Huawei has unveiled the next iteration of EMUI, its custom smartphone operating system built on top of Android. This year the focus is on transition animations, privacy and multitasking. Plus, there’s an updated always-on display feature.
Starting with the latter, Huawei‘s latest always-on display software allows users to customise the look by choosing colours, shapes and styles.
One of the new styles is inspired by the Dutch painter, Piet Mondrian, who is known for his abstract art made up of brightly coloured squares.
Like Mondrian’s art, this specific screen is yellow, red and blue by default, but you can change the colours if you want to. What’s more, you can use your camera to capture a colour combination near you and set that main colours as the three colours in the theme.
Some of the always-on display styles are animated too. Paradox – for instance – has that parallax effect where it shifts as you move the phone.
Other changes in EMUI 11 include updated animations and haptic feedback vibrations, designed to be more pleasing to the senses and help your efficiency.
Some of the animations, for instance moving between views in your calendar, are designed to keep your focus on the part of the screen that you’re looking for.
Huawei says it has done a lot of what it calls ‘human factor research’ where it tracks user response and eye movement with various animation styles, in order to see how best to move elements on the screen.
Along with that, the vibrations in reaction to gestures and onscreen touches have been refined to make them more pleasing. Similarly, the vibration patterns during ringtones have been honed in, to make them more precisely match the beats and rhythms of the tune.
The other major visual change is the addition of new multitasking options. Smart multi-window modes let you have floating, resizeable app windows on your screen.
You can then minimise these floating windows, which then become a little floating bubble icon on the screen which you can access at any time to bring it back up again.
It’s an interesting move from Huawei and seems much more likely to be useful on a larger tablet screen than on a small smartphone.
Other improvements include a new version of the multi-screen collaboration tool called Huawei Share which lets you control your phone from your Huawei laptop.
The latest iteration of Huawei Share allows you to use multiple phone apps at once on your laptop screen. It also allows you to transfer files easily between devices, and even share your video calling screen.
If all that wasn’t enough, Huawei is bringing its video calling platform, MeeTime to more countries, and also adding new features to its Notepad app, allowing you to scan documents directly.
Other changes in EMUI 11 aren’t as visually obvious but arguably as important. One big new feature is way EMUI 11 protects personal data.
Like Android 11, it’ll allow more fine-tuned control over which apps access which permissions like your phone’s location, photos, personal information and more.
At the time of writing, Huawei hadn’t announced which devices/phones will be getting the update first. But we’ll update you as that’s confirmed.