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Guide: How to 'Stockify' your Honor 5X


Guest PaulOBrien
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In this guide (which was written based on Honor 5X software version B130 but probably works well on most Huawei / Honor devices), I'll take you through ways to make your device feel more like stock. Feedback is welcomed and I'll be updating this document frequently with additional info and improvements.

I am going to walk through the process from a freshly reset device, but you can of course pick out just the bits you want!

Launcher

After going through the setup wizard on your device and configuring your Play Store account, one of the first things you will likely want to do is replace the standard EMUI launcher. It's particularly non-stock feeling due to it's lack of app drawer. This is nice and easy, because the standard Android launcher is available from the Play Store.

The process

  • From the Play Store, ensure all currently installed apps are up to date (particularly 'Google').
  • From the Play Store, install 'Google Now Launcher'.
  • In the Settings app, select the 'Apps' option, press the Advanced button and select 'Default app settings'. In this screen you can specify the standard Launcher. Choose 'Google App'.
  • Press the home key and you're done, you should now have the standard launcher!

Further tips

On pre-Marshmallow devices, you may notice that third party launchers (including Google's) don't correctly make the top and bottom bars transparent. Sadly this includes my favourite launcher, Action Launcher 3. Another alternative, Nova Launcher, does have this feature however.

Screenshot_2016-02-24-13-24-44.png.8df0b Screenshot_2016-02-24-13-25-08.png.2b927 Screenshot_2016-02-24-13-25-41.png.6d9bd

Icon themes

As you can see in the above images, even with a custom launcher installed, many icons (such as the Play Store) are 'customised'. These backgrounds are applied using a theme. The default Honor 7 theme is called 'Spectrum', but I've made a special version, 'Spectrum Pure' that removes these icon customisations.

The process

  • From this post on MoDaCo, download the 'Spectrum Pure' .hwt theme file.
  • Copy the .hwt file to /sdcard/HWThemes on your device (you can use the built in 'Files' app for this if needed).
  • Launch the 'Themes' app, select the 'Mine' tab, select 'Spectrum Pure' and press 'Apply'.

When you go back to the homescreen, your customisations should be gone! Note that some launchers need to be restarted to pick up the change, so if in doubt, reboot your device.

Screenshot_2016-02-24-13-32-56.png.5c538 Screenshot_2016-02-24-13-34-41.png.db420 Screenshot_2016-02-24-13-36-53.png.565cb

Third party apps

A number of third party apps are installed out of the box, thinks like '50+ free games, 'Asphalt Nitro', 'Bubble Bash', 'Dragon Mania', 'Puzzle Pets', 'Shazam', 'Spider Man' and 'Top Games'. You can get rid of these if you prefer.

The process

  • In the 'Settings' app, select the 'Apps' option.
  • Select the app you would like to disable in the list and press the 'Uninstall' button.

Further tips

The Facebook and Twitter apps can be removed in the same way if you don't want to use them.

Screenshot_2016-02-24-13-38-56.png.09769

Additional Honor apps

As well as third party apps, a number of additional apps are included by Honor that have no stock Android equivalent. You can remove, in the same way as above:

  • Compass
  • Honor Club
  • Mirror
  • Vmall
  • WPS Office

The process

  • In the 'Settings' app, select the 'Apps' option.
  • Select the app you would like to disable in the list and press the 'Uninstall' button.

Disabling un-uninstallable apps

The above apps are all easily uninstalled, but there are also other apps that while you can't uninstall them, you can disable them. The apps you might want to disable are:

  • Email (if for example you are using the Gmail app instead)
  • HiCare
  • Magnifier
  • Notepad
  • Weather

The process

  • In the 'Settings' app, select the 'Apps' option.
  • Select the app you would like to disable in the list and press the 'Disable' button (this will be greyed out for system apps).

Screenshot_2016-02-24-13-52-18.png.1959f

Keyboards

Out of the box the Honor 5X includes a Huawei customised version of Swype and 'Android Keyboard (AOSP)', which is a basic build of the stock Android keyboard. If you are not using Swype and you want to use the stock Keyboard, you should use the Play Store version rather than the provided build to ensure you get updated.

The process

  • From the Play Store, install 'Google Keyboard'.
  • Launch Google Keyboard and complete the setup wizard (this is important!).
  • In the 'Settings' app, select the 'Apps' option.
  • Select the 'Menu' button and the 'Show System' option.
  • Select 'Android Keyboard (AOSP)' and press 'Disable'.
  • Select 'Huawei Swype' and press 'Disable'.

Screenshot_2016-02-24-14-01-53.png.66275

Calendar

Honor have replaced the stock Calendar app with their own, however Google Calendar can be installed from the Play Store. The Honor Calendar app is not un-installable or disableable, however using adb access from a computer, there is another solution.

The process

  • From the Play Store, install 'Google Calendar'.
  • On your device, enable USB debugging by tapping on the 'Build Number' in 'Settings' -> 'About' multiple times, then from the newly visible development menu, clicking the 'USB Debugging' checkbox.
  • On your computer, from a command prompt / terminal, run the command 'adb shell' - accept the security prompt on your device.
  • Run the command 'pm hide com.android.calendar'.

You should now have only one Calendar app in your launcher, as shown below (before / after shot!).

Screenshot_2016-02-24-15-02-20.png.0ebcc Screenshot_2016-02-24-15-05-37.png.3ec6e

Clock

Just as with the Calendar app above, the stock Android clock application can be downloaded and the Honor equivalent disabled using ADB.

The process

  • From the Play Store, install 'Google Clock'.
  • If you haven't already done so, on your device, enable USB debugging by tapping on the 'Build Number' in 'Settings' -> 'About' multiple times, then from the newly visible development menu, clicking the 'USB Debugging' checkbox.
  • On your computer, from a command prompt / terminal, run the command 'adb shell' - accept the security prompt on your device if required.
  • Run the command 'pm hide com.android.deskclock'.

You should now have only one Clock app in your launcher.

Messaging

If you are not a fan of the Honor Messaging app, you can download and install the Google version, however on Lollipop, you can't currently hide the Honor version as it is integrated into the Contacts / Dialler app.

The process

  • From the Play Store, install 'Google Messenger'.
  • Launch the app and set it as your preferred handler for text messages.

Backup, Files, Music, Recorder, Videos

Stock Android doesn't have a Backup app, Files app per se, nor music, recorder or video apps. These can be removed using the same method as above.

The process

  • If you haven't already done so, on your device, enable USB debugging by tapping on the 'Build Number' in 'Settings' -> 'About' multiple times, then from the newly visible development menu, clicking the 'USB Debugging' checkbox.
  • On your computer, from a command prompt / terminal, run the command 'adb shell' - accept the security prompt on your device if required.
  • To remove 'Backup': Run the command 'pm hide com.huawei.KoBackup'.
  • To remove 'Files': Run the command 'pm hide com.huawei.hidisk'.
  • To remove 'Music': Run the command 'pm hide com.android.mediacenter'.
  • To remove 'Recorder': Run the command 'pm hide com.android.soundrecorder'.
  • To remove 'Videos': Run the command 'pm hide com.huawei.hwvplayer'.

These applications should now have disappeared from your launcher.

Screen Lock and Torch

The Screen Lock and Torch shortcuts are currently parts of packages that can't be disabled without ill effects - these need to be removed via a custom ROM.

FM Radio

This can be removed using the 'pm hide' process, but this will remove all FM Radio functionality (there is currently no stock Android equivalent app).

Calculator

The stock Android calculator currently isn't available from the Play Store - I will post the APK here in due course.

Contacts / Dialler

The Contacts / Dialler cannot be changed to the stock Android versions at this time.

Notification pulldown / Settings app / Stock app icons / Lockscreen

The notification pulldown colours, settings app colours and icons, stock app icons and lockscreen can be modified using a custom theme. I am working on a 'Stock Android' EMUI theme that I will post here in due course. Stay tuned. 

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