Latest Huawei P9 update finally stops messing with your app icons

After years of being broken, ugly or both, Huawei's EMUI software is finally starting to get better. We saw some big improvements in EMUI 4.1 on the Huawei P9 this year, with major UI bugbears and longstanding glitches finally addressed. And now a fresh P9 update eliminates one huge pet hate of ours: Huawei's meddling in your app icons.

As we've explained before, back when custom themes were needed to sidestep this nonsense:

Most themes unify the look of your home screen by placing [icons] on rounded rectangles or squared-off circles ("squircles"). In some cases that looks fine. In others, you get the white Google Play Store icon on a white rectangle, or a green Hangouts icon on a green squricle. It just doesn't look great.More annoyingly, because these icons are built into the theme, they're almost never up-to-date. [At the time of writing] the Huawei P9 still has the old Google Chrome icon.

Except not anymore. With the latest update to build 166, the Huawei P9 has singularly stopped messing with your icons. Graphics for preloaded Google apps appear just like on any other phone. And with just a handful of exceptions, the same applies to the overwhelming majority of third-party apps too. The change applies to all built-in themes, and the end result looks so much better. Not just more visually consistent with the rest of Android — objectively better.

EMUI is starting to grow up, and that's one of a few reasons to start paying serious attention to Huawei.

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.