16 September 2020
Huawei has officially taken wraps off EMUI 11, the latest iteration of its custom Android UI. It will be a successor to EMUI 10 but is based on Android 10 instead of the latest Android 11. This is likely to be because of the trade ban imposed on the company by the U.S. government. While it has not said anything about the Android 11 situation, the new UI is certainly packed with changes and improvements.
EMUI 11 is set to bring a number of visual as well as under the hood performance-related improvements. The Always-on Display (AOD) feature has received a few new themes and customization options. The users will be able to tweak various aspects of AOD as per their preference. They can even choose to show an image, GIF, or live video as AOD for further personalization.
There is a newly updated Gallery app with new design and gestures. While using the app's Photos tab, users will be able to pinch on the display to switch between Day and Months views. The team has further introduced Live Icons for almost all the stock apps like calendar, phone app, music, and notepad. These new icons will be visible in the app drawer, home screen, and notification panel.
In terms of productivity, the biggest EMUI 11 change has been made to the split-screen and multi-window functionality. Huawei has added a special gesture for accessing the Smart Multi-Window sidebar. This gesture will work regardless of the app or UI the user is currently in. The apps shown by the bar can be chosen by the user and once it is available on the screen, any app can be dragged to the display for opening in a multi-window interface.
Those who own a Huawei smartphone as well as a MateBook, EMUI 11 will bring Multi-screen collaboration 3.0. This will allow users to connect their phones to the PC and control up to three different Android apps. It goes without saying that the feature would work only after successful syncing between the two devices.
All new Huawei smartphones will come pre-installed with EMUI 11. As for the existing ones, the Huawei P40 and Mate 30 lineup will be receiving a beta version soon enough. An exact list of eligible devices has not been revealed yet.