So, The Rumors Have Started….
It has been widely reported that Chinese company Xiaomi, has started development of MIUI 9 – and that it will be largely based on the new Android 7.0 Nougat program.
While keeping the news half under wraps, the company gave it away somewhat by placing a post on its forum announcing that it has managed to obtain the Android N source code officially from Google.
And a forum member has been polling people asking what features they’d like to see on MIUI 9, adding fuel to the fire.
MIUI is the company’s own operating system and has always been based on Android. It is fast performing, with good stability and is known for the flat icon style.
The user-friendly nature of MIUI has made the Xiaomi smartphones very popular so fans will be eager to learn more about this latest news.
The company has already started a roll-out of MIUI 8 so this teaser announcement for the next update has everyone clamoring for more details.
But Why Are Xiaomi Fans So Interested?
Xiaomi – one of the most recognized smartphone companies in China – features MIUI on all of its own devices and the latest version of the OS – MIUI 8 – was only launched earlier this year, with global updates still in the planning phase.
The latest OS included some exciting new elements, including: scrollable screen shots, a calculator app, Second Space, MIUI Caller ID, integrated payment options and a gallery update including video editing.
But with MIUI 9 already being discussed, fans will be wondering what else to expect next.
So What Is All the Fuss About?
Well, as the company is being coy and not releasing many details, let’s look at what we do know. It is to be based on Android Nougat 7.0 which has many exciting features so hopefully the majority of these will be interpreted and included in some way within MIUI 9.
Android 7.0 was officially launched in August and some phones are already being sold with Android 7.1 included. Android Nougat certainly has less performance problems than its predecessor and appears more polished all round.
Here is a quick summary of some of the key new features in Android Nougat:
Android Nougat is a much more polished version of the Operating System from Google and provides new and improved features, while not looking majorly different.
MIUI 9 Update Faster, Easier Updates
When your device needs updating, you don’t need to do anything. With Android Nougat updates will take place in the background while you use your phone as normal. It will just have to be restarted afterwards.
Have you ever wanted to see two things at once on your phone screen? That is the joy of the new Multi-window feature – it will allow you to view more than one screen on your phone at a time.
The way it has been built means that you can split the screen in half and have different apps on each half – across the top and bottom of the screen on a phone and side by side on a tablet.
Improved Notifications You Can Reply To
You will now be able to reply to a notification, through Android Nougat directly. You don’t have to open the app the notification is from and you won’t need to install extra elements to make the apps you already have, work with this feature. You can just hit quick reply and respond directly to the notification.
However, if you need to send a lengthy reply you can still open the notification and go through to the original app in the same way as before.
The Phone Battery Will Last Longer
Under Marshmallow, the Doze feature was introduced which provided an innovative solution to reducing phone battery use when it was not being held but still had the screen on. However, this feature has had an impressive improvement now under Nougat.
Before, it worked brilliantly but only if the handset was not plugged in at the socket, and was being still.
Now the feature has been improved so that it can also work if your phone is not being used but is being carried around in your bag or in your coat pocket. It picks up that your phone screen has been switched off for some time and automatically kicks in.
The way it saves battery is by stopping running all the normal programs in the background. It also includes improved methods of memory management, including which apps are allowed to run in the background and how they run. This all means that your phone won’t be busy running programs and other things that you weren’t expecting, while it’s in your bag. It only lets your phone run essential elements, which saves the battery.
One of the most annoying features of phones is mobile date usage so a really excellent tool included in Android Nougat is Data Saver which can help stop this happening and reduce those ridiculous charges.
If you are using a metered Wi-Fi or cellular connection (as opposed to unlimited) — the new Data Saver feature can be used to stop background random data usage, for example, it can cut back on your phone checking for Twitter updates or new emails, which means your phone will use far less data.
If you do want to do certain things you can just inform the Data Saver program that it needs to ignore certain apps. You will always have a notification icon available while it’s running so that you know.
Brand New Emoji Designs
72 new emoji designs have been added, bringing the total up to over 1,500 available on Android. The designs have also been updated to look more human rather than cartoon figure-like.
There are new and improved features and options which can help to keep all of your personal data private and secure.
When you first open up the phone, some apps like the phone app, or text messages, are able to work before you sign in using your private password or PIN number. Your alarm will work too along with accessibility features. However, other apps and their data will remain unavailable until you actually sign in. This system aims to keep your personal data safe if your phone was lost or stolen.
Android Phones at Work
Are you using your personal Android handset for work? Are you doing this via a managed system? If so, then be prepared for big changes to arrive.
Largely, for the user, everything will generally look and behave in the same way on the phone. However, there will be, behind the scenes, much better tools and it will be a lot easier to set everything up, so the IT team at your office will be a lot happier and all the staff’s information will be safe and secure.
Some things will need to be checked with your IT team though – for example – if there is an app you love that you are unable to access on company time, or if you are still being made to use a particular network – check with your team on how this works.
Language and Location
Let’s say you need to have your phone settings on a specific regional area. If your phone cannot match it, it will try to find a similar setting. It will then display all the data and text in the nearest language to the region you selected, rather than just using default settings because it couldn’t find what you were looking for.
There is also now an option to choose several different languages, or regional versions of the same language, and to priorities them in order of importance. Then the apps you use will appear in your chosen language, or if that’s not available, the next most important one which is available will be used.
7.0 is bringing basic DVR functionality to Android TV. As well as the very basic controls like Play or Rewind, you will also now be able to save numerous sessions and you will also be able to schedule recordings. The ability to record as you watch will also be a great feature.
New Accessibility Options
There are now much improved accessibility options within Android Nougat which should make it much better for anyone to use their phone handset more easily.
There are different ways to zoom on the screen, options to change the size of text and these elements can make a big difference to people who struggle. There are also features including TalkBack and options to create your own custom display resolution as part of the initial setup process.
So, Bearing In Mind The Android Nougat Features, What Can We Expect From MIUI 9?
Well, looking across at what is being reported on key technology sites, it is widely believed that the R & D deployment planning has already begun by Xiaomi. The MIUI spokesman Hongfeng, has been quoted as saying that “the team is focusing and thinking more about creating a better user-friendly system.”
But no other information has been confirmed by the organization so far.
However, screenshots alleging to show the MIUI 9 update are already circulating across the Internet and if they are correct they do reveal a number of features about the new OS system.
It shows that version 9 is actually called MIUI 9.10.13, and is being developed for Android 7.1
It also revealed several new features including split-screen multi-tasking and gesture edge intelligent functions.
However, there is some doubt over the how genuine the screen shot might be as the main color has already been used in MIUI 8 and with development only just beginning, no beta version is yet available. But that doesn’t stop the speculation flying across the internet!
According to other sources, Xiaomi HQ has already held an MIUI event where the MIUI 9 was teaser launched, and the number 9 was displayed very prominently on a white board throughout the event.
So When Is All This Allegedly Going to Happen?
Despite the gossip and rumors, it is widely believed that MIUI 9 will not happen anytime in the near future.
This is largely because Xiaomi haven’t yet released their MIUI 8 update for a wide number of Mi & Redmi smartphones.
MIUI 8 Global Stable update was only started to be distributed towards the end of the summer this year, so the earliest we could expect realistically to see MIUI 9 is likely to be the second half of 2017.
What Do I Have to Do to Upgrade My Phone to MIUI 9?
Well, the most frequent question from excitable Xiaomi fans is always: “When do old smartphones and new smartphones get an Android update?”
Hopefully MIUI 9 will answer that question now but here is a speculative list of the names of the Xiaomi devices which will be the first to update to MIUI 9 – again, this has not been confirmed by the company so far.
Xiaomi Mi 5
Xiaomi Mi 5 is the first device which is expected to get MIUI 9. It is the most powerful phone from Xiaomi with the Snapdragon 820 processor.
Xiaomi Mi 4 / Xiaomi Mi4i
Xiaomi Mi 4 and Mi4i are also expected to get the upgrade. Xiaomi Mi 4 runs on the Snapdragon 801 Processor so has a strong hardware capability.
Xiaomi Mi Max
This is the latest Flagship device from Xiaomi and they have already sold more than 1.5 million with in the first two months.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3
This phone was launched in India over four months ago and is their most popular model.
So with the rumor mill running wild but no real confirmation or details from Xiaomi, all we can do is watch and wait.
The company did however, put up a post about MIUI 9 on their official Weibo page which does indeed suggest that the company is interested in gathering the opinions of its customers.
So, if you have ideas, or suggestions for new features, you are able to share them with the Xiaomi development team!