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Huawei P10 and P10 Plus tips, tricks and best EMUI 5.1 hidden features

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus tips, tricks and best hidden features of EMUI 5.1: Huawei’s latest flagship phones, the P10 and P10 Plus, come packing Huawei’s fresh new Emotion UI 5.1 interface. Here’s our complete guide on how to get started with the new P10 and P10 Plus, plus some of the best features hidden away inside EMUI 5.1.

Huawei has started 2017 in typically strong fashion, with the launch of its latest flagship mobiles. The P10 and the bigger P10 Plus are beautifully designed and pack a wealth of features, courtesy of the dense (but easy to use) Emotion UI 5.1 which sits on top of Android Nougat.

We were already big fans of EMUI 5.0, which offers some essential improvements to previous versions of Huawei’s OS overlay - just check out our in-depth review of EMUI 5.0 for all you need to know. But just a couple of months later, we already have version 5.1 of Emotion UI, which adds a few little tweaks and bonus features.

This guide helps you to get started with Huawei’s P10 and P10 Plus smartphones and EMUI 5.1, revealing some of the best new features buried away in these rather good handsets.

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus tips, tricks and best hidden EMUI 5.1 features: How to use the new home button gestures

EMUI 5.1 introduces some new home button functionality, to discard the on-screen home, back and recent apps buttons. This new feature is available now on the P10 and P10 Plus, and is likely to become a common feature on future Huawei phones.

To go ‘back’ in any app, menu and so on, just tap the P10’s home ‘button’ (located beneath the screen). If you want to return to your home desktop at any time, simply press and hold your thumb on the button instead. And if you want to bring up a list of all open apps, swipe your digit across the surface. Either direction works just fine.

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus tips, tricks and best hidden EMUI 5.1 features: How to bring back the on-screen home, back and recent apps buttons

If you decide that you don’t like the new multi-tasking home button and want to bring back the old virtual on-screen buttons, never fear. It’s dead easy to revert back to the old method.

Just head to the P10 or P10 Plus’ settings menu and scroll down to ‘Navigation key’. In here you’ll see that the off-screen navigation button is selected by default. Tap the ‘virtual navigation bar’ option and you’ll once again have a proper home, back and recent apps button there on your desktop.

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus tips, tricks and best hidden EMUI 5.1 features: How to bring back the apps drawer

With EMUI 5.0, Huawei finally added an apps tray into EMUI. That means you can tidy away your little-used-but-still-nice-to-have apps into a hidden drawer, rather than having them cluttering your desktops.

However, the apps drawer doesn't come activated by default. To turn on the apps tray you need to head to the P10 or P10 Plus’ settings menu and then tap Home Screen Style. In here you're presented with two options: Standard and Drawer. Select Drawer and your desktops will refresh, which also has the annoying habit of rebooting your layout and removing any widgets. So make sure you do this step before setting up your desktops.

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus tips, tricks and best hidden EMUI 5.1 features: One-handed use made easy

Although the P10 is nice and compact, the P10 Plus is a bit more of a struggle to use with a single hand. Thankfully Huawei’s EMUI 5.1 gives you some nifty features for making one-handed operation a lot more comfortable.

Head to the settings menu and then tap ‘Navigation key’. In here you'll see the option to add a notifications pull-down button to the toolbar at the bottom of your screen, providing you’re not using the multi-functional home button.

Alternatively (or additionally), jump to the Smart Assistance menu in the settings and find the 'One-handed UI' option. In here you can activate the Mini Screen View feature, which shrinks the entire display down towards the bottom of the phone when needed. To activate this, just flick your thumb from a bottom corner of the screen towards the centre of the display. This takes a bit of getting used to, but works well when you get the knack.

You can also switch on the Shifting Keyboard feature, which bumps the virtual board towards the left or right edges of the screen when needed.

Read next: Best Huawei phones right now and coming soon

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus tips, tricks and best hidden EMUI 5.1 features: How to manage your data use

If you have a limited amount of data to burn through each month rather than an unlimited plan, EMUI 5.1 on the Huawei P10 can help prevent you from eating up your allowance too soon.

Head to the P10’s settings menu and select Mobile Data, up near the top. In here see a graph that shows exactly how much data you've used up in recent times, on a day-by-day basis. If you're worried about going over your allowance, just tap the cog icon and then poke the ‘total monthly data available’ setting. Here you can tell the P10 exactly how much data you have to use each month.

If you’re fast reaching that limit, you can get the P10 to remind you not to get online so often. Just tap ‘usage reminders’ and set when the reminder should flash up, and whether your data should be disabled upon reaching that limit.

Find yourself hitting your data limit quite often? Well, tap the Data usage ranking option and you can see exactly which apps have been burning through your precious megabytes recently. If you spot anything unexpected, poke the offending app and you'll have the option to deactivate their mobile data privileges (so they can only use WiFi connections), or prevent them from sneakily downloading data in the background.

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus tips, tricks and best hidden EMUI 5.1 features: How to turn on Eye Comfort mode for night use

The P10 and P10 Plus’ Eye Comfort Mode filters out blue light in the evenings for easier-on-the-eye late night browsing.

To turn this on, just head to the Display menu in the phone’s settings and then tap Eye Comfort. You can turn on this feature at any time by tapping the slider at the top, or else the mode can self-activate in the evenings with the Schedule function.

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus tips, tricks and best hidden EMUI 5.1 features: How to set up a lock screen message in case you lose your phone and someone finds it

If you lose your precious Huawei handset and someone helpful finds it, there's a chance you’ll get it back with EMUI 5.1’s Lock Screen Signature feature.

To add contact info to the P10 and P10 Plus’ lock screen, just head to the settings menu and then tap ‘Screen lock & passwords’. In here there's a 'Lock screen signature' feature, which allows you to scrawl a quick message for the lock screen.

Obviously be careful not to reveal any sensitive private info. But a home phone number or some other harmless contact details will increase the chances that your P10 makes it home safe.

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus tips, tricks and best hidden EMUI 5.1 features: How to multitask with two apps using split screen mode

If you want to check something online while writing an email, or watch a YouTube video while browsing the web, then good news. The P10 and P10 Plus both support split-screen multitasking.

To do so you’ll need to employ Knuckle Mode, a staple of EMUI for some time now. Basically, tap your knuckle and drag it quickly from one edge of the screen to the next while in an app, and this should split the display at that chosen point. In the bottom half of the screen you’ll see a list of other open apps which support split-screen mode. Just tap the one you want and it will open up alongside the original app.

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus tips, tricks and best hidden EMUI 5.1 features: How to free up storage space or memory

Resource management is a key feature of Huawei's EMUI 5.1, so freeing up storage space or memory is a piece of delicious cake.

To get more storage space, just head to the P10’s settings menu and then tap ‘Memory & storage’. At the bottom of this menu you'll find the Storage Cleaner tool. Give this a poke and your P10 will gather together all of the junk files resting on your handset, which can then be deleted with a single prod.

As for memory, just open up the recent apps by swiping your finger across the P10 or P10 Plus’ home button. Near the bottom of this screen you’ll see how much memory your apps are currently using. Give that trashcan icon a tap and all apps that aren’t locked will be closed. If you don’t want certain apps to shut down when you tap the bin, just hit the padlock icon next to them and they’ll remain in memory.

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