Xiaomi Has "No Plans" For New Android TV-Based Mi Box

Xiaomi has "no plans" for releasing a new Android TV-based Mi Box. The company was showing off its newer Mi Box 4 and Mi Box 4c at Mobile World Congress last week, which led to a lot of questions about the Android TV-based Mi Box 3 that it debuted back in 2016. Xiaomi informed us that it had no future plans for a new Android TV-based set-top box, which is a bit interesting since the Laser Projector Xiaomi was also showcasing at its booth was running on Android TV. However, Xiaomi explained that the Laser Projector was essentially hacked to run Android TV specifically for the trade show, otherwise it'll be running on Xiaomi's Mi TV software that is also on the Mi Box 4 and 4c set-top boxes. It decided to put Android TV onto the Laser Projector for the trade show because it was in Europe, and it would get more attention than if it were running Mi TV, which is only available in Mandarin.

The Mi Box 3 was unveiled back in 2016, to quite a bit of fanfare. It was, at the time, the cheapest Android TV set-top box, priced at just $69. It also sported 4K and HDR capability, so that users were able to stream their favorite movies and TV shows in Ultra HD quality. But it did have quite a few issues, and Xiaomi has offered very little support. For instance, the Mi Box 3 launched with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and has never gotten a stable build of Android Nougat. Xiaomi has released a few betas of Nougat, but never an official update for all Mi Box 3 models. Which makes an update to Android Oreo look pretty unlikely to happen. The Mi Box 3 has also been plagued with a ton of other issues too, which include voice search no longer working for some users, the Mi Box 3 giving out dramatically better performance with 1080p content versus 4K content, and even the fact that it is unable to read many flash drives or hard drives that are plugged into it - no matter what format they are in (macOS extended, exfat and other formats are not working).

Not all of these issues are entirely Xiaomi's fault, actually. Take for instance, the Netflix issue that was reported on last fall. Where users were getting error messages when attempting to play content on the Mi Box 3. Netflix actually fixed these issues with an app update for Android TV. But when it comes to YouTube TV, which just plain doesn't work on the Mi Box 3, neither party seems to know what the problem is, nor doing anything to fix it. In fact, when the YouTube TV app came to Android TV, it didn't support the Mi Box 3, as Google had to develop an app specifically for the Mi Box 3, but not for other Android TV set-top boxes. Another problem with the Mi Box 3 includes a number of users having issues where some apps will stop working after having the Mi Box 3 for around five or six months, without the apps getting any updates, and a factory reset doesn't fix the issue. When that happens on a smartphone, or even other devices, a factory reset would normally resolve the issue. But that's not the case with the Mi Box 3. Other users are having trouble Casting to the Mi Box 3 as well, which is a core Android TV feature.

There seem to be issues just about everywhere with the Mi Box 3, with just about every app or feature on Android TV. Some of which are even core Android TV that shouldn't be causing problems, since this is essentially stock Android - as manufacturers aren't allowed to skin Android TV. With the Mi Box 3 being out for over a year and a half already, that's pretty surprising that app developers either haven't developed for the Mi Box 3, or Xiaomi hasn't updated the software to make it work better. Of course, that comes back to the fact that the Mi Box 3 is still technically running on Marshmallow, an operating system that is already over two years old, and was nearly a year old when the Mi Box 3 actually launched in mid-2016. But, the Mi Box 3 running on Marshmallow can't be too surprising, seeing as the Mi Box 4 and 4c that it debuted in January 2018 are also running on Marshmallow with Xiaomi's Mi TV interface on top.

Xiaomi hasn't given up on the Mi Box 3 just yet, but it is clear that it is not dedicating as much resources to it as it does with the Mi Box 4 and 4c that run on Mi TV. While Xiaomi has said that it currently has no plans for a new Android TV set-top box, that doesn't mean that Xiaomi won't release a new one in the future.

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Alexander Maxham

Section Editor
Alex has written for Androidheadlines since 2012 as Editor of the site and traveled the World to many of the biggest Smartphone and Technology events. Alex has a background in Technology and IT and Deep Passion for Everything Android and Google. His specialties lay in Smartphones of all budgets, Accessories, Home Automation and more. Contact him at [email protected]