By now, it is safe to assume that we all know that Google will soon officially release Android Nougat on its Nexus smartphones and from there the new version of Android will likely take some time before making it to other devices through updates. What we don’t know is which one of those “other devices” will get it and when.
The likes of HTC have been quick to jump and “confirm” that Android Nougat will be making its way to its latest smartphones but that’s as much as everything goes at the moment. Save for the fact that newer devices entering the market from later this year will ship with it, everything else remains a guess.
As such, I was pretty shocked when I hopped onto XDA Developers this morning to find something unfamiliar: an Android 7.0 build for the Huawei P9.
Huawei is not known for being fast when it comes to delivering updates (the P8, its flagship smartphone from last year is a good testament) but this shows that the company is keen on reversing that bad reputation. They’re even said to be considering making EMUI closer to stock.
I happen to have been using a Huawei P9 for the last one month and as such this is good news not just to me but, I believe, also to any other P9 users out there. Veterans in flashing Huawei firmware will be familiar with this process but if it’s your first time, here’s how to go about getting it:
- Use the above XDA Developers link. If you missed it here it is again. Scroll down and look for EMUI-EVA-C900B040SP11-log (as of the time I am writing this, it is the last link in that original post). Or just download it directly from either here (this appears to have been pulled down or crumbled because of heavy traffic) or here (this second link is what worked for me).
- Once you are done downloading the update, move it to the root of your P9’s internal storage. The file should be update.zip. If you downloaded it using any other name make sure you rename it to update.zip so that it can be recognized by the device.
- Create a folder and name it dload, move the update.zip file to the dload folder.
- Enter the device’s software update screen in order to install the update. This can be by dialling *#*#2846579#*#* in the phone’s dialer app or by pressing the power button and the volume up and down buttons simultaneously as the device boots up – wait until you see the Huawei boot logo (like in the image above), then release and wait. This can take up to 10 minutes.
Once the firmware has been successfully installed, you’ll have Android Nougat 7.0 with the new EMUI 5.0.
The update, according to the published changelog, brings multi-account support, interactive gestures and a new power saving mode to the Huawei P9 among other minor optimizations to apps like the phone manager and battery management.
For a beta, it is not advisable to install the update on a device you use everything since it is not guaranteed to work well in the first place. However, if you love adventure and can’t wait to take Android 7.0 (here are some of its features) for a spin then, by all means, give it a shot. It’s easy to downgrade in case things don’t impress you.
Since the download is rather slow, I am still in the process of downloading the update so I will update this post in case I encounter anything new after flashing it.