MIUI News & Updates & Features

From MIUI V1 to MIUI 13 – The History of Xiaomi’s Android

Xiaomi‘s MIUI, whether we like like it or not, is very popular and is the default UI in most of Xiaomi’s phones (except the Mi A series, which run pure Android due to the AndroidOne project). In this article, from MIUI V1 which released in 2010, to MIUI 13 which released just in December, we’re going to explore the history of Xiaomi’s UI – MIUI.

MIUI V1 – Initial Release

In August of 2010, Xiaomi, a brand new Chinese software company, released their brand new fork of Android, MIUI (based on the phrase Me-You-I). MIUI had significantly more features compared to the version of Android it was based off of, Android 2.1, also codenamed Eclair. This fork of Android was proprietary, like most other forks during the time, and would stay that way until 2013, when Xiaomi released the sources for some of MIUI’s components.

The default homescreen of MIUI V1.

MIUI V2 and V3

This release of MIUI brought a slightly improved user interface and smoother animations, and increased the availability of the devices you could use MIUI on. Other than that, not much has changed. This update was also based on Android 2.1, so users didn’t get any major platform changes either, but when MIUI V3 released, the platform was updated to 2.3.6, which brought a few changes. The user interface stayed the same until MIUI V5, which we will get to in a bit.

Default home screen of MIUI’s second iteration.

MIUI V4

This update brought Android 4.0, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich, and along with it, new icons and a transparent status bar, and added an anti-virus to the system. Alongside the MIUI features, with Ice Cream Sandwich, the operating system received updates to its stability, and features like Android Beam.

MIUI 4’s homescreen.

MIUI 5 – Bad news for China

Despite being made mainly for China, MIUI V5 brought bad news for Chinese users, and removed the Google Play Store and other Google apps from MIUI’s Chinese variant, though you could still sideload them unofficially. Other than that, this update brought along Android 4.1 Jellybean, and made brought with it a new user interface. This version of MIUI was kept up to date for a year, until it received Android Kitkat. This update also led to Xiaomi releasing the sources for a few of MIUI’s components, to comply with the GPL License.

MIUI V5’s homescreen.

MIUI 6 – And so it begins

With MIUI 6, Xiaomi brought the familiar UI we know and love with it, and gave us Android 5.0 Lollipop. This update was released in August of 2014, and introduced flatter icons, and a new wallpaper. Unfortunately, it also dropped support for devices running Jelly Bean and before.

The new MIUI 6 interface.

MIUI 7

With MIUI 7, not much happened, except for Xiaomi dropping support for older devices, and locking the bootloaders of some devices, and every device released following the release of MIUI 7. The UI stayed the same until MIUI 9, when we got the classic Limitless theme now found on newer versions of MIUI. This update also gave us Android 6.0, codenamed Marshmallow.

MIUI 7’s homescreen.

MIUI 8

This update brought with it Android 7.0 Nougat, and also gave MIUI users access to Dual apps and Second Space. There were also minor tweaks to the UI and system apps received a few updates.

MIUI 8 homescreen.

MIUI 9

This update brought with it Android 8.1 Oreo, and also a significant amount of new features. From this point on, we will be listing the features instead of mentioning them. Here are the new features:

  • Split screen
  • Improved notification shade
  • App Vault
  • New silent mode
  • Key and gesture shortcuts
  • Face unlock

MIUI 10 and 11

MIUI 10

This update also brought new features and Android 9, Pie. Here’s another list of the new features:

  • New notification shade
  • Extended notification functionality
  • New recent apps screen
  • New clock, calendar and notes apps
  • Better integration with Xiaomi
  • Removed the black theme for the Mi Note 2

This update also dropped support for devices running Lollipop and lower.

MIUI 11

This update was released with Android 10, this release dropped the dessert names, and brought with it:

  • System-wide dark mode, with dark mode scheduling.
  • Monochrome ultra power saving mode
  • New calculator app
  • New notes app
  • New icons
  • Optional app drawer setting for system launcher
  • Smoother animations
  • Automatic screenshot management
  • Added ultra battery saver (Chinese variant)
  • Option to opt out of ads

This update dropped support for devices running Marshmallow and below as well.

MIUI 11’s homescreen.

MIUI 12 and 12.5

MIUI 12

This update released with Android 11, and brought these features:

  • Dark Mode 2.0
  • New gestures and animations
  • New Icons
  • New notification shade
  • Automatic replies for calls
  • Super Wallpapers
  • App drawer for 1st time
  • More privacy focused
  • 1 time permission for location, contacts etc. in 3rd party apps
  • Added floating windows
  • Added ultra battery saver for global version
  • Added Lite Mode
  • Added video toolbox.
  • New fingerprint animations for In-Display Fingerprint Sensors
  • New camera & gallery filters
  • Redesigned app vault

This update dropped support for Oreo and below.

MIUI 12.5

This update was also based on Android 11, and came with these features:

  • New nature sounds of notifications
  • Smoother animations
  • Redesigned app folders
  • Added vertical layout for Recents
  • Improvements for Mi Notes
  • Added new Super wallpapers (“Geometry” and “Mount Siguniang”)
  • Added heart rate measure using the camera

This update dropped support for devices running Android Pie and below.

The MIUI 12.5 homescreen on the Redmi Note 10s.

MIUI 13 – Back to the present

MIUI 13 is the most recent version of MIUI at the time of writing this article, and is based on Android 12. This update brings with it these features:

  • Dropped devices running Android 10
  • Minor changes to the user interface
  • New widgets
  • New one-handed mode from Android 12
  • Redesigned app vault
  • New Mi Sans font
  • Redesigned Control center
  • New live wallpapers

This update also drops support for devices running Android 10 and below.

MIUI 13 running on the Mi 10 Ultra.

We hope you enjoyed this deep dive into MIUI’s past, and learned a few things about our favourite Android UI. You can read more about MIUI 13 in our other articles linked MIUI.

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