Huawei’s not a company known for its subtlety, preferring to break world records rather than innovate understatedly. That being said, the company’s newest version of software for Android seems to be a happy confluence of sensible features and unique design. Initially unveiled last July, the overlay – known as Emotion UI – is, Huawei spokespeople say, simpler to use and easier to modify than stock Android.
Customizability and simplicity certainly seem to be the focus of Huawei’s video preview of the latest Emotion UI. An improved home screen, dubbed UniHome, combines the settings and app drawer for quick access to application shortcuts and toggles. In the same vein as editable launchers like Go Launcher EX, Emotion UI also provides a link to an online database of themes downloadable from Huawei’s servers. New applications included in the refreshed Emotion UI provide welcome functionality: the third-party dialer includes gesture control, Power Manager intelligently minimizes battery drain, Security Manager removes malware and optimizes apps, and Cloud+ provides synced storage for data.
Huawei’s revamp of Emotion UI is much needed. The update brings the company’s aftermarket Android solution in line with offerings from rivals like Samsung and Sony, companies which have incorporated similar functionality in past and present devices. Some of the updated firmware’s features seem a little gimmicky – I don’t see myself taking pictures with a Bluetooth headset anytime soon, for example – but competition is a good thing, and, on the whole, Emotion UI is intriguing.
Specific details about Huawei’s latest version of Android skin are forthcoming, so stay tuned for the latest.