Xiaomi MIUI 9 has been in testing for months, but finally, the company is rolling out the global version of the skin.
We already know what the MIUI 9 brings to the table thanks to Xiaomi’s highlights at an event in India earlier this month. Even though the update will be rolling out to 32 Xiaomi smartphones, including the 2012 Xiaomi Mi 2, the initial rollout will see only a handful of models get the update, including Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, Mi MIX 2 and Mi MAX 2.
As you would expect, the new MIUI 9 comes with a bunch of new features, but some of them are limited to the Chinese ROM. Xiaomi put more emphasis on performance, something that means the new MIUI 9 comes close to what pure Android offers in terms of opening apps. Without going into too much detail, here’re our top 5 Xiaomi MIUI 9 features you need to know about.
A changed notification panel
The first impression you get on the Xiaomi MIUI 9 skin is the hugely changed notification panel, where support for bundled notifications and quick replies has now been added. Interestingly, some Chinese apps such as WeChat don’t make use of bundled notifications or quick replies in Android Nougat and as a result, the MIUI 9 ROM for Chinese users doesn’t have support for these features. Given that Xiaomi is now gaining a global audience, the need to have these features included in the global version of the MIUI 9 came about. Still, the notification panel itself looks more of the same with the Chinese version.
A new video app and image editor
With the new MIUI 9, you’ll also get a new Mi Video app that auto-groups videos from a given TV show in a single folder and lets users load multilingual subtitles. The app also comes with support for multiple file formats that include MP4, AVI, MOV, MKV, MPG, ASF and 3GP. The Mi Video app also lets users hide videos in a private folder, customize subtitles’ text size, capture screenshots as well as use gestures for backward and forward seeking within a video.
The Gallery app also gets an all-new photo editor that brings intelligent background erase – a feature that allows users to remove elements in the background of an image. To access the editor, there’s an Edit button in the Gallery app. Using the feature is even easier, where you only have to select an area with your finger and hit the Erase button to remove background elements from a given photo. The editor also comes with a new version of Beautify, which auto-adds effects to your shots.
Apps load 2x faster
As pointed out earlier, Xiaomi MIUI 9 is aimed at improving the performance of Mi devices. With this in mind, the company implemented a number of fixes under the hood – fixes meant to improve apps’ load times on the new MIUI 9. These fixes include enhanced background memory management and dynamic resource allocation, among others.
Once you install the MIUI 9 on your Xiaomi phone, you’ll notice it feels significantly faster than before and according to Xiaomi’s latency tests, this UI comes close to pure Android when it comes to opening or rather loading apps.
The MIUI 9 is also bringing app shortcuts to Xiaomi phones through a Google Now-like pane that occupies the leftmost home screen. Here, you’ll come across shortcuts for apps you use frequently, notes app, calendar events, score updates and more. The feed can be customized and it’s also possible to hail a cab on Ola as well as launch Paytm from here.
After debuting the split screen feature with the Xiaomi Mi MAX 2 earlier this year, the company is now making it universal through the new Xiaomi MIUI 9 global build. You only need to select a button in the multitasking pane to launch split screen mode and from there, you can easily resize the open windows to something that fits your needs.