Most popular smartphone brands of Chinese origin have successfully developed their own user interfaces (UIs), built on the basic Android OS. As Google keeps upgrading its versions, these companies also make the necessary changes in their UI.
The major objective behind developing their proprietary UI skins is to ensure a seamless integration of their hardware and the naked or out-of –the-box Android OS and provide better user experience to their customers.
Chinese major Xiaomi has a huge range of mobile phones in the market, in the Xiaomi brand as well as the Redmi brand. Almost all these phones run on the respective MIUI. The latest version is MIUI 9, which is built on the latest Android version Nougat or Android 7.
Xiaomi claims that the changes which have been incorporated in the MIUI 9 can be highlighted through three distinct features: Smart App Launcher, Image Search and Smart Assistant.
Smart App Launcher
Designed on the lines of Google Now, this feature facilitates the opening of a particular app from within the phone which is contextually relevant to what you are doing on the screen.
For example, if you have typed in some address and trying to locate it, the MIUI 9 will quickly get active and suggest you open Maps to find the location. The same way, it can instantly show you the details of an author or a writer if you happen to be reading about the person.
Again, taking on from Google Assistant, Xiaomi has tried to build an AI-based digital assistant that can do virtually anything you want it to do. Fetching your schedules or some text buried in somewhere on the device can all be recalled in a flash and used.
This is the third highlighted feature included in the latest MIUI 9 released by Xiaomi. This feature also has precedents like the Google Photos app and the Apple Photos app one can find in the respective play stores.
Using keywords, you can make the phone bring up practically any image from anywhere on the web; these include those embedded within some of the conversations on your device.
There are the other usual features the UI comes with, to help the users of the phones navigate through the different apps and capabilities in the devices.
The statistics revealed by Xiaomi on its market presence, on the occasion, also makes for interesting reading. According to the company, there are 2.9 billion users of MIUI spread across 142 countries and these users speak and write in 55 different languages.
The first smartphones from the Xiaomi stable to be sporting this improved version MIUI 9 will be the Xiaomi Mi 5X, besides Mi 6 and Redmi Note 4. In due course, it is expected that the OS will be made available in the form of updates to 19 different models with the Mi brand and another 17 that have been launched in the Redmi brand. If you own any of these models you can hope to receive the update sooner than later.
There is no definite rollout schedule announced for the various models; however, it is understood that one batch of phones will start receiving the updates from August 25 and then another batch in September.
Image: Maurizio Pesce via Flickr