Xiaomi has just lifted the veil on the update MIUI 12. This new version of the manufacturer’s Android overlay marks the arrival of a new dark mode, a revamped interface with fully reworked animations and new privacy settings. We take stock of all the new features.
As expected, Xiaomi first unveiled the changes and new features of MIUI 12 at a conference on Sina Weibo. As a result, the firm already opened the beta program update to Chinese users. Then, the brand formalized the launch of the international version through a message posted on social networks. The online conference took place on May 19, 2020. And we’ve presented the main changes, as well as the models involved.
The stable version of the overlay will be rolled out from the end of June around the world. Unsurprisingly, the rollout of the final version consists of three successive phases. In total, more than thirty phones will be able to install MIUI 12, not to mention the different regional variations of some models. The first to be affected are the Mi 9, Mi 9T and Mi 9T Pro (as well as their Chinese variants, Redmi K20 and Redmi K20 Pro).
A new dark mode
The update first signals the arrival of a Dark mode 2.0, which is compatible not only with the interface, but also with all applications, system or third parties. In practical terms, this mode adapts to the time of day, but also to the ambient light, by darkening or gradually brightening the wallpaper.
In addition, the interface will automatically adjust font contrast and grease to improve legibility based on the enabled mode. This option is designed to prevent an overly clear element from dazzling you and allow you to read content without straining your eyes. With models with an OLED or AMOLED display, the dark mode should increase Battery life reducing the energy consumption of the slab.
New wallpapers and animations
Xiaomi is accompanying the update new wallpapers and wallpapers always-on showing landscapes of the Earth, the Moon and Mars. All visuals used in MIUI 12’s proprietary wallpapers were provided by NASA. These images can be seen at the global interface, lock screen and “Always-On” screen.
Each wallpaper is enhanced by zoom effects when unlocking the smartphone or opening a folder. Xiaomi’s developers have also integrated animations based on current weather and new effects on icons. The video above, published by our colleagues at XDA Developpers, shows an overview of these new developments.
A more accurate sports tracker integrated with MIUI 12
The MIUI 12 update has an integrated activity tracker. Now your smartphone is no longer just able to calculate the number of steps you take each day. With MIUI 12, your phone can also measure your performance during a run, on a bike or while climbing stairs. More generally, the measurement tool is more accurate than that of MIUI 11. Beware, this feature is not capable of replacing the wearing of a connected bracelet. Finally, Xiaomi also incorporates better sleep monitoring.
New tools to protect personal data
Xiaomi has also added a number of features Protecting users’ privacy. The overlay will thus keep a complete history of all applications that have requested a sensitive authorization. Similarly, MIUI 12 will display color alerts when an app accesses the camera or microphone. A security system will prevent third-party applications from collecting certain data by setting up a virtual identity, made up of 100% fake information. In case of hacking, hackers recover false data.
MIUI 12 relies on Android 10, one of the main new developments is to give an application access to a resource for a limited time (when the application is active and in the foreground). This granularity of permissions is only available for location (but will be extended to other resources with Android 11). Xiaomi extends this setting to other system resources. These include the camera, selfie sensor, microphone, contact list, call history, calendar and storage.
Finally, MIUI 12 is incorporating new tools delete sensitive information from shared photos’ metadata (on networks or instant messaging). Before a snapshot is sent, MIUI 12 proposes to erase some metadata, including geographic location.
The manufacturer has also made numerous improvements to MIUI’s gestural navigation. This new version is a little further removed from the default navigation gestures in Android. More generally, the overlay benefits from a more streamlined interface, with more white and the intensive use of icons and graphs to replace textual elements. These changes are particularly visible in the settings section of smartphones, where the remaining storage space is displayed, for example. Xiaomi has also added a floating chat that appears when gaming apps are opened in full screen.
A new app drawer
Like other customIsed Chinese ROMs (ColorOS, RealmeUI, EMUI), MIUI acquires, with version 12,an app drawer similar to that of the stock version of Android. Users will now have the choice between a two-tiered storage (comprehensive drawer and optional shortcuts on home screens) or a single (app management on home screens only).
This application drawer is an adaptation of the customised ROM ” Poco Lancher you’ll find in Pocophone (an alternative brand owned by Xiaomi). This ROM has a similar drawer. Given its success, the manufacturer decided to integrate it with MIUI 12.
A new energy-saving mode
Xiaomi has integrated an additional energy consumption mode into MIUI 12. Called “Ultra Battery Saver” or “Ultra Battery Saver” in the French version, this mode aims to further limit energy consumption when your battery is almost short. When this mode is enabled, the most greedy services and applications (especially those that work in the background) are put to sleep. Calls, messaging and Internet access remain active and are not impacted.
The new picture in picture mode
On the multitasking side, Xiaomi also incorporates an improved picture in picture mode to take advantage of the beautiful screen surface offered by modern smartphones. This new option allows you toopen an app directly from a notification or multitasking menu. The app will then be visible in a mini window. You will then be able to view other content in parallel. And you can resize or move the window at will.
Simplified screen sharing and broadcasting
MIUI 12 improves considerably Tools to share and disseminate smartphone screen content. It is possible to broadcast all or part of the screen to an external view with a clever shortcut. You can choose to hide sensitive content, such as notifications, messages, and calls, so they don’t appear during a presentation.
The sharing and dissemination tool includes a mode to save battery for example, turning off the screen backlight. Note that this feature is also compatible with another novelty of MIUI 12, the multi-window mode, called Picture in Picture. You can open an app in a floating window and choose to view only its content (not all of the screen content).
What do you think of the new MIUI 12 update? What do you think of the improvementsdark mode or gestural navigation? We are waiting for your opinion in the comments below.