Xiaomi announced that they will unveil MIUI 6 today and that just happened. China-based giant says that this is a new chapter for MIUI and describes it as "Visually stunning, stunningly simple" and is definitely using less is more approach when it comes to design, as they also pointed out. Well, let's jump right in.
First thing you'll notice in MIUI 6 is the change in design, it definitely looks rather straightforward and simple. They went from colorful and cartoonish look to a flat and colorful look, which is a good thing considering both Android and iOS are going the same route. The emphasis is definitely on design, or as Xiaomi says: "We believe that it takes more than just good features to create a beautiful design. From orderly workflows, clear hierarchies and fluent responses, we believe that good design exists in every tap, drag and pinch you make. Natural and intuitive, just the way it should be.", which paints a rather clear picture what they wanted to achieve here. The have been completely revamped in order to look, well, more flat.
Other than the aforementioned icons, Xiaomi introduced Homescreen Gestures. You can now access notification panel from any screen if you swipe down and if you do the opposite and swipe up, a search panel will pop up. This is something you can already do in various launchers available on Google Play Store and even some Android official skins and ROMs, but it is nice Xiaomi thought of that because it can be a real pain to reach all the way to the top on bigger devices just to get the notification tray to show up.
Homescreen widgets and wallpapers
Here's a quick glance at how it looks like when you start editing your homescreen or widgets and start setting up / changing a wallpaper.
Syncing bookmarks is available via MiCloud (more on that later), this actually allows you to pick up a different MIUI device, fire up the browser and actually continue where you left off. I don't have to say how sweet it is to have a feature like that, just leave your phone on the table and pick up a tablet or something. It is not exactly ground breaking but it's always a nice feature to have I guess. The browser is also more flat now, this app received the same treatment like the rest of MIUI and it looks really good in my honest opinion.
You'll get a 10GB of free storage on MiCloud in MIUI 6. Access your call logs, contacts, messages and photos from which ever Mi Device you want, whether it's Mi Phone, Mi Pad or Mi TV. Other than backing up your photos MiCloud can create a stream of pictures from a certain even in order to share them with whoever you want. Xiaomi also put an emphasis on security and said that your data is encrypted prior to being stored and that there's a two-step sign verification present in order to offer you the best security possible.
Security and Data Usage
Speaking of security, Xiaomi made sure to include protection against malicious apps and other content, in order to keep viruses away from your personal information. Virus Scan option is present and this UI has a built in permission to prevent unauthorized application to access anything without you knowing it. An extremely popular Android app Clean Master is built-in here to take care of clearing cache, storage and will also perform aforementioned virus scans as well along with some other functions. Data usage features is also a part of the package.
Performance and Battery
Battery life is a huge problem these days, you can run out of battery in the middle of the day if you push your phone a bit harder than usual. Xiaomi tries to prolong your battery life in MIUI by including a power-saving feature. Other than that, they state that RAM has been optimized as well as Linux Kernel in order to allow smoother performance overall (Smart CGroup, Bitmap Cache, TrimHeaps and ZRAM optimizations).
Camera and Gallery
Camera and Gallery apps have also been re-designed in order to fit the rest of the UI. Xiaomi didn't share any additional info at this time, but we'll hear more soon, no doubt about it. Until then, check out the screenshots.
Dial Pad and Contacts
Dial pad and contacts also look great and they bring some new features along with the new looks. You get detailed options in order to identify, mark or block calls you don't want to receive. The design is extremely simple and clean here as well, black and white all around except for the answer / hang up icon.
E-mail app got some new features to go along with the design. It will put all your mails containing the same subject into a separate folder and the attachment list allows you to view and save attachments directly from there. MIUI's mail app supports basically every mail account type you can think of, so you shouldn't have a problem with that.
Other screenshots, images and an official promo video
The following menus have been redesigned as well and Xiaomi shared images for those as well, you can them check out down below: Settings, Display, Do Not Disturb, Notifications, Sound, Headphones, Location, System App and Developer Options. You can also check out some images of Xiaomi Mi4 with MIUI 6 present on its display as well as MIUI 6's official promo video down below.