Xiaomi announced earlier this week the introduction of new gesture controls in the latest beta build of its custom Android firmware, MIUI 9. The new feature is now being tested on the OEM's full-screen smartphones and should be reserved only for specific models adopting this particular form factor. At the time of writing, the list of devices set to receive gesture controls includes the Xiaomi Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus, as well as the Mi MIX and the Mi MIX 2.
Xiaomi calls the new feature "Full Display Gestures" and unsurprisingly, it gives users the option to perform swiping gestures on the display in order to navigate the UI with more ease. Interestingly enough, these gestures seem to work very similarly to Apple's own gesture controls that have been implemented in iOS with the launch of the latest iPhone X model, i.e., users can swipe up from the bottom of the display in order to return to the home screen, or, they can swipe halfway up before stopping for a second in order to uncover the list of recent applications. Lastly, users can also swipe left to right in order to navigate to a previous page. These types of gestures were added by Apple as the OEM switched to a full-screen form factor lacking a front-facing physical button, and likewise, Xiaomi's Full Display Gestures are now available only for some of its full screen models, with no word on whether they will be added in MIUI 9 for other devices that retain a physical home key on the front side.
Aside from these new gestures, the latest beta update also appears to contain a few fixes addressing the App Vault force closing, as well as the inability to add contact members from groups while using WhatsApp in Dual Apps mode. Lastly, top sites settings should now be automatically restored in the Mi Browser, and according to the OEM, a full changelog will be provided on Friday, which might mean that the latest MIUI 9 beta build could contain additional features that have yet to be revealed by the developer. As yet it's unclear when the latest beta build will be pushed out of the testing stage and into the public channel, but sometime early next year seems like a fair guess given the few days left on the 2017 calendar.