Xiaomi says MIUI 9 will be more frugal to run on your phone
It is often the hardware that gets most of the attention when a new Xiaomi smartphone is launched. But the success of Xiaomi can’t be attributed to its hardware prowess alone. Its custom interface, called the MIUI, is quite popular with mainstream users as it offers some unique features which are usually not found in stock Android devices. More importantly it allows user to change the look and feel of the interface by applying unqiue-looking themes.
The MIUI is often criticised for being too resource intensive. Xiaomi has tried to address those issues by optimising it better with its latest version, the MIUI 9.
It was announced in July and available in Beta since August. Its stable version is finally rolling out in phases and devices as old as the Mi3, launched in 2013, are eligible for the update. From the more recent crop of smartphones, available in India, the Redmi Y1, Mi MIX 2, Mi Max 2, Mi Max Prime, Mi5, Redmi Note 4, Redmi 4A, Redmi 3s and Redmi Note 3 are likely to get the update.
The Redmi Note 4, Mi Max 2, and Mi MIX 2, which will be updated on 3 November, will be the first to receive MIUI 9.
Xiaomi has also made subtle changes in the design of the new MIUI. The dock which carries the primary apps, doesn’t show text anymore, just like the dock in plain Android. More pre-loaded themes have been added providing users with more options to choose from. The official themes are developed by the phonemaker itself and look more polished and organised than user generated themes that one has to download from the online store.
The lock screen offers more shortcuts. But instead of cluttering the main lockscreen, Xiaomi has added a second screen to it. It shows up when you swipe left to right on lockscreen and duisplays up to five shortcuts chosen by user. User can get to the apps through the shortcuts the moment the phone unlocks.
There is a new section called App vault on the homepage on the lines of Shelf page in OnePlus’ Oxygen OS. You can access it by swiping left to right on home screen
It provides quick access to scores, calendar events, your favourite apps, and allows users to take quick notes and even book a cab.
Xiaomi claims the new MIUI is faster than its predecessor. The interface uses up less RAM as the software can now prioritise resources in a better manner. So even if there are multiple apps open in the background, the system resources will be allocated to apps that are running in the foreground. The apps will open a lot quicker now.
Xiaomi has also made improvements to a number of pre-loaded apps. The gallery app now offers more features such as the option to remove objects from an image, apply stickers and new filters. The Mi Video app can now club similar type of videos in different groups. It also supports file formats such as mkv.
Also, MIUI 9 offers features of Android 7, such as the split screen mode, in devices running on older version of Android.