In a double header report this morning, not only is Huawei about to unveil a completely redesigned EMUI, made to appeal to Western markets, but we’re going to see the next Huawei Mate launched at IFA 2016 in September.
EMUI has long been Huawei’s achilles heel outside of China, with the software failing to impress most reviewers, despite (or perhaps because of) its popularity in Asian markets. Huawei hired a former Apple creative director Abigail Brody in September last year, and this upcoming release of EMUI will be Brody’s major effort for Huawei, having built her team out of Huawei’s San Francisco design centre.
Though nothing has been seen of Huawei’s new EMUI, that it will be designed to appeal to Western markets is pleasing. We’ve been giving this feedback to Huawei for a while now, and so have others; EMUI doesn’t work broadly, it’s too iOS-ish, it doesn’t feel like Android in some key respects, and it just isn’t popular. Things likely to be improved (amongst a raft of others, mind) include notifications being done Google’s way instead of the confusing Huawei way, less tinkering with icons, and the use of an app drawer.
These changes should result in a lighter, more agile EMUI, and should also enable Huawei to release Android updates more quickly — indeed, the company is setting a two month goal for itself, which is even less than the 90 day target HTC set for itself. Admirable goal.
What we could see here is nothing short of breathtaking; Huawei are becoming known for pretty great hardware. The Huawei P9 is a top shelf phone, and the pricing is rather competitive. Imagine something like that paired with great software that isn’t so EMUI-ish. That’s what’s on offer.
In 2017, Huawei will be real competition for Samsung and the other market incumbents if it can truly turn around its software experience, and continue to pair that with what has been established as pretty competent hardware design.
If you’re not convinced by Huawei today, would a revitalised, more accessible EMUI help change your mind?