Xiaomi smartphones set to become smarter with MIUI 9
Chinese phonemaker Xiaomi has taken the wraps off the next iteration of MIUI, its custom user interface for Mi and Redmi smartphones. The new UI will be known as MIUI 9 and will be based on Android 7 (Nougat). Its developer ROM will be available for select devices from 11 August and the final version will be released in China by the end of September 2017. There is no update on the global edition of MIUI 9 yet.
MIUI is one of the most popular custom UIs due to its bevy of features and customisation options. Xiaomi claims it has over 280 million active users.
The features showcased at the launch of Xiaomi Mi 5X smartphone suggest that the company is trying to sort out the complexities of the UI to make it smarter and easier to use.
New themes, improved dock
MIUI usually comes with two set of themes—preloaded and user-generated. The pre-loaded themes are designed by Xiaomi and look more polished and organised than user created themes, which are available as a free download on the Xiaomi theme store. In MIUI 9, three new themes in the pre-loaded section will be added. Also, the dock which carries the primary apps will not show text anymore, like the stock Android UIs.
The lockscreen in MIUI 9 has been redesigned to incorporate more shortcut buttons on it. So instead of two shortcut icons in the current version of MIUI, which show at the bottom of the page and are barely visible, MIUI 9 allows users to add up to five buttons on the lockscreen. They will also be bigger and show in the middle of the page.
Dynamic resource allocation, fast app launch
With MIUI 9, the software will prioritize hardware resources to the app which actually needs it. An app in the foreground will be allocated more resources than apps in the background. So even if a user has multiple apps open in the background, the performance of the app in the foreground will not be affected.
Another feature of MIUI 9 is the Accelerated Start up, which will reduce the app launch time, so they will open faster.
The MIUI 9 will also have a smart assistant page which will allow users to search for apps, notes, contact and even images saved on the smartphone by simply typing the relevant keyword.
Searching for an image in the default photo gallery will be a lot easier in MIUI 9. Photos with similar expressions, same group of people and common location can be looked up by simply typing in the relevant keyword.