Xiaomi has just announced the next version of its Android skin – MIUI 12 – at the Mi 10 Youth Edition launch event in China. The overlay comes with a new interface, a host of animations, privacy, health features, and much more.
As with each incremental update, MIUI 12 also pays attention to improving the aesthetics of the interface and the new interface comes with a flurry of new animations and redesigned elements. MIUI 12 comes with new a flatter and more seamless UI without losing on the exuberance.
New animations in MIUI 12
Beginning with the new moving elements in MIUI 12, almost every system animation has been revamped. Xiaomi claims these animations are on par with the smooth transition in iOS. Everything from app launching and closing, screen rotation, and opening the Recents menu to a new charging animation, battery stats, new live wallpapers, checking tasks in Notes, or rearranging icons on the home screen, Xiaomi appears to have worked on everything afresh.
MIUI was among the first Android skins to adopt navigation gestures but these have differed from the iOS-like navigation gestures announced with Android 10. With MIUI 12, Xiaomi is also reworking the navigation gestures and these will now work exactly like the Android 10’s gestures.
Flatter, cleaner UI
The interface is visually more cleaner, with wider spaces between different texts or images and a brighter white background. MIUI 12 also gets a whole lot of new visual elements to complement the information it shows.
Live wallpapers and AOD
Xiaomi has also added a bunch of new live wallpapers and AOD screens inspired by the landscapes of the Earth, the Moon, and Mars. There’s an interesting spin on the live wallpaper and it zooms in from a space-level view to an aerial view just a few hundred meters above the surface of either of the planets when you unlock the phone. When you open a folder, the wallpaper zooms in closer to the surface and out when you exit the folder.
Next, MIUI 12 has new privacy features which are called Flare, Barbed Wire, and Mask System. MIUI 12’s privacy features have also cleared the “Android Enhanced Privacy Protection Test” conducted by TÜV Rheinland. Flare keeps a log of all the permissions and sensitive information accessed by any specific app and notifies you with attention-grabbing alerts in different colors whenever an app is using the cameras, microphone, or your GPS location.
Barbed Wire feature works like the location permission in Android, asking you to allow location, microphone, or camera access with the options to allow only once, allow every time, or reject the app’s request.
Lastly, Mask System prevents untrusted apps from accessing crucial information like contacts, calendar, call logs, IMEI, etc. The feature also allows you to have a virtual identity that can spoof any app that is trying to capture your information without proper permission.
Multi-window and Picture-in-picture
MIUI 12 also gets newer options for multi-windows for better multitasking. Like OnePlus’ OxygenOS, MIUI also gets floating chat windows for full-screen apps such as games or video players. Xiaomi has also added a variety of ways in which floating windows and notifications can be expanded to enhance productivity.
Similar to Google’s screen calling, Xiaomi is adding an AI Calling feature in MIUI 12, which is specially designed for users with hearing disabilities. The conversation is fully transcribed to assist users with auditory or vocal disabilities and they can choose from a set of AI-generated responses instead of speaking to keep the conversation going.
The inbuilt gyroscope in the Xiaomi and Redmi phones can be used to not only record footsteps but also exercises including running, walking, cycling, and stair-climbing throughout the day. Xiaomi claims this feature is ~96% as accurate as the Apple Watch.
Inbuilt sleep tracker
Xiaomi has also added a sleep tracker that will monitor your movements through the night to determine the quality of sleep. It will also record the duration of your REM sleep i.e. the time you were dreaming and record snoring to help you improve sleep hygiene.
MIUI 12 rollout schedule
MIUI 12 beta enrollments start today i.e April 27th at 6PM Beijing time. Besides this, Xiaomi has also announced the preliminary list of devices that will get the MIUI 12 update initially.
The first batch will receive the first stable update by the end of June. The timelines for the second and the third batches is yet to be announced. This, however, is the timeline for the MIUI roll-out in China only and the global release will be different and announced later.