How to Turn on a Dark Theme on Honor 8a

We continue the series of articles on the functions and methods of customizing the proprietary shell Huawei EMUI. Today we’ll talk about setting up the desktop and various options for system navigation, which are available in smartphones of this manufacturer. Of course, most likely, experienced users are aware of these tricks, but many buyers who purchased their first Huawei or Honor smartphone are most likely not.

How to Turn on a Dark Theme on Honor 8a

I will describe all the functions on the example of the flagship Huawei P20 Pro, but this should not confuse users of other smartphones. Indeed, in fact. the EMUI shell is the same for all current devices. Of course, you may not have some specific settings, but we will consider typical tools that most likely everyone has.

If you missed, I advise you to read the previous EMUI materials:

EMUI desktop

By the way, the desktop theme is especially relevant in the light of recent innovations. Namely. starting with EMUI 9, Huawei will block the ability to install third-party launchers on their smartphones. This step can be understood. The manufacturer’s goal is to provide the same user experience for all customers and get rid of the excess negative that is associated with the unstable operation of the firmware due to poor-quality third-party software. And regardless of how we relate to such a company policy, we have an additional reason to understand the functions and settings of the desktop built into the firmware. After all, there will be no alternative. in any case.

Turn on the desktop with the application menu in EMUI

By default, there is no shortcut or gesture on the EMUI desktop to launch the classic menu of all installed applications, as in pure Android. At the same time, program icons are located directly on the desktops (yes, just like on the iPhone), which provokes some confusion, especially if there are a lot of applications. You can, of course, just scatter shortcuts into folders. But not all users like this solution. If you are one of them, then I have good news for you. the application menu can be activated in the settings.

Rather, you can simply switch to the second, alternative launcher with the classic application menu shortcut in the bottom panel. It can be configured independently of the first option. create additional screens, place shortcuts and widgets. Both types of desktop are present in the system in parallel. And between them you can switch at any time through the settings menu: Screen / Home screen style in EMUI 8 or Home screen and wallpaper / Home screen style in EMUI 9.

EMUI Launcher Settings

Since we are talking about the launcher, let’s take a look at its few options, which, nevertheless, have everything an ordinary user needs. To call the settings, just make a pinch on any desktop screen.

Read also: Review of the fitness band Huawei Band 4

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After that, a sketch for editing the EMUI desktop will appear in which you can move icons and groups of icons between screens (highlighting them with a tap), drag the screens themselves, changing their relative position, and assign any of the screens to the main one (which you will be taken to when the “house” action ”).

In addition, at the bottom you can notice a toolbar with which you can change the wallpaper, add widgets, customize the effects of scrolling screens and go to additional settings.

Here we see: setting the scale of the grid of icons (how many icons will be in the rows and columns on the home screen), there are 3 options. 4×6, 5×5, 5×6, locking the style of the home screen (protection against accidental changes), enabling automatic alignment (shifting the icons when deleting applications to prevent empty spaces). There is also an incomprehensible to me personally, but funny function of changing the order of the icons on the screen by shaking. That is, he shook the smartphone. randomly mixed the icons. Lovers of chaos and mysterious sensations should like it while searching for the right application on the desktop. Are there any among you? Write in the comments!

Video: How to Turn on a Dark Theme on Honor 8a

Also in this menu you can find fine-tuning the display of labels on application icons (a small indicator of unread notifications), activate automatic application recommendations in a global search (swipe up or down on the home screen and see them), enable continuous scrolling of work screens in a circle and disable the extreme left screen with google news and tips. Well, everything seems to be about the desktop, go to the next section.

System Navigation at EMUI

By default, at the first boot of EMUI, a new smartphone buyer gets the opportunity to perform system navigation using the on-screen buttons “back”, “home” and “latest applications”. Actually, most users continue to use classic buttons. Some of them are out of habit, and part because they do not even suspect that there are other options. And no, I’m not making up a problem. Even from experienced tech-bloggers I heard claims that Huawei “sawed out” a new convenient method for managing gestures using its single on-screen navigation button at the bottom of the screen, which is implemented in pure Android. It is not surprising that many ordinary users are also mistaken in this matter. Therefore, I think it will be useful to consider the navigation settings in EMUI.

So, go to Settings / Advanced Options / System Navigation. Depending on the model of your smartphone and the version of the EMUI shell, here you can find up to 5 different options for controlling the smartphone. Consider them all in detail.


Full-screen gestures are the newfangled feature of EMUI 9. Short gestures are carried out from the edge of the screen. For the “back” action, on the right or left. To get to your home desktop. from the bottom. And if you hold the bottom and hold your finger. the multitasking menu opens with the latest running applications. There is also the ability to quickly launch Google Assistant.

Physical Navigation Button

This navigation method is very cool, but only available on devices with a physical touch button scanner below the screen. For example, in premium smartphones, the P10, P20 and Mate 10 lines (which are not PRO). The advantage of this option is the complete absence of any extraneous controls on the device screen, that is, the entire screen is occupied by content. Conveniently. It works reliably. Get used to it quickly. I recommend trying it if you have a compatible device. Everything is simple here. A short press on the physical button. “back”, a long press. “home”, a gesture on the button to the right or left. calls up the multitasking screen. Well, Google Assistant is not forgotten.

How to Turn on a Dark Theme on Honor 8a

One navigation button

And here is the very lost navigation method that everyone likes so much in pure Android. over, the funny thing is that he was present in EMUI 8 (Android 8), that is, before it was implemented in “pure” Android 9 Pie! This option works on the same principle as navigation using a physical sensor, only your button is virtual, small in height and does not take up much space on the screen.

How to Turn on a Dark Theme on Honor 8a

Three navigation buttons

The classic default navigation method in the Android system, which in smartphones with the EMUI shell, you can fully customize for yourself. swap virtual buttons, add a fourth button to lower the curtain and set the panel to automatically hide.

How to Turn on a Dark Theme on Honor 8a

Navigation button

Another gesture navigation method, but in this case the button is round, translucent and floating. that is, it can be easily dragged to any area of ​​the screen. I didn’t see this option (because I work with the physical button in a similar way), but I know a few fans of the floating navigation button. You can try, and suddenly you will like it.

How to Turn on a Dark Theme on Honor 8a

On this, I consider questions of the third issue closed. In the comments, you can ask questions about the EMUI shell and suggest topics for the following instructions. See you!

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