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Lost in Emotion

My take on the Emotion UI 3 (EMUI 3)

February 20, 2015

Emotion UI or EMUI as it is commonly called, is Huawei's skin for their Android phones. It is a differentiator that sets the user experience apart between different manufacturers.

I'll talk about version 3, which is the latest incarnation of the Emotion UI running on my Honor 6. It is a major re-design from EMUI 2.3 and incorporates the dots, lines, and circles visual language.

It is a fact that many of Ascend and Honor models are still languishing in EMUI 2.3, depending on the region they were released. So if you are impatient and brave, several resources are available from XDA Developers forum to get your device up to speed with EMUI 3.

EMUI 3 can be deconstructed in three sections. They are the Magazine lock screen, launcher, and applications.

Magazine Unlock

This is one feature I enjoy with EMUI that makes it a pleasure to have. How does it work? Every time the power button is pressed to unlock the smartphone, a different photo is displayed on the screen.

This is similar to a Windows Phone 8 option wherein when enabled, a featured image from Bing is showcased. The difference is on Windows Phone, Bing images gets updated daily  while a Magazine Unlock image changes at every screen unlock.

Where do the images come from? Via a subscription, you are able to select categories of images that will be downloaded to replace the current ones. You'll be notified to save the current images if you like to keep them. I received a magazine update already and I regret not saving the current images before the update.

So, what are the other features of the Magazine Unlock aside from being able to open the camera app? Here are a couple more.

Firstly, you can unlock the screen by just sliding to any direction wherein a smooth animation takes place during the action.

Notifications appear distinctly as seen from the photo. You can touch the notification icon to take action, in this case to return a call, or reply to a message.

While at the Magazine lock screen, you can swipe up from the bottom part (tip: touch the time display and swipe up) to reveal a panel that shows inspirational quotes, and allow access to handy apps, such as Calendar, Calculator, Flashlight, and yes, the Mirror.

You can also control how the images are presented. There is a Pause option to pin the current image. Useful if you really like a particular image and want to see it every time you unlock.

The Next option allows you to switch to the next image in the image bank, while the Save option does what it's supposed to do.

Do you want to share the current image with your friends? Just hit the Share icon.

The Settings is where you can set your Subscriptions and how you would like to receive them.

Auto-update content can be turned off, received via Wi-Fi only, or whenever a connection is avaiable.

The subscription categories include Favorite, Travel, Vehicle, Fashion, and Life.

If the current theme does not support Magazine Unlock, swiping up will show a four-day weather forecast on the panel instead.

Magazine Unlock is the default theme for both EMUI 3 and the older EMUI 2.3.

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