Nine New Features of MIUI 9

In early November, we announced MIUI 9 Global ROM. As has been the case with every iteration of MIUI, MIUI 9 brings add-ons and features that strive to make the experience of using a smartphone even better.

There’s a long list of changes that we’ve made and features that we’ve added to make MIUI 9 an even better experience.  Let’s talk about the top nine features of MIUI 9 that make it stand out among the rest.

1. Lightning fast system 

Our main focus while designing MIUI 9 was to make it fast and minimize the number of unnecessary steps users have to take. A lot of effort went into optimizing the system so the UI is responsive, apps load quickly and these apps are easy to switch between. Additionally, we ensured that the system remains stable and is power efficient.

2. Changes in notification shade

When speaking of smartphone usage experience, notifications are one of the most important aspects. Addressing key learnings from our previous MIUI systems, we made notifications easier to deal with in MIUI 9’s notification shade. Information is now presented in a more concise manner with all notifications grouped on a by-app basis to reduce clutter.

3. Animated icons, UI changes and a fresh look

We think MIUI is probably the most easy-on-the-eye operating system. To make it even better, we’ve made changes to the user interface by adding fresh colors, smoother animations, and multiple animated icons to ensure that phone use is a streamlined and enjoyable experience.

4. App vault

App vault is another feature we’ve designed to improve the user experience after studying the way people interact with their smartphones. App vault allows users to add cards, such as Google Now, Notes, popular app shortcuts and more, on a screen that will stay just one swipe away from one’s home screen for easy accessibility.

5. Revamped Gallery app

MIUI Gallery is already a much-loved app, but we’ve revamped it to make it more powerful and easier to use through sorting and back-up photo features. However, the focus of the MIUI Gallery on MIUI 9 is its powerful editing options that allow you to tweak images on a professional scale.

6. Notification filter

With MIUI 7, we announced the Smart SMS Filter, which received accolades from users across the world. With MIUI 9, we thought of taking this one step further by integrating our smart filtering mechanisms to the notification panel, allowing important notifications to stay at the top of the notification panel and not get lost in the clutter.

7. Mi Drop app

User feedback helped us determine that the Mi Drop app would be useful to those outside of the MIUI system, so anyone using an Android smartphone can exchange large files quickly and conveniently. So, we revamped Mi Drop and packaged it into a separate app that anyone can download from the Play Store.

8. Split screen

With the number of apps escalating, we realized it makes sense to offer users the ability to have app windows from two different programs on the same screen. Thus, we announced Split screen, allowing users to deal with two apps at once. The size of each window can also be customized according to preference.

9. Quick silent switch

As mentioned before, one aspect of a good user experience is how quickly (and in how many steps) a desired action can be performed. Quick silent switch on MIUI 9 will allow users to switch to a silent profile in just two steps — press volume down and then tap on the Quick Silent Switch. Users can also choose to set a timeframe for the mode if desired.

Dual Cameras Come of Age

Smartphone devices with a dual-camera feature aren’t new by any stretch of imagination. However, only recently have dual cameras started to grab consumers’ attention.

Dual-camera phones have become much more powerful and affordable in the past few years. That said, it’s important to note that there are variations in the kind of implementations on the market. With an array of options at camera makers’ disposal, we have spotlighted the different dual-camera features available.

1. Color + Color

The advantage of the color + color camera setup is that it allows the smartphone to capture more light data than a single camera would; it’s basically built on the idea that “two is better than one.” Our first dual-camera smartphone, the Redmi Pro utilized this arrangement.

Another popular case for this arrangement was 3D pictures and video, which again didn’t happen to be a favorite with consumers.

Other smartphones offer a color + color sensor arrangement which leverages narrow- and wide-angle lenses to offer some flexibility to consumers.

2. Color + monochrome

Another popular dual-camera design is a color + monochrome lens. The main advantage of this arrangement is the level of detail captured in every picture; data from both sensors is combined, resulting in pictures with a higher level of detail than standard single camera phones. Most phones with this set-up also allow the user to use the monochrome sensor as a standalone feature.

Until about a year ago, the color + monochrome feature was only found on high-end phones, but is now becoming increasingly popular on phones that are affordable to a greater number of people, for example, Mi 5S Plus.

3.Wide angle + telephoto

While other arrangements couldn’t quite satisfy consumers in producing good enough photos, this wide angle + telephoto implementation helped deliver what consumers really want—pictures that can get thousands of likes on social media.

This arrangement allows smartphones to focus on subjects in the foreground while blurring the background, giving pictures an effect that was previously only possible on a DSLR. The result is achieved by the combination of a wide-angle lens along with a telephoto, which work in conjunction to bring out pictures with a blurred background. Other implementations do achieve this effect mainly through software, but the wide angle + telephoto setup will produce a more natural look.

Because of the hardware involved, this implementation is also the most expensive between the three, and generally produces images that are most pleasing (out of the arrangements mentioned here) to consumers’ eyes. Mi 6 and Mi A1  as well as iPhone 8 Plus are some examples of phones that use the aforesaid arrangement.

Without a doubt, advancements in mobile photography technology will result in even better dual camera solutions in smartphones. The possibilities are endless, and we will continue pushing boundaries in this area.