Do we really need another Android skin?
Huawei is getting ready to release a custom skin for their Android based handsets towards the end of this year. Many Android handset manufacturers like Samsung and HTC already have customized skins for their Android devices which, I think, is very much needed to differentiate your product from your competitors. While some functions of these customized skins are quite intuitive, I’ve found that many times the skin tends to slow down the speed at which you can navigate the OS and move between different apps, widgets or screens. So with Huawei entering the game, I sent across some questions to Mr. Jiao Jian, President of Huawei Device Middle East asking what makes their upcoming Emotion UI unique. But before we head into the Q&A, here is a short video of Emotion UI in action:
What was the reason for developing a new UI?
The development of the Emotion UI stems from our ongoing commitment to make it easier for people to enjoy the world’s most advanced communication technology. We felt that there were opportunities not yet explored in the market, and as a result the Emotion UI is able to simplify certain functions within the Android OS whilst giving users the freedom to personalize their phone’s software in some exciting new ways. Overall, the user interface provides valuable additions to the stock Android as it improves the device usability and the navigation process.
Will the Emotion UI still allow the option to switch to stock Android interface?
While Emotion does provide a number of extra themes, it is possible to keep most of the look and feel of stock Android even after adopting the skin. It’s really up to the user to determine how they want to use the offerings and evolve those along with their smartphone experience.
Which of the older devices will the Emotion UI be available for?
All users who have an Ascend P1 or Huawei Honor smartphone will be able to grab hold of the Emotion UI as long as they are running Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 OS. Emotion will of course be available on many of our upcoming product lines as well. The English version of Emotion will tentatively be available for download in Q4 2012 with additional language roll-outs to follow.
What are the top 3 things where Huawei thinks the Emotion UI excels at?
The Emotion UI excels across three core pillars: the UniHome, Intelligent Profiles, and Smart Tutorial. For the first, we’ve created the Me Widget which allows users to better utilize their screen’s real estate by combining all their information and the functions they need into a single, customizable widget.
For more intelligent profiles, Emotion features Smart Triggers which—using the existing OS sensors—can be created to automatically activate profiles when the sensors detect something like a user’s location, a certain time, or a low battery level. The skin also includes Emotion Profiles which are pre-uploaded through a convenient pull out tab so that users can easily switch to a customized profile setting when on the road, going to a meeting, or in the outdoors. Each profile can have a unique screen brightness, ringer volume, reminders, and auto reply.
Additionally, Emotion’s Smart Tutorial feature provides users with better assistance in helping them get up to speed on the device in the shortest time possible. This feature uses pictures and short descriptors to easily guide users in understanding the phone’s specs, the standard OS tools, and more complex software functions.
Mr. Jiao Jian is the president of Huawei Device in the Middle East. He took up his current role in March 2012 and during this time he has been leading the development of the Huawei Device brand in the region. Prior to his current position in the Middle East, Jian was instrumental in the development of the Huawei Device brand in emerging markets within Latin America serving as Marketing and Solution Director of Huawei Device Latin America.