With MIUI 12.5, Xiaomi made me like its software again

Because of the number of features that were added over time, the interface became bloated when MIUI 10 was released. Xiaomi is very strict about hardware margins, which is why their phones are so cheap. To boost profits, it turned to pre-installed and MIUI apps and ads to make its phones more affordable. MIUI 10 was not enjoyable. This pattern was repeated with MIUI 11. The Redmi Note 8 Pro had the most bloatware of any phone I have ever used. Users in India and other Asian countries were outraged by the constant ads. Xiaomi also launched an ad-based MIUI model.
With MIUI 9, Xiaomi improved the notification pane, added editing features to the Gallery to remove background elements and several other under-the-hood optimizations. Mi Video was also released. MIUI 10 introduced some features that are still in use today. These include rounded icons for quick settings tiles and brightness sliders, a vertical recents menu with card-based UI and picture-in–picture mode. MIUI 11 introduced AOD (system-wide dark mode), a cleaner design and updated icons as well as new battery-saving modes.

Over the past seven years, MIUI has seen many changes. MIUI 6 introduced brighter colors and updated notification management. MIUI 7 was more customizable and optimized, with a UI that is system-wide. MIUI 8 was the first to include Dual Apps, a video editor for the gallery and a new notification pane.

Although Xiaomi had already begun making phones at this time, they were only available in China. Xiaomi was able to gauge interest in the software interface from outside China. MIUI enabled the brand to quickly build a userbase, which allowed it to gain entry into India, where it launched its first smartphone, the Mi 3.

Although Xiaomi makes the most advanced Android phones, MIUI was its first product. It offered a software interface that was inspired by iOS, but with many unique additions such as a robust theming engine, useful pre-installed applications, and a user-friendly design. MIUI 5 was my first experience with it on a Nexus 4 in 2013. It offered a remarkable level of customization, permission management, live icons and a music player far superior to what you would get on most Android phones. There were also robust security features.

Xiaomi attempted to rectify the situation last year by releasing MIUI 12. Xiaomi wanted to make amends last year with MIUI 12. Most importantly, the box contained significantly less bloatware and Xiaomi has removed ads from its UI.

With the changes to MIUI 12, the Mi 11 was my first Xiaomi phone in three years that didn't have any drawbacks. This is true for both the Redmi Note 10 series, which is budget-friendly, and the entry-level Redmi series. The community feedback was the driving force behind MIUI. While Xiaomi doesn't interact as often as it used, it still managed to engage its users in this instance.

It is a significant step forward to be able to delete system applications in MIUI 12.5

MIUI 12 is a continuation of MIUI 12. It doesn't add any user-facing features. Instead, Xiaomi focuses on optimizing the UI. It isn't the greatest MIUI update, but it does introduce a feature that I have been eagerly waiting for: uninstallable system applications. You can now uninstall all apps in MIUI 12.5, except seven core apps that Xiaomi claims are essential.

This is a huge deal for Xiaomi as the Chinese manufacturer traditionally has used its software-based services to drive revenue, rather than hardware sales. You can now disable Mi Music, Mi Video and uninstall almost every Xiaomi service including Weather, Compass and Scanner. This allows you to set up MIUI without any bloatware. I hope other manufacturers will follow the footsteps of Samsung.

MIUI 12.5 also includes many under-the-hood improvements that make it easier to use the interface. It uses less memory and resources and is generally more responsive to devices with 120Hz panels. The best part is that Xiaomi has resolved many of the bugs in MIUI. Over the past six years, every Xiaomi phone I used had a memory management problem that prevented me from receiving push notifications from my email client. I had to set it up to autostart in order to get them. MIUI 12.5 didn't require me to do this; I did not experience any issues with push notifications from Newton Mail, Slack or any other service that I depend on every day.

For several months, I have been using Xiaomi phones. Other than the few weeks that I spent testing out other phones, the Mi 11 Ultra has been my primary phone for the past four months. In 2015, Xiaomi had 150 million users worldwide for MIUI 7, but this number had risen to 400 million by the time MIUI 12 was released.

MIUI was initially geared towards Chinese users, but Xiaomi has been making efforts to make the interface more accessible to all users in recent years. This notion is reinforced by MIUI 12.5 and Android 12 on the horizon. I am excited to see where Xiaomi takes MIUI.