Android TV: After One Year The Mi Box Nougat Update Remains In Beta


For those who have been keeping count the Android 7.0 (Nougat) update for the Xiaomi Mi Box has now been in a 'beta' state for a full year with still no real understanding of when the update will move to a stable status and start to roll out to devices. The year milestone was first noted earlier in the week by reddit user battierpeeler who posted on the topic along with the tongue in cheek title, "happy 1 year anniversary to mi box nougat 7.0 beta." In spite of congratulating the beta update on its anniversary the reddit poster is just one of many Mi Box owners who have been waiting for a stable update to become available for a considerably long time and certainly longer than most would expect. As while it should be expected an update will take its time in being readied for deployment, this is something that usually happens much more behind the scenes. As when it does enter a beta state and becomes available for testing at the user level, the full rollout is usually not that far behind. Though, the Mi Box seems to be a clear exception to this rule.

While many might assume Xiaomi is no longer that interested in rolling out a final version of any update to the Mi Box, there are suggestions to the contrary. For example, Xiaomi was noted at this year's MWC event seemingly showcasing the Mi Box running an Oreo build. Which makes things all the more interesting as Oreo (Android 8.0), is in itself, an update to Nougat – the version update Mi Box owners are still waiting on. Evidently, this does lead to a very interesting situation as it seems highly unlikely Xiaomi plans to skip the final Nougat update altogether and somehow move directly to Oreo. Although the MWC presence did seem to suggest Oreo was — at the very least — part of Xiaomi's rollout plans for the Mi Box.

Of course, none of this is set in stone and Xiaomi has proven itself to be a bit of a rogue OEM when it comes to Mi Box updates so there are multiple scenarios that might be playing out here. For example, there was no firm confirmation from Xiaomi at MWC that it was actually the Mi Box shown running Oreo and this may be more of an assumption based on what appears to be shown in the image. Alternatively, it could be the case Xiaomi was just using Oreo as part of the promotional aspect of being at MWC, with no actual intention to make the update available at the consumer level. While this might sound like a strange thing to do, it would not be a sole occurrence. At MWC 2018 Xiaomi, and in addition to confirming to AndroidHeadlines it has no plans to make available a new international version of the Mi Box running on Android TV, the company was also demonstrating one of its latest products, a Mi Laser projector. Why this is relevant is the projector was demoed running Android TV — and again, Oreo specifically — and yet Xiaomi did confirm the Mi Laser does not run Android TV at all, let alone Oreo. The use of the Android TV interface was more of a promotional exercise catering to the Europe-based trade show. In other words, it was running the Oreo-edition of Android TV because the event was a Western event. The actual device will arrive running on the company's own Mi TV solution.


So regardless of whether the Mi Box shown in MWC promotional images is actually the device displaying the Oreo interface, it is largely irrelevant to whether the Mi Box will actually get updated to Oreo or not. If, anything, the Mi Laser situation would highly suggest the opposite is more likely to be true. Which brings Mi Box owners back to square one. As in spite of some suggestions Oreo is in development for the device, there is still the long-overdue issue of when the Mi Box will actually get its Nougat update.

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John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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