I'm here with #KnowFromMi Season 01. Today I'm going to share something more about MIUI (Mi User Interface). MIUI (which stands for Mi User Interface and pronounced "Me You I", a play on the common abbreviation of the words user interface as UI), developed by Xiaomi, is a stock and aftermarket firmware for smartphones and tablet computers based on the Google Android operating system. MIUI includes various features such as theming support.
Xiaomi has released various smartphones, all but one of which come pre-installed with a complete version of MIUI. This includes various apps and features not available in the aftermarket version of MIUI.
Other than supporting their in-house smartphones and tablets, Xiaomi also offers MIUI to be flashed on other smartphone brands such as Samsung, Sony, HTC, BLU, OnePlus and Nexus.
On 24 February 2016, Xiaomi said that the MIUI ROM had over 170 million users worldwide, and was supported on over 340 handsets.
The original MIUI ROMs were based on the Android 2.2.x Froyo and was initially developed in the Chinese language by Chinese startup Xiaomi Tech. Xiaomi added a number of apps to enhance the basic framework; those include Notes, Backup, Music, and Gallery. MIUI used to be translated and ported into unofficial versions in other languages by independent developers and groups of fansites. There are still unofficial ports being made but their popularity decreased after Xiaomi released their own cell phones. Updates are usually provided over-the-air every Thursday (CST).
MIUI and Google Play Services:
Google has had disagreements with the Chinese government, and access to many Google services is blocked. MIUI does not ship with Google Play Services in mainland China. However, Xiaomi has expanded its operations outside China; MIUI releases for Android devices outside mainland China have Google Play Services and Google Apps such as Gmail, Google Maps, Google Play Store pre-installed and functioning as on any other Android device. MIUI global versions are certified by Google.
Criticisms and controversies:
MIUI's kernel was proprietary, and in breach of Linux kernel's GPL. Due to criticisms, source code for certain components was released to GitHub on 25 October 2013. Kernel sources for a limited number of devices including the Mi3, Mi4, MiNote, and Redmi 1S were released in March 2015.
MIUI has been criticized for being visually similar to iOS's UI.
Since MIUI V4, based on Android Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean, Xiaomi added a virus scanning engine from partner company Tencent (formerly from Kingsoft, whose previous CEO was also Lei Jun) despite the opposition of many users. Methods of removing it were published in the MIUI's Chinese forum, since the engine was not found to be helpful.
Also during the development of MIUI V4, Xiaomi started to remove Google services from their ROMs because of Chinese government policies that arose in response to Google's disagreements with the Chinese government. The government blocked access to all Google services in mainland China, and all phones for the Chinese market are required not to allow installation of Google services. In order to raise funds for the company, MIUI has its own environment of Xiaomi, including cloud services, paid themes and games (featuring MiCredit currency). Later, during development of MIUI V5, nearly all Google services had been removed from the Chinese versions.
Last Updated On: 12th December, 2017
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