There is no doubt, that the Huawei P20 and the Huawei P20 Pro have some of the best hardware out there. EMUI on the other hand, well, isn’t the most sought-after software on a mobile device.
It runs well, keeps the phone faster longer and is great with the battery life frankly, but the look? The look seems a bit cartoony for more western tastes at least. While Huawei has definitely toned down EMUI with the latest versions, a lot of you have been asking me for how to make the Huawei P20 look like stock Android instead.
Now, by stock Android nowadays, we mean as close to what the Pixel devices come with generally–since that’s not considered stock Android by most. And I totally get it. It’s clean, material design (the name for the design language Google uses) uses some of the more popular UI design elements like flat icons, more minimalistic transitions, etc.
So, if you maybe want all the crazy hardware of the P20 and P20 Pro (like the crazy camera I just did a comparison on), but the smoothness, and cleaner UI of stock Android, here’s how to get stock Android on the Huawei P20.
Stock Launcher (Using Nova Launcher)
Firstly, we need to change the launcher. If you’re not familiar, the launcher is basically the app that you use as your home screen. By changing it to another one (and there are a lot in the Play Store), you’ll make the biggest impact on getting the Huawei P20 to a stock Android look.
To make sure it works, we’re going to use Nova launcher and customize it to look like stock Android (I tried the actual Pixel launcher and it kept crashing so this is probably the best option.
- Head to the Play Store, search for and install Nova Launcher.
- After it installs, hit the home button and select Nova Launcher. This will also make it the new default launcher so anytime you hit the home button, you’ll end up with it.
Customize Nova to Have the Stock Look
Next, we need to adjust some settings to make it look like stock Android.
- Tap and hold on the background and then tap on Settings.
- Tap on App & Widget Drawers and turning on Swipe to Open.
- Then going to Dock and tapping search bar in the dock and selecting under the dock.
- Then go to Desktop in settings and tap on search bar style and select the rounded one and the colored G logo to match the Pixel 2’s.
- Also, we can go to Look and Feel and turn on Adaptive icons and tap on adaptive icon style and set them to rounded and reshape legacy icons.
- After that, we can go to the home screen and remove the app drawer icon and the search bar widget and we’re pretty good to go.
Next, let’s get the stock messaging app. Besides the swiping away of messages that this app provides (that my OCD loves), this is as stock of a look as you can get for the messaging app, and it’s available in the Play Store so installation is super easy.
- Head to the Play Store and search for Android Messages and install it (you’ll know it’s the right one because it’ll be from Google, Inc. as the developer).
- Open the app and follow the instructions for it to make itself the default messaging app.
Now, let’s get the stock Google Keyboard to go with the messaging app.
- Go to the Play Store and search for GBoard and install it.
- Open the app and follow the prompts for setting it as the default app
Dialer and Contacts
So there is no stock dialer and contacts app in the Play Store or on the web (that I could find, at least), but there is a pretty good clone in the Play Store called ExDialer.
- Head to the Play Store again and search for and install exDialer.
- Once installed, head to Settings > Apps > Default apps.
- Then tap on Phone and select exDialer.
Let’s use the Google Calendar instead of Huawei’s.
- Head to the Play Store, search for and install Google Calendar then tap on it to open it and set it up.
- Once set up, head to Settings > Apps > tap on the calendar with the red icon then tap Open by default > Clear Defaults.
- Then also tap back, tap on Notifications and turn those off so you don’t get double notifications from events.
We can also grab the calendar widget from the Pixel 2 to complete the home screen look.
- Simply head to the Play Store, search for and install Another Widget.
- Once installed, head to the home page, tap and hold on the background, tap widgets and select the new Another Widget calendar widget and place it on the home screen. It’ll then bring you to a setup page.
- In there, leave the default options but go to the bottom and tap the calendar option to give it access to your events and then the weather option to add that as well.
Living Universe Wallpapers
Now, one of the more subtle but cool things I like about the Pixel devices is the living universe wallpapers. These are the wallpapers that move slightly in the background and are not supposed to work on any other devices, but…
- Head to the Play Store and download the Google Wallpapers app.
- Now, these won’t be available in it by default but we need it installed to then get the living universe wallpapers to show up in it after the next step.
- Head to this link here on XDA on your phone’s browser and download the APK file (do this on the phone to save an additional step of transferring it to your phone after you download it to your computer).
- Once, downloaded you can tap it and tap install.
After that, head to the Google Wallpapers app and you’ll see a section for Live Wallpapers. Tap that and you’ll see the new living universe ones in there. Tap one and tap set to set it as your home screen, lock screen or both.
You should be looking pretty darn stock at this point, but let me know in the comments below if you have other apps that might help complete the look–I’m sure others would appreciate it.
Otherwise, enjoy and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for behind the scenes of tech events in my Stories and photos of the latest tech I find in the feed. Thanks for reading!