Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi launched its 2014 flagship, the Mi 4, in India last week, and the device is set to go on sale on Tuesday in the country for about $325.What’s new about the phone is the fact that it comes with the latest version of MIUI, the company’s own flavor of Android. Let’s check out what’s new on the software front of MIUI 6.
Home screen, themes and more
- MIUI is different but yet feels familiar. You can tap and hold the menu hardware button on the home screen and shake the device to neatly arrange icons.
- You can move and delete multiple apps at once. This does away with the app drawer.
- More than 8,000 themes are available in the store, with over two billion downloads worldwide.
Shiny happy icons
- Colorful flat icons for default apps and a range of motion effects and animations.
- Delete an app, and you’ll see the icon burst into a cloud of dots, their colors drawn from the icon’s palette.
- The status bar is also slimmer and sleeker.
- Updated icons and tighter typography make the look modern and take up lesser room as well.
- In-built apps: Calculator, Calendar, Compass, Clock, Weather, Recorder and others have gotten pretty enough.
Better notification handling
- MIUI 6 accommodates power users’ demands while being easy to use. Essential apps that feature on a company-managed whitelist, such as messaging, email and calendar services, are allowed icon real estate on the status bar by default.
- Other apps, like games, music players and so on, are grouped automatically, so multiple notifications from them show as ellipses on the status bar.
- Users can also choose what notifications that they would like to see in the Locked Screen mode.
- Deny apps specific permissions by going into Permissions Manager.
- Now sign in to your IMAP inbox without worrying about remembering all the ports and settings for your domain. The email settings database now covers over 120,000 email domains.
- Emails are now displayed in a messaging app-style view.
- The Attachments screen lists all the files you’ve received in one place and now sort by sender, date, format and filename.
Useful tools and settings
- New Cleaner tool to swiftly empty your cache and clean out ads and other residual data.
- A Virus Scanner to weed out malicious files.
- A Data Usage tool to restrict apps from using mobile or Wi-Fi data.
Mi Cloud allows you 5GB of space to sync contacts, texts, photos, call logs, notes, and more to your account so they’re all available across your Mi devices.
- MIUI 6’s camera app makes selfies look less awkward with an on-screen countdown.
- It fixes blemishes with a face beautification function that’s turned on by default.
- The big target buttons replaced by clearer targets that float on the screen.
The Redmi 1S and Redmi Note 3G will get the update by March whereas the Redmi Note 4G will get the update by February. Xiomi Mi 3 is now receiving the MIUI 6 update in India. MI 3 users will receive an OTA (over-the-air) update for the new OS.
Xiaomi has said that it’s working hard to integrate MIUI 6 with Android Lollipop, and has promised it in Q2 2015, beginning with the Mi range and then the budget Redmi line of devices.