while you find some info, you can do. The windows are resizable, and you can minimise them to form a small floating button on the side of the screen, ready to be called back into action.
To access this all you have to do is either launch your recent apps view and tap the little floating window icon in the top corner of the app thumbnail card, or – from the home screen – drag out the edge panel from the side of the screen. Now just drag and drop an app from that tab.
New live icons
We’re all used to having quick tiles and little icons for certain features in the drop-down shade at the top of the screen, but, Huawei’s have been updated to make them ‘Live Icons’. That essentially means they have new animations when you press them to select them and activate their features.
Huawei Share – or multi-screen collaboration – allows you to control your Huawei phone from a Huawei tablet or laptop. With the latest iteration in EMUI 11 you can control more apps at once. Up to three in fact.
You can turn apps into floating windows on your laptop, drag and drop files from the phone to the laptop and even edit those files directly on the laptop. You can even make and receive voice and video calls from the laptop using the computer’s camera and microphone.
More of a minor new feature than a major one, but now the Notepad app includes a scanner. So, point your camera at a document within the Notepad app, tap to ‘scan document’ and you can then edit the text it recognises from whatever document you’ve just captured.
Will my phone get the EMUI 11 update?
Huawei’s phone line-up is rather divided at the moment, with some older devices running the full Google Android experiences, while newer devices don’t offer access to Google, instead of relying on Huawei Mobile Services.
The current list of Huawei devices getting the EMUI 11 update includes phones that don’t have the full Google Android software and services (see the list below). In the western European market, the update will begin rolling out from December 2020 or early Q1 2021 – depending on the device:
- Huawei P40
- Huawei P40 Pro
- Huawei P40 Pro+
- Huawei Mate 30
- Huawei Mate 30 5G
- Huawei Mate 30 Pro
- Porsche Design Huawei Mate 30 RS
- Huawei MatePad Pro
- Huawei MatePad Pro 5G
- Huawei Nova 7 (at a later date)
There will also be a full range of Honor devices that will get the update:
The gallery below has Huawei’s roadmaps for every Huawei and Honor device receiving the new EMUI 11 update – by region:
All the information and rumours about EMUI 11 so far
Here’s everything that’s been said so far about the EMUI 11 update in chronological order.
1 December 2020: EMUI 11 rollout roadmap
Huawei published a roadmap detailing the global rollout of EMUI 11.
10 September 2020: EMUI 11 is official
Huawei has officially unveiled its latest mobile operating system.
8 August 2020: Twitter leak suggests Huawei Mate 40 Pro will have EMUI 11
Even Blass has been sharing details on Twitter about forthcoming Huawei devices and has mentioned that the Mate 40 Pro is expected to launch with EMUI 11, while the Mate 40 (non-Pro) will have an earlier EMUI 10.x software build.
2 August 2020: Huawei Developer Conference 2020 will talk about EMUI 11
The details for HDC 2020 include discussion about EMUI 11, as confirmed by Huawei on its own website. The conference will take place on 10-12 September 2020.
Writing by Chris Hall. Editing by Maggie Tillman.