Xiaomi on Wednesday officially announced MIUI 9, the latest major iteration of its proprietary mobile user interface, noting how the software ships with a new Smart Assistant, image search, and a wide variety of other functionalities that are meant to provide a significant upgrade on the end-user experience compared to the previous version of the software suite. One of the most aggressively advertised features of MIUI 9 is its Smart App Launcher, a relatively self-explanatory service designed to provide users with an even quicker solution for launching Android apps. The launcher is delivered in the form of a small pop-up card that will appear near the bottom of the user interface when summoned. The apps that the launcher will suggest you launch will depend on the contents of your screen, e.g. if someone sends you a street address in an SMS message, MIUI 9 may recommend you open a navigation app in an effort to find it. While the Chinese original equipment manufacturer (OEM) has yet to clarify this, it seems that the platform is powered by some form of artificial intelligence (AI); in that case, the solution would get better at predicting the apps you want to launch the more you use it.
MIUI 9 also debuts Xiaomi’s Smart Assistant that’s meant to facilitate the process of searching the contents of your device, in addition to shipping with a robust image search engine designed for quickly finding your locally stored photos. The software also boasts a number of tweaks and performance enhancements that should allow it to launch apps faster than MIUI 8 did, in addition to ensuring that the OS allocates hardware resources and manages cache more efficiently. The latest iteration of MIUI will also automatically manage your junk files, control CPU core congestion, and optimize haptic feedback based on your usage patterns. The software features a number of new wallpapers, background optimizations, and a completely redesigned File Explorer, Xiaomi said.
MIUI 9 is based on Android Nougat and the first device to run the software suite out of the box is the newly announced Mi 5X. Xiaomi’s high-end Mi 6 and a number of other devices are set to be upgraded to MIUI 9 in the coming days, though the company will initially be prioritizing a rollout in its home country and won’t start distributing the software to other territories until later this summer.