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Huawei: no more third-party launchers for EMUI 9

Huawei: no more third-party launchers for EMUI 9

Huawei, as well as Honor, use a custom version of Android on their smartphones called EMUI. Version 9, which is based on Android Pie, brought many new features and improvements, but the Chinese company could make life a little more difficult for those who love customization with its next update.

Many Android smartphones currently on the market, offer deep user interface customization options. While it is possible to discuss their usefulness, it is not possible to question the freedom of customization that users have come to expect from Android.

Now Huawei has confirmed that they are intentionally blocking the use of third party launcher on the Chinese version of EMUI 9. At the moment, this does not affect users running the global version of EMUI.

poco launcher
Pocophone recently published its launcher in the Play Store. / © YouTube

The reasons that have led the company to consider this option are supposedly of a practical nature. The company received multiple complaints of problems resulting from the use of third-party launchers. Huawei then addressed the issue by simply preventing Chinese customers from using them.

According to the manufacturer, most of these launchers come equipped with bloatware that can degrade the performance of its devices, and there have also been overheating problems caused by the high power consumption of such apps. Discussion on the XDA developer forums also alledges that the decision was motivated by shady practices by third-party retailers in China.

AndroidPIT uninstall apps 2781
Obviously, third-party launchers are considered bloatware but applications preinstalled by Huawei itself are not. / © AndroidPIT

Among the bloatware supposedly found on these launchers, there also were advertisements that could further slow down devices and put them at a security risk. These statements by Huawei have really caused a stir. Since the early days of Android, users have installed alternative launchers not only to speed up their smartphones, but also to customize them according to their aesthetic preferences.

Some of my colleagues have stated that they would never use a Huawei smartphone again if this policy were to affect EMUI 9 globally. The installation of their favorite launcher is a basic requirement for the smartphone they carry. However, for now it seems that the launcher block is restricted to China.

What do you think? Do you use an alternative launcher? Would you buy a smartphone on which you can't customize your home screen? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Gizmochina

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12 comments

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  • If Nova Launcher was not an option on the global variant, I would skip Huawei phones.
    Does anyone know if it is possible to use widgets via Nova Launcher on a global Huawei Mate 20 Pro?


  • Firstly this restriction is only for Chinese Market.

    Secondly, there is absolutely no possibility of me, a power user, using Android without the Launcher of my choice (Nova launcher), if that happens any day I will dump that smartphone for good, will change brand, but I will never compromise.

    If you would like to know, Huawei /Honor run such a heavy, bloated skin on their smartphones and is so much valued by the company, they spend so much time, money and other resources in its development because they want to create an ecosystem around its products. I know this because I have seen an unofficial interview of Honor CEO by a western (European) youtuber, where the latter asks the former about using stock Android in its smartphones telling how much we tech enthusiasts value it, whereupon the CEO reveals their ambition and the role to be played by EMUI (Emotion UI). Honor has also developed Magic UI, a slightly modified version of EMUI where again they don't allow users to use a custom launcher of their choice. Ugly...


  • Have a Huawei P20 Lite with Nova launcher..Nova is a must,and I would change brand without a doubt..!!


  • As others said, being able to use another launcher (Nova for me) is an absolute must (and a reason among others I would never have an iPhone). I would therefore switch to another brand if Huawei was stupid enough to enforce this globally.


  • Nkdd 9 months ago Link to comment

    It is valid for Chinese version handsets only, at least what I have heard of.


  • There's absolutely no way I'll keep the Mate 20 Pro if I can't use Nova on this. And would never buy anything from Huawei again. But as others have said: looks like this is for China only. Prob not 100% Huawei's choice either. I highly doubt Huawei would do anything that further jeopardizes their reputation in the US and Europe


  • Hey AndroidPit, do you actually verify the news you write about? I highly doubt that! HUAWEI has already said that YES, they are disabling 3rd party launchers, but only for CHINA.


  • Guess I'll have to give up on my Mate 10 Pro if this ever comes to pass. No way I'm running any Android phone without Nova Launcher. That upcoming Galaxy S10 looks more interesting, now...


  • Unless they want to push a different OS, this seems an absurd reason (and possibly a false one). The users that bother installing a different launcher (would love to know the %) surely do it because of the poor quality/customizability of Huawei's EMUI, and are surely happier with the custom launcher. Should Huawei phones ship with Android One, this OEM would really become unstoppable in the West.


  • storm 9 months ago Link to comment

    Thats a hard no for Huawei for me as well. I suspect they don't want to lose their own data collection they already do.

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