Huawei’s Wang Chenglu, president of software engineering, introduced the new software at a press briefing, outlining three core focus areas. With EMUI version 9.0, Huawei wants to deliver software that is “Simple,” “Enjoyable,” and “Consistent,” aiming to achieve this with a few key improvements.
Beginning with the settings menu – which, as anybody who has ever used EMUI will attest to, is a nightmare – Huawei wants to reduce the items found here from 940 in EMUI 8.0 to 843 in EMUI 9.0 (Samsung’s UX actually has more than 1,000 items in the settings menu, according to Chenglu).
Check out some of the screens from the new software below.
This seems like a smart move, so long as Huawei doesn’t lose some of the nuance when combining certain sub-menus: hopefully, this isn’t going to bury any important privacy or security settings.
Other features designed to improve usability include small additions like positioning menu tabs at the bottom of the display rather than the top. This should help make them easier to reach when using tall phones with one hand — something that’s going to be increasingly important as more 18:9 and 19:9 devices become available.
Huawei is targetting an immersive and intuitive experience thanks to new gesture navigations also. These will be peppered throughout the UI to allow users to “quickly navigate, multitask and [activate] AI assistant.”
Smoother operation and quicker app start times should also arrive with EMUI 9.0. Chenglu noted a 12.9% improvement in system operation times and the likes of 11 percent and 12 percent decreases in Spotify and Instagram loading times respectively.
Huawei also touched on GPU Turbo 2.0 at the conference, the next iteration of its only recently launched game optimization software. This looks like it will roll out with EMUI 9.0 with lower latency, an all-new app assistant, and support for four new titles: Vainglory, Arena of Valor, Rules of Survival, and NBA 2K18.
Huawei revealed a new password manager too, which can encrypt passwords and allow users to auto-fill them in certain fields with a face or fingerprint scan.
Huawei is rolling out the beta program for EMUI 9.0 today for the Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, P20, and P20 Pro, as well as the Honor 10, Honor View 10, and Honor Play. You can get the details at consumer.huawei.com but, for what it’s worth, we haven’t been able to install the software on compatible handsets yet. The Chinese OEM should deploy the final version in the coming months.
Meanwhile, native Android Pie features likely to appear in the new EMUI include AI-based battery optimizations via “Adaptive Battery,” digital wellbeing stats (coming this fall), and gesture navigation. You can read more about all the new features in our Android Pie review at the link.
There’s plenty more we still don’t know about EMUI 9.0 but we’ll have more news for you in the coming weeks, including some hands-on coverage. What are your thoughts on the recent announcements? Let me know in the comments.