The latest piece of info that surfaced in China reveals that MIUi 9 does not exactly look a whole lot different than MIUI 8. Xiaomi, reportedly, shown off MIUI 9 to a couple of people during a private meeting, and according to the info gathered by them, MIUI 9 is actually quite similar to its predecessor in terms of the design, it seems like Xiaomi opted to make small design tweaks, nothing major, though that was exactly what the company was expected to do, and what they usually do from one iteration to the other, even though MIUI 8 is considerably different than MIUI 7.
In addition to those small design changes, it seems like the MIUI icon will remain the same for the new version, at least according to the provided info. It seems like Xiaomi has opted to change quick launch shortcuts in MIUI 9, and this new version of the company's skin will be both lighter and simpler. MIUI 9 is expected to come with several new features, including the screen recorder option, Split Screen feature and Picture-in-Picture mode as well. Now, Quick Reply is not yet a part of MIUI either, but it could be included in MIUI 9, even though only one rumor suggested it might happen. MIUI 9 will be based on Android Nougat, and it seems like Xiaomi already started beta testing it. According to a rumor that popped up yesterday, the Xiaomi Mi 6 might actually receive an update to MIUi 9 before any other Xiaomi-branded smartphone, which actually makes sense considering that is the company's current flagship, and quite probably its most popular phone at the moment. MIUI 9 will arrive before any other major Xiaomi-branded smartphone gets announced, like the Mi Note 3, for example, so it makes sense for the company to push MIUI 9 to the Xiaomi Mi 6 first.
Xiaomi's CEO actually said recently that MIUI 9 will be 'really smooth and powerful', and one of the company's executives shared a couple of images of MIUI 9 recently as well. The company had actually confirmed, about a week ago, that MIUI 9 will launch before August 16, which means that its launch is really close, so stay tuned, chances are we'll see more leaked info before Xiaomi introduces MIUI 9.