MIUI 12 pushes privacy, new “lifelike” UI

Xiaomi has unveiled its latest Android-based OS—MIUI 12, featuring a brand new UI and “lifelike” user experience and a host of enhanced privacy features. The new update will roll out to select devices starting June 2020.


With MIUI 12, Xiaomi is placing a huge emphasis on user privacy and protection, taking a cue from Apple’s iOS. When individual apps ask for permissions, a wider range of options such as “While using the app” and “Notify” is offered. This builds upon Android’s rigorous permission control over location. That aside, permissions to access camera, microphone, contacts, call history, calendar, and storage are only allowed under “While using the app” mode.

The new OS also protects your privacy when sharing photos. Location information and metadata can be stripped before the items are shared.

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Nature-inspired design

MIUI 12 incorporates a bottom-up revamped UI and nuanced system animations. Continuing to be iOS-influenced, system-wide, core scene animations are fully refreshed, aided by the Mi Render Engine. Also, the elegant motion of icons simulates a 3D curve that resembles real-life motion trajectory. This level of lifelike detail is possible thanks to the Mi Physics Engine.

Realistic visualisations help make each screen more informative and comprehensible. These visualisation help save time and make interaction more intuitive and efficient. Visualised elements acknowledge your presence or input by reflecting motions in animations. Xiaomi says this makes “every glance at the screen unique and personal.”

The newly introduced “Super Wallpaper” features stunning reconstruction of iconic planetary landforms based on NASA’s official imagery. These super wallpapers are available on the Always-on display, Home Screen, and Lock screen.

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New features

MIUI has always led the field in terms of multitasking and full screen gestures. With MIUI 12, floating windows in multitask mode can be easily moved, closed, and resized by simple gestures applied in the action bar. For instance, when a text message comes in while a video is playing, you can reply in the floating window without pausing playback.

MIUI 12 enhances previously available screen casting functionality. Now you can cast documents, apps, videos, and games with a single tap. Multitasking is also supported; windows that are being cast can be minimised at any time. Casting reduces power consumption and hiding private items don’t allow floating notifications and incoming calls to appear on external displays.

Ultra Batttery Saver mode adds to the already impressive power management features in MIUI. When turned on, the most power-consuming features will be restricted to extend the phone’s standby time and reduce power consumption. Calls, messages, and network connectivity remain unaffected.

Dark Mode being a trend, it’s inevitable for Xiaomi to not dive in. MIUI 12’s Dark Mode features a darker colour palette for system backgrounds, system apps, and third-party apps. You can choose to adjust contrast automatically to match ambient light when screen brightness is reduced. Dark Mode has been proven to lower power consumption and help ease eye strain.

The App Drawer makes a debut with MIUI 12. Xiaomi’s Poco Launcher proved that the App Drawer is a popular feature, hence it is now baked into the OS. It is turned off by default but when you turn it on, all apps are housed within the App Drawer, making the Home screen neater. Apps can also be grouped automatically based on your preference.

Rollout plans

MIUI 12 will first rollout to Xiaomi flagship devices including the Mi 9 series, Redmi K20, and Redmi K20 Pro.

  • First rollout: starting from June, 2020

Mi 9/ Mi 9T/ Mi 9T Pro/ Redmi K20/ Redmi K20 Pro

  • The rest will be rolled out model by model

Redmi Note 7/ Redmi Note 7 Pro/ Redmi Note 8 Pro/ Redmi Note 9/POCOPHONE F1/ POCO F1/ Mi 10 Pro/ Mi 10/ POCO F2 Pro/ POCO X2/ Mi 10 Lite/ Mi Note 10/ Mi 8/ Mi 8 Pro/ Mi MIX 3/ Mi MIX 2S/ Mi 9 SE/ Mi 9 Lite/Redmi Note 7S /Mi Note 3/ Mi MIX 2/ Mi MAX 3/ Mi 8 Lite/ Redmi Y2/ Redmi S2/ Redmi Note 5/ Redmi Note 5 Pro / Redmi 6A/ Redmi 6/ Redmi 6 Pro/ Redmi Note 6 Pro/ Redmi Y3/ Redmi 7/ Redmi 7A/ Redmi Note 8/ Redmi Note 8T/ Redmi 8/ Redmi 8A/ Redmi 8A Dual/ Redmi Note 9s/ Redmi Note 9 Pro/ Redmi Note 9 Pro Max/ Mi Note 10 Lite

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Vernon is the founder and chief editor of A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.