Xiaomi just rolled out MIUI 9 after a lot of Beta testing, globally. The build was rolled out starting with the bestseller Xiaomi Redmi Note 4. As of now, Xiaomi has promised the update to a total of 32 Xiaomi devices, going totally back until Mi 2, anyone got that device anymore?
MIUI 9 lives up to its promises with a myriad of new features, even after being jam-packed the build is performant and beautiful. While with some disappointment, few features are available only in the Chinese ROM.
Xiaomi has laid emphasis on performance with MIUI since the beginning and this time it is different, MIUI 9 closes on Stock Android in App launch time and other performance metrics. Here, we take a look at all the new features in MIUI 9 and behold the spectacle of some of the best features of this global build.
Let’s get going.
Changes and Features in MIUI 9
1. Systemwide Optimisations
System-Optimisations-In-MIUI 9: Credits MIUI Forum
You knew it already right? Optimisations and performance gains are what everyone looks for in a new ROM. MIUI 9 has made great strides in this department with several under the hood changes and improvements that leave a strong impression on the overall system performance and speed. There’s a bucket list of improvements here including a brand new file system, automatic memory management, better cache management, better resource management and improvements in the handling of background tasks among a few. These are in no manner minor fixes and hence you feel the improvements when you use it. Recent tests suggest puts MIUI 9 very close to pure stock Android in performance and we just love it.
2. Better Notification Panel
New-Notification-Panel-Features-In-MIUI 9: Credits MIUI Forum
Xiaomi has done some significant work in the notifications panel, with welcome changes in management. Yes, you have quick replies baked in right into the notifications drop down and remember when you were just flummoxed with the number of notifications from a single app, well Xiaomi heard you and now you have bundled notifications as well. unimportant notifications won't come in your way with notification filter that automatically packs such notifications and what’s better, It mutes them.
3. Split Screen Is Now on MIUI 9
New-Split-Panel-Feature-In-MIUI 9: Credits MIUI Forum
Well, this one is definitely gonna leave you into splits. MIUI 9 now ships with the much awaited split-screen functionality, implemented by Xiaomi in its own unique way. To get to it is rather easy, just tap the recent button to see all your background running apps and you’ll find a new shade up at the top with “Split Screen Mode” written over it. Just tap it and drag the apps you wanna use together in split-screen mode. Xiaomi has done handling nicely with apps that do not support split screen, showing a clear badge stating the same.
4. A New Shiny Image Editor
Over the past few MIUI versions, Xiaomi has been slipping up a few new tweaks into the gallery app, this time the change is profound because you are in for a treat with an all-new image editor built right in. With some Machine learning magic, it can remove unwanted elements from an image and more. It does a decent job and is fairly easy to use, Instead of making a huge deal out of it, MIUI 9 plainly keeps it with the tap of the edit button in the gallery. Cool, Isn’t it? And yeah, It does do better ‘beautify’ now, so hope for better and more beautiful stills.
5. Home Screen and Lock Screen Retouched
Home screen and lock screen are unarguably the screens we spend most our time on and Xiaomi knows that. The experience is now more refined with a slew of engaging features in both the places. Starting with how the apps move and take their place in the drawer, with a minuscule view of all the pages in your drawer to give a bird eye view of your app drawer. Widgets also get their fair share with a new real estate on vertical scrolling, bringing the widget work close to Stock Android.
We always believed the MIUI settings panel was quite messy but MIUI 9 brings welcome changes to the front with better navigation and setting management. What’s great behind that minimalistic yet impressive design is the ability to change your default launcher, If you have ever done that before, you know how premium this feature is for customisation nation.
The sheets and windows are more minimalistic and flat, which is just delight to the eyes. The experience moves on with a more cleaner and clutter free approach and we like it much.
We included lock screen too in the heading, right? Yeah, even if you didn’t see it, lock screen also packs some new tweaks. Do some swiping on the lock screen and you’ll see all the connected devices to the smartphone, along with that super handy flashlight button. Who doesn’t like that?
6. Mi Drop On New Heights
All-New-Mi Drop-In-MIUI 9: Credits MIUI Forum
Well, Mi Drop as you know it is a file transfer utility on Xiaomi smartphones and is often very underrated and under-utilised due to it being hidden somewhere deep down in the utilities, well no more, as MIUI 9 bring Mi Drop to the frontier with its own spot on the home screen, with a facelift, Mi Drop now can be used on any Android device, cheers! With Mi Drop, you'll be able to transfer files of any type, and not only that, there's also the option to resume interrupted transfers. The interface as we said has become more flat and clean, soothing to the eyes, with those systemwide optimisations we observed some speed gains too, though they are not staggering.
7. Secure-er Security App with MIUI 9
All-New-Security App-In-MIUI 9: Credits MIUI Forum
Security on MIUI has always been a saviour and a much-loved feature, It gives freedom from downloading all those antivirus software which can drag you device slow. The security app now gets a makeover with a more cleaner presentation and a more detailed approach to things. A host of new actions including Speed Boost, Dual Apps, Second Space and App Lock are now featuring right there. Managing Apps has never been easier as you get a more detailed view of the apps on the smartphone, so you don’t have to dig deep down into settings for the info on memory about an app. Every detail has been curated and presented in the Security App.
8. Mi Video
All-New-Mi Video-In-MIUI 9 : Credits MIUI Forum
MIUI 9 also becomes the debut ground for Mi Video app. Xiaomi has introduced an all-new video app that curated and collects all the video load on the device in order with support for multi-lingual subtitles and support for a ton of video formats, so you can say bye to all those 3rd party players in your Xiaomi device. Privacy can be ensured with features for hiding private content, just as with other apps such as messages.
9. New Animations and Themes
Exclusive-Limitless Theme-In-MIUI 9: Credits MIUI Forum
MIUI 9 does its part on this forsaken area of the MIUI experience which is very much what makes MIUI beautiful. MIUI 9 crashes with a lot of new themes and sticker packs, yeah you heard it right, stickers are now bundled with MIUI 9. You get some exclusive India themes and a new default theme called ‘Limitless’. As for the stickers, its a humble beginning of 12 sticker packs in the gallery app, with four exclusive to India.
Xiaomi has done some work with system animations which is quite visible, icons now have a subtle animation attached to them and this is not only with system apps but also with some popular 3rd party apps such as Facebook and Instagram and more. Animations increase the liveliness of the experience and quite polished.
10. Reworked Calendar with Cards
All-New-Calendar-Features-In-MIUI 9: Credits MIUI Forum
Calendar app on the MIUI 9 has got some special attention with new cards similar to Google app, that gives you at a glance view of upcoming festivals and yeah, MIUI 9 goes full Indian with ‘Panchang’ built right in. You can also subscribe to sports and news updates.
MIUI 9 Tricks: The Tricks It has got Up Its Sleeves
MIUI has been inherently complex and simple at the same time for years, this makes the experience beautiful and exciting. There’s always something new hidden, left to explore and MIUI 9 is no different, It also brings its own couple of tricks hidden which you may not find, don’t worry we’ve got you covered with some productive tricks mentioned in this section. You’re welcome. (Some of these were available in older MIUI versions too)
1. Shake To Arrange Icons
Yeah, let’s accept we’ve all faced it, when a clutter of apps forms on home screen and it becomes quite a mess, well instead of dragging your apps here and there, now you can just shake your phone to arrange those messy icons in order. Tap & hold in the empty field of your home screen or tap menu key. shake your phone & see the magic.
2. Flip to Silence Ringer
Got to silence your ringing phone while you are in a meeting or class, well don’t reach out for the red decline button, you can just flip your phone on the screen to silence it. Here’s how to activate this feature:
To enable this go to dialer >menu >incoming call settings >enable 'Flip to silence ringer’
3. Hide Notifications on Lock Screen
MIUI 9 gives the power to control and manage notifications to a greater extent, with the ability to hide the notification details on the lock screen. When turned on, this feature only shows notifications on the lock screen and hides the details which can only be seen when the phone is unlocked.
To enable this go to settings >lock screen >advanced settings>On lock screen> Hide notifications on lock screen
4. Inbuilt Screen Recorder
MIUI 9 gives the ability to record screen which was previously done using 3rd party apps. To record your screen, just go to the ‘Tools’ folder and tap the screen recording icon. Handy!
5. Double Tap to wake
Tired of pressing that sleep/wake button a thousand times in a day when you unlock your smartphone or just glare at the lock screen? Enable double tap to wake feature which allows you to wake phone just by double tapping on the screen.
For enabling this feature go to your device Settings>tap on Display>Turn on Double tap screen to wake.
6. Double Tap Recent Button to Switch Between Recent Apps
Well, this is one of our favourite features of MIUI 9, where you can switch between running apps with a double tap on the recent button. It works sort of like the app switching ‘curve-up’ on the iPhone X. It is really cool and makes app switching really fast.
7. QR Code Identification within Camera app
With MIUI 9, QR code scanner is baked right in the camera app and should be. To activate this feature go to camera app>settings>Toggle Identify QR codes to ON and that’s it, now whenever a QR code comes across your camera, you’ll have an indication to get details of that QR code.
8. DND and Ringing Modes
MIUI 9 allows you to manage your phone ringing profiles with the option for setting schedules for any of the following modes - Normal, Silent and DND. You can now set the timings and schedule activation of these modes, to get to these settings go to settings app> sounds and vibration > smart DND.
9. Lock Screen toggles
Remember the times when you have to immediately turn on the flash or maybe use the Mi-Remote app, for that you need to unlock your phone then find the app in tools and then go on with it, right? Not anymore as lock screen can now be swiped to get these facilities without unlocking the device.
10. Group App Moving Made Easy
We often need to move our apps from one screen to another for the sake of convenience and neatness. Moving one app at a time is pretty slow and primitive, with MIUI 9 you can group apps to move at once. Just do the zoom in double finger gesture on the screen where you want your apps to be moved from. select all the apps you want to move by tapping their icons. You’ll see a blue checkmark on the icons of apps selected for moving. Just swipe to the screen where you want to put those selected apps and drag the collection with that, voila!
MIUI 9 Availability: Eligible devices
MIUI 9 was unveiled earlier this year in China, and now the global version of the ROM is starting to roll out to Xiaomi's entire portfolio of devices. Globally, MIUI is available in 56 languages and has 280 million active users in 220 countries. Here’s a graphic with the list of eligible devices for MIUI 9:
MIUI 9-List of Eligible Devices : Credits : FoneArena
These are the devices that will receive the new MIUI 9:
Mi Mix. Mi Note 2, Mi 5, Mi 5s, MI 5s Plus, Mi Max, Mi Max Prime, Redmi Note 3, Redmi 3, Redmi 3s, Redmi 4, Redmi 4A
Mi Note, Mi 4i, Redmi 2, Redmi 2 Prime, Redmi Note 4G, Redmi Note 2
Mi 4, Redmi Note 4G
Xiaomi had announced the global ROM roll out for MIUI 9 in India and shared this list of devices that would be getting the update, including some devices which were launched back in 2012. However, In a recent turn of events, Xiaomi has now changed its plans and is suspending the rollout of MIUI 9 beta version to six of its smartphones on the list and will effectively make this the last update for these phones.
Xiaomi has put out a blog post confirming the suspension of MIUI 9 beta (public and closed beta) to Mi 2/2S, Mi 4i, Redmi Note 4G, Redmi 2, Redmi 2 Prime, and Mi Note. While these phones will be getting MIUI 9 global stable build, they can no longer be part of the beta testing based on the blog post.
SuggestPhone’s Take on MIUI 9: Best New Features and Changes
So, these were some top of the line features of MIUI 9, Its been rolling out beginning November 2, so if you haven’t got it yet, you’ve got no reason to be any more late. MIUI 9 brings out the best features of MIUI and adequately building new ones for the future. It certainly brings a lot of changes in experience and we at SuggestPhone feel that MIUI 9 is the most polished, refined version of MIUI to date and lives no short of its expectations powering the bestseller Xiaomi phones in the subcontinent.
What features on the brand new MIUI 9 do you love the most? How good in your opinion does MIUI 9 fair with stock Android? Do tell us on Facebook and make sure to follow us on Twitter for quality technical articles. Also, we are all ears to answer your questions regarding smartphones and technology.
Until then, May the force be with you!
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