Well if you have an MIUI 7 you may be wondering whether it’s going to be worth upgrading to the new MIUI 8 once it has been released next year. The key question will be what does the MIUI 8 do better, and what features does it have which are missing from the 7 system?
Well we have been very lucky as we had access in advance, to the MIUI 8 package, thanks to the IT 168 Mobile Channel. However, if you took part in the Close Beta, you are able to use the 5.16 forum to gain access, while the Open Beta is to be available in 6.1 – which will be released middle of next year.
So, crucially, which models will actually support the open version once it is available? Well it’s good news if you are the owners of any of the following handsets: Mi Note, HongMi Note, the Redmi series, Hongmi, Max, M2, 3, 2S, 4C, 5, 4 or the 4S.
So why did we like MIUI 7?
Before we examine the new features of MIUI 8, I thought it would be worth reviewing our favorite 7 features as a quick reminder:
One of the key features of MIUI 7 was the option to personalize your own user interface with some beautiful new designs which hadn’t been seen before, as well as the thousands of themes which we were already familiar with.
The MIUI 7 really proved that one size doesn’t fit all, allowing you to customize everything, from animated lock styles through to minimalist icons and much more.
We also love Muse with the MIUI 7 which provided designers with a new tool to create new themes. Muse enabled us to create far more interesting ways to unlock your phone. There were several favorite themes created for this, including:
- Instruments – using a pattern of piano, drum or guitar beats to unlock
- Bejeweled – a game where you matched three to unlock
- Cricket – playing a game to unlock
- Football – shows live scores on your lock screen as they happen.
- Stocks – see the latest stock results live on your lock screen
- Daily lock screen – automatically changes to a new hi res images every day
We loved that MIUI 7 was able to deliver not only a 30% faster response time, meaning you can do things much more quickly, but it also had a 10% longer battery life than the previous version, meaning you get longer with your handset.
So how was Xiaomi able to achieve this impressive increase in performance? Well, the company managed to improve how quickly all the stock apps loaded into MIUI 7 by combining the time it takes to load the data, and all of the animations, into one stage. It does this by clocking the CPU upwards during the load stage and this creates the result of a 30 per cent increase in response times when loading the apps that come as standard.
The MIUI 7 also included much finer tuned control options which enabled the restriction of apps from using background data, which also helped to save on battery life – around 10 per cent more than the previous MIUI 6.
Other nice features..
We particularly liked the Auto DND feature, which you could pair up with the Mi Band to enable your handset to be automatically muted when it detected you had fallen asleep.
There was also the feature called Showtime which allowed you to record a five-second film which you could then set as a profile. This video would then play whenever you call a contact from within your phone.
Or if videos were not your thing as much as selfies, then you could just take a quick selfie and save it to your contacts as My Card, which then enabled it to appear as your caller ID. That meant that all contacts you shared the image with, could see your photo whenever you call them up.
Extra-large text options
For those of us who are more visual, one of the great elements of MIUI7 was the option to increase the text size from S to XXL. They also took into account that you wouldn’t be overly pleased if the larger font meant your text was getting cut off at the edges of the screen as that really wouldn’t help! So it was also set up to adjust, depending on which size text you opted for, ensuring that all the text fitted within the screen.
Babies and children
For the parents among you, MIUI7 had some really nice additional features. Firstly, it was able to use facial recognition on all of the photos in your camera roll, to actually detect pictures of your baby from within it. The system could then automatically select them all for you and put them together in their own special album, allowing you to view them all much more easily.
For those parents with older children who might want to use your device, MIUi7 was cleverly designed to help keep the kids entertained but at the same time, preventing them from any access to contact details, emails, home screen layouts etc.. and it also allowed you to set up a list of apps so they could only access what you want them to see by putting the device into child mode.
So, having galloped through MIUI7, let’s move on to look at what MIUI8 offers
When you first look at the MIU8, the most obvious thing is the lock screen images – this system uses the already popular screen wallpapers and updates them daily for you.
However, the overall look and feel of the MIUI 8 is a lot fresher and more streamlined. For example, if you compare the icons used for the weather by both systems, MIUI 7 uses the popular current style, which is on the chunky side, while the MIUI 8 weather icon is far more comprehensible and visual, and also features the day’s weather situation within it.
Impressive computing system
From our perspective, the best feature of MIUI 8 is the much improved and versatile MIUI computer, which allows you to review counting processes which means errors are not an issue.
If required, you can switch the computer counting into a Chinese option using a single stroke. This can help when completing bills. It is also great for mathematical computing and other calculations including currency translation or unit conversion. It’s also a great program to help with planning finances from loans to your personal tax and savings.
Art and images
A new feature added to the MIUI8 is the option of arty text templates. These can be used to take words, and create designs which reflect the emotional context and make the words magical. It might even be able to be used to create cards moving forward.
The brand new photo album in this system has a lot of additional useful functions and details. For example, it has a new option to search for photos by year. There is the opportunity to view panorama shots and screenshots in their original size, and also options for selecting multiple photos and searching quickly through photos.
For those of you who are more into video images, and want to share your life with your friends through the power of film, the MIUI 8 has a handy video editing system, which allows you to clip your short videos and gives the chance to edit, filter them and even add in text or music.
The double function ability
One of the best features of MIUI8 has to be its unique double function ability. Basically nearly all of the applications within the MIUI8 system, have a double-function option. This means it allows most mobile phone handsets to run two accounts at once, on regular apps including maps, chat and QQ. This can be really useful to help protect us and manage our accounts.
More and more users will be experiencing MIUI8 on the larger sized devices such as MI and the MI Max, which has resulted in greater expectation and importance placed on being able to operate smoothly. With this in mind, the suspended ball was included in MIUI8. It’s ability for the user to work with the design, means that frequently carried out operations can be made more convenient than ever.
Recording of quality audio
One of the perks of the new mobile phones coming out, is that they can be used instead of traditional digital recording devices for recording good quality audio files. MIUI 8 features very clear audio recording, and also has some extra abilities, such as deducing the text out of an audio file, and turning text into notes. This option could replace the traditional function used to explain that you are unavailable.
Added safety features
So this system is full of additional features to protect your privacy and security which mean that one phone handset can be used safely with split spaces to use for different accounts, so you can keep your private information separate from work information, for example.
While many handsets now rely on fingerprints, this system has a unique multi-account option. It enables the user to set up not only fingerprints but also separate passwords, effectively creating different levels on the phone where all the different data, accounts and information are kept separately and securely.
The MIUI 8 system also considered safety with the addition of a system to detect fake base stations, alongside its specialist payment detection function. These both work together alongside the former system which was self-testing to help secure the user safety.
MIUI 8 gives extra protection to customers as well by giving SMS recognition for any fake base stations, as well as supplying risk tips against potential text message phishing sites. It also offers protection for web browsing, so providing triple security for customers.
Help away from home
One of the nice features offered by the new MIUI8 system is that of remote assistance. It is perfect for people who have relatives at home that might need help using their mobile phones. This function helps people to set their relative’s phones more quickly and directly and the simple buttons within this, make it easier for the relatives to use phones more quickly as well.
The system comes with its very own newly designed font – Lanting Pavilion. It has been designed using the Siyuan boldface as a basis and provides a very stable visual experience throughout the use of the system. It is believed to be the first newly designed fonts outside of those from Google and Apple.
As you can see, while the MIUI 7 had some amazing features which we all loved, including the personalized themes, the improved performance and battery life-saving, the extra-large font sizes and the features for parents.
But we can’t help but think that the MIUI8 provides a clearly enhanced option for all current customers. Its advanced safety features, particularly the double application feature, must provide users with added confidence and enable much more flexible uses of phones themselves allowing the same handset to be used securely for both work and personal life.
Meanwhile, for visual pleasure and usability improvements, its art template options, video clip and selfie options, along with the newly designed exclusive font, will all appeal greatly to users already familiar with the benefits of MIUI systems but wanting a cleaner, crisper appearance.
All in all, the new features and the smoother operation of the system, will provide an enhanced experience for all mobile users and we would highly recommend that all MIUI 7 users who can, should upgrade to the new system as soon as its launched next year.
We just hope that in the meantime, you can cope with the limitations you are now aware of while using your current MIUI 7 system, without getting too frustrated, and that you can be patient enough to wait for all of the new and exciting features that are due from the upgrade to MIUI8.