The rumor mill across the internet is running at full tilt since an invitation to a closed beta was sent out regarding Android Nougat for users of the Mi 5 handset from Chinese company Xiaomi, sparking speculation that this handset will be the first to get the new upgrade once released.
So What Rumors Are Out There Exactly?
The Huawei Mate 9 has recently become the very first smartphone from China, to be given Android 7.0 through EMUI 5.0. Although Xiaomi has not been the quickest at delivering software updates, it has already begun to work on the Android OS latest system by launching its Android 7.0 Beta Version.
This rumor was confirmed after the MIUI Forum released a post regarding the Android 7.0 N beta test. Unfortunately for all of us, this is only accessible by VIPs meaning us ordinary customers can’t see it at all. No wonder the rumors are flying as they have effectively created a closed beta and have completely unknown users taking part in the trial.
So one thing is for sure, even though we know very little about it, work on Android 7.0 for Xiaomi smartphones has certainly begun. We also know for definite that the much anticipated MIUI 9 has been based on Android 7.1 and is currently under development.
According to one of the representatives of MIUI, the team has been thinking about creating a better OS experience for all their users, so the prediction is that MIUI9 will be far more convenient in its design, as well as far more powerful.
It is thought then, that the Android 7.0 beta version on Xiaomi MI5 will actually become the inner version for the MIUI 9 first edition. It is also understood that the Xiaomi MI5C will be the first model set up to run with MIUI 9. We are all hoping that Android 7.0 will also be available soon for our other Xiaomi smartphone models and handsets too.
So When Will Android Nougat Be Available to Xiaomi Customers?
Well, so far, we know that the Android 7.0 Nougat Beta 3 program has been confirmed as released for the registered Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Beta program users in various tech markets.
Now we believe work has begun on Xiaomi handsets as well and we know that Android 7.0 Nougat is one of the most anticipated updates for smartphone enthusiasts. Although it’s still largely the rumour mill, and Xiaomi customers are still waiting for an official announcement (unless they are within the unknown Beta group), we think Xiaomi will be releasing the updated on its flagship Mi 5, Redmi Prime 4 and Redmi Note 3 models first.
In terms of timescales, and going by what’s happened with previous Android update roll-outs into the market place, we are anticipating that Android 7.0 Nougat will actually make an appearance on our phones in early 2017 and in the meantime, we will have to rely on any of the Beta participants leaking out screen shots.
What Has Xiaomi Learnt from the Marshmallow Issues?
When the Android Marshmallow update was launched by Google there were a few issues with rolling out the update across the Xiaomi models, with the update not appearing until around six months later.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow was released in the September, with Xiaomi making its announcement of final stage testing in the December. But despite this, Mi4, Mi3, and Mi smartphone users could not get the update until April.
Google first announced the release of its new update – Android 7.0 Nougat – back in August, with the hope that Xiaomi smartphone users will have access to it early in the New Year at the latest, if all goes to plan.
But Will the Mi 5 Be The First Handset to Get Nougat?
According to the rumour mill, it is strongly believed that Xiaomi Mi 5 smartphone users, will be receiving the Android 7.0 Nougat update as soon as it is released. This has been backed up by the announcement of the search for Beta testers of Android 7.0 Nougat on its Mi 5 smartphones. This was made very recently and is still a closed Beta so we are not much the wiser so far.
But what is confirmed is that Xiaomi has made no announcements at all, not even around beta tests, concerning the release of Android 7.0 Nougat on its other flagship handset – the Redmi Note 3 and Redmi Prime 4 smartphones. Customers of these handsets will no doubt have to wait a little longer to hear when they can expect at least a beta release, if not the full public update release.
Screenshot Leaks and Unofficial Lists
However, current customers can satiate their curiosity by some of the alleged screenshot leaks which are out there on the internet already. One screenshot of MIUI 9 has been circulating, which is thought to be based on Android 7.0 Nougat.
The screenshot, along with a number of discussion posts on MIUI forums, also comes with a list of the devices thought to be in line for the MIUI 9 update. This list includes the new Mi 5 flagship handset, along with the Redmi 2 Prime, Redmi 3S, Redmi Note 3, Redmi 3, Mi 4s, Mi 4c, Redmi 3A, and Mi 4i.
It is all a completely unofficial list and doesn’t even include the newest Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus models, and it is firmly believed that more handsets and devices will be added swiftly as soon as Xiaomi actually launches its MIUI 9 update officially. It is expected that the beta version might even be available shortly, by January.
It was very quickly after Google started to deliver Android 7.0 Nougat across its own Nexus smartphones, that the manufacturers began to announce software roadmaps to help with the updates. From the rumours floating around and the beta call it certainly looks as though Xiaomi doesn’t want to be left behind.
So What’s All the Fuss About with Nougat Anyway?
Well, firstly Android 7.0 Nougat has a huge amount of performance improvements and extra features which give it the edge over the previous Android Marshmallow. It includes a multi-window feature which lets you run two apps next to each other.
While you have two apps running simultaneously it makes it far easier to multi-task, for example you can run a text app with a web browser, enabling you to make notes as you search.
It will work on any handset but it’s easier to view with a larger screen and you need a powerful handset to cope with running two live apps at once.
Nougat also has a notification option which lets you respond to texts and instant messages straight away, from the notification panel. It works with other messaging apps as well, such as WhatsApp, Telegram messenger and Hike Messenger.
Our phone batteries take a battering thanks to all of the apps we like which run in the background taking up processing time and power. Google tackled this initially with the Doze feature within Marshmallow. However, Google has advanced this feature even more with the new Android 7.0 Nougat. It puts background apps into a kind of hibernation whenever your phone is left for a long time.
This improved feature starts as soon as the screen goes off. It also includes the feature called ‘project svelte’ which has been designed to minimise the amount of memory used by apps and systems, while optimising RAM.
Nougat also features an small but useful feature which enables you to change your quick settings so that you can put your most used ones in order to make them easier to use.
It enables you to make the first menu option the flashlight, or Bluetooth or whatever you use the most which personalizes your handset and saves you a few seconds of user time – it all helps improve the user experience.
Android 7.0 Nougat has an even better data saver feature, which allows the user to prevent background data access from apps, helping to reduce data consumption even further. There is also an option for customers to be able to whitelist favoured apps to allow them access to the internet, and for connections with meters.
It also includes features like call screening and the option for rejected calls not to show up in notification lists. There is a new number block feature to prevent unwanted calls, not to mention the always on VPN option.
So, If I Have an Mi 3 Handset, Can I Upgrade It to Android 7.0 Nougat?
Yes, you can update your Xiaomi Mi 3 by using the CM14 download. For background, the Xiaomi mi 3 came with Android 4.2 Kitkat initially and then was upgraded to Kitkat 4.4. Now, although Miui 8, which is based on Marshmallow for the Mi 3 is available in the beta phase, we can look at this update.
The Nougat 7.0 update is the very latest version of Android and it comes with new design and safety features, so here is a guide to update your Mi 3 handset. Firstly, you will need to use a custom rom and we recommend using CM14 for Mi 3. It is called Cyanogenmod 14 and comes with features including: –
- Support for themes
- Android wallpaper
- Android ringtones
- Battery manager
- Ram manager
Before you flash the rom onto your handset, follow the below guidelines:
- Make sure your battery is 70% charged
- Only use the rom for Xiaomi mi 3 – do not use it on a different handset
- Make sure you have TWRP or CWM recovery installed
- Create a back-up of all your important files
The next stages to follow are:
- Download the CM14 for Mi 3 from the internet
- Connect the smartphone to the computer
- Copy the CM14 rom, paste the rom into the SD card
- Turn off the phone
- Press the volume button and power button at the same time
- Wait until the phone boots up in recovery mode
A number of options will appear now and you need to:
- Press wipe
- Select wipe cache, then select wipe cache partition, then select wipe dalvik cache.
- Select factory reset
- Click on the main screen, click on install
- Click on the CM14 rom which was downloaded
- Select to confirm the installation
- Wait for the notification that says “CM14 installation successful”
While the rumours are running around the internet it is clear from the closed beta invitation that Xiaomi are developing Android 7 for their handsets currently even if no official announcement has been made.
With the beta invitation being specifically for users of the Mi3 handset, it also looks highly likely that this will be the first handset to receive the roll out of the android OS upgrade, closely followed by other leading models, we believe.
It would seem that customers won’t have long to wait with anticipated release of Nougat in early 2017, although the Marshmallow experience may have left some customers feeling less than convinced, it does appear that Xiaomi have learnt the right lessons from this negative experience.
It may be that you can bypass the official launch and download the rom to upgrade your handset using the above rooting details, but if you’d rather wait until the official launch, hopefully there won’t be long to wait.
With the new improved security features, and practical options like the dual screen and running two apps at the same time, we feel sure the upgrade will be a welcome addition for all android handset users, but particularly for those looking forward to the new MIU9 OS to accompany their phone.