Xiaomi's latest smartphone series, the wildly popular Redmi Note 8 and Redmi Note 8 Pro have been very well received by reviewers and buyers alike. However if we could recall, the Chinese company had also announced a new overhaul to its custom user interface, MIUI, with the MIUI 11 alongside the launch of the two phones back in October.
MIUI 11 brings what is perhaps the biggest change to Xiaomi's UI in a very long time. In fact, the latest version of MIUI has achieved the unique feat of winning two Red Dot Design Awards for its visual design and sound effects, a first in the industry for smartphone software.
Xiaomi has been working on making MIUI more functional and efficient with each version, and the trend continues with the MIUI 11. And this time around Xiaomi claims to have eliminated a lot of the unnecessary elements that were found in MIUI 10 to make MIUI 11 more minimalistic and easy-to-use. The icon colors have also been made more vibrant and new colors have also been added to the UI for a more organic experience.
Android 9 based MIUI 10 with Dark Mode
Dark mode, which debuted with Android 9 based MIUI 10 has also been improved and is now available system-wide. There are plenty more visual changes here and there, including a new Always-On Display feature with super cool Kaleidoscopic animations.
- MIUI 11 brings what is perhaps the biggest change to Xiaomi's UI in a very long time
- MIUI has achieved the unique feat of winning two Red Dot Design Awards for its visual design and sound effects, a first in the industry for smartphone software.
But before we go any further into the complete changelog of MIUI 11, let's first take a look at which Xiaomi devices will get the latest MIUI 11 update.
Xiaomi Phones that will get MIUI 11 Update
As always, the update will be rolled out to eligible Xiaomi smartphones in a phased manner. According to the update timeline shared by Xiaomi, MIUI 11 rollout will start October 22 for newer devices and will gradually be rolled out to older Xiaomi Phones by the end of the year, by December 26 to be precise.
The MIUI 11 rollout has already begun for POCO F1, MI 9 SE, Redmi K20/Mi 9T, Mi 8 Pro, Mi 8, Mi 8 Lite, MI MIX 3, MI MIX 2S, Redmi Note 7, Redmi Note 7 Pro, Redmi Note 7S, Redmi 7 and Redmi Y3.
2nd Phase qualifying phones for update
The second phase of MIUI 11 update rollout has been scheduled between November 4 and November 12 and as per the timeline, the following phones qualify for this phase of updation – Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro, Mi 9, Mi 9 Lite, Mi 6, Mi Note 3, Mi Note 2, Mi Play, Redmi 6, Redmi 6 Pro, Redmi 6A, Redmi Note 5, Redmi Note 5 Pro, Redmi 5, Redmi 5 Plus, Redmi 5A, Redmi 4, Redmi Note 4, Redmi Y1/Note 5A Prime, Redmi Y1 Lite/Note 5A, Redmi Y2/S2, Mi MIX, Mi Mix 2, Mi Max 2 and Mi Max 3.
Phase 3 of the rollout has also already begun and will take place between November 13 to November 29 for Redmi Note 6 Pro, Redmi 7A, and the recently launched Redmi 8, Redmi 8A, and Redmi Note 8. Surprisingly, owners of the latest Redmi Note 8 Pro will have to wait until December 18 for the update rollout. However, this could be because of the fact that the update for Redmi Note 8 Pro could be bringing Android 10 along with it.
What's new in MIUI 11?
A clean minimalist User Interface
As mentioned earlier, Xiaomi has removed some unwanted elements in MIUI 11. This includes removing the not-so-necessary dividing lines, which makes it look more modern, clean, cluterfree and provides more area to allow content to take the spotlight. After all, when it comes to minimalist design, less is more. The omissions are more noticeable in the Contacts and Settings Menu, among others.
System-Wide Dark Mode
Another new addition to MIUI 11 is system-wide dark mode, which isn't too surprising given its popularity with Android 10 and iOS 13 supporting it natively. Xiaomi has also done way with some colors that sort of hindered the overall experience, and to better blend with the dark mode.
Lighting Notification effects
The update also brings a solution to the absence of a physical notification light on some Xiaomi phones with a feature that either lights up the whole display or just the edges of the phone whenever you get any notifications.
Always On Display
However, the most interesting new change that MIUI 11 brings is the all-new Always On Display feature to all Xiaomi Phones, including the non-Amoled ones. There are a bunch of cool clock styles already available on the Redmi K20 series, and the update will bring it on to the other phones as well whilst adding some more animations and patterns.
What will get you excited are the new symmetric patterns, which Xiaomi says are inspired from the patterns that come from a Kaleidoscope. It also allows you to create custom messages, quotes etc as your Always On screensavers, to give your phone a personal touch.
Set Video as wallpaper
The MIUI 11 update also adds some new pre-installed wallpapers. Also, Xiaomi claims that the Xiaomi theme store now has more than 100,000 wallpapers that you can choose from. And if that doesn't seem exciting, the update also allows users to apply a video as a dynamic wallpaper to their home screen.
Apart from this, Xiaomi's latest MIUI 11 also focuses on productivity features, such as displaying documents as thumbnails to make it easier for users to quickly find the file they're looking for. Xiaomi has also partnered with WPS Office to enable file previews to be visible right from the file manager. There's also a new native Notes app that brings a ToDo list and it's being called Tasks. The Notes app also supports voice-memos now and syncs with the native Calendar app to set reminders from the ToDo List.
The ToDo can now also be accessed by swiping right from the edge of the home screen. Another nifty feature that MIUI 11 will bring is a floating calculator which allows users to bring up a mini floating calculator on the foreground while they are working on a document or watching a video, without ever needing to switch between apps.
Dedicated steps counter and menstrual cycle tracker
Xiaomi which launched an Apple Watch- lookalike smartwatch recently and has a couple of fitness tracker bands under its portfolio has also added a dedicated steps tracker to the MIUI 11's interface. The dedicated steps trackers keeps count of the number of steps taken alongside displaying information such as distance covered and calories burnt. The company has also added a very useful feature keeping in mind its female users wherein they can track their menstrual cycles within the calendar app.
Reply to messages without leaving your game/video
MIUI 11 also adds quick replies to the interface which allows users to send quick default replies to messages without having to leave what they are doing, for example while watching a movie or while playing a game.
A brand-new Keyboard
Additionally, Xiaomi has partnered with an Indian startup called Bobble to create a new unique keyboard called Mint Keyboard which supports more than 25 Indian languages. Not just that, Mint Keyboard offers real-time word and emoji suggestions in these languages thanks to its Translations within Transliterations feature. The Mint Keyboard is not limited to Xiaomi phones alone and is available to download on Google Play Store.
Apart from these, there are plenty of minute changes here and there, all of which help in making MIUI more refined and optimized. The update also brings October and November Android Security patches on eligible phones based on the rollout timeline.
Meanwhile, if you own any of the above mentioned smartphones and haven't yet received the MIUI update, you can check for the update manually by going to Setting > About Phone>System Update.