New Delhi: C-DOT, the department of telecommunications' R&D unit is set to launch four new…
Xiaomi held a press event in Mumbai today for the India launch of their flagship, Mi 4, and had a collection of announcements to make on the side. Of chief importance, was the announcement that MIUI 6, which ships with the phone, will also be rolling out to some of their older models in the market. The new UI will be available as an OTA (over-the-air) update for the Redmi 1S, Redmi Note 4 and Note 4G and the Mi 3. But, if your impatient to try it out, you can also manually download the UI from their official forum.
The new UI still prioritises Xiaomi’s focus on customisation and privacy, while also giving the system an in-depth aesthetic overhaul. More colour, animation and convenience is the name of the game. We’ll break some of those changes down for you right now:
The icons have been redesigned for a crisper look, with more colour popping in wherever possible. Most of this might be too subtle for untrained eyes to notice, but consistent MIUI users will definitely pick up on the difference. Not much here except for Xiaomi trying to make things “pop” a little more.
New animations all around, little shakes and nudges and swirls that just make this beauty look so much smoother and, in some cases, quirkier. Take the apps for instance. Now, every time you drag an app to the trash can to delete it, instead of just disappearing, it’ll instead explode into a cluster of coloured pixels. Uninstall Flipkart’s app and you’ll get a shower of blue and yellow pixels. Get rid of WhatsApp and enjoy your own little green and white explosion. The pixel cloud when deleting multiple apps at a time is reminiscent of the fireworks show every time you won a game of spider solitaire.
MIUI 6 has also overhauled a lot of the Android standards prevalent. For instance, they’re trying not to let the top of your screen be cluttered by notifications. Instead, you’ll get miniature icons when you get an important notification (like a WhatsApp, text, email or Facebook message), and a simple three-dot icon to let you know when one of your games or other apps is trying to talk to you. And this is fully customisable. For the somewhat OCD out there, who just can’t handle a messy status bar (join the club guys) this could be a life saver.
The built-in mail client also behaves differently, with a separate screen to list all the attachments you’ve received, sorted by date. Mail threads will now show up in a chat-like bubble view, instead of Gmail’s trademark chain posts. We’re not sure yet if this is a blessing or a curse, but it’s proof that Xiaomi is at least not content to rest on their laurels.
Plenty more little changes were announced, but we don’t want to spoil the entire surprise now do we? You can experience that for yourself. But on to Xiaomi’s other announcements:
The Mi 4 is open for registration, and will go on sale on February 10, exclusively on Flipkart. You can read more about the Mi 4 specifications here.
A 64GB version of the Mi 4 will also make its way to India soon, but Xiaomi head Hugo Barra says the number of pieces shipped will be much less than the 16GB version.
Xiaomi’s “home ecosystem” smart gadgets will also be making their way to India soon ( no definite date on that).