Top Xiaomi MIUI 7 fea­tures

HWM (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS - by Liu Hongzuo

When Xiaomi first launched their phones, they had the masses in a tit­ter be­cause of the in­ter­face – it had flag­ship qual­ity de­spite it com­ing from a low-cost brand. To some, it was seen as the most com­plete use of An­droid OS, with sen­si­ble func­tions, a de­cent de­sign and deep cus­tomiza­tion. MIUI is also un­of­fi­cially avail­able for nonXiaomi users will­ing to ex­periement. Here's a look at some fea­tures of its lat­est in­car­na­tion.

DIS­ABLE NO­TI­FI­CA­TIONS FROM NO­TI­FI­CA­TION BAR

Most smart­phone users know how to dis­able no­ti­fi­ca­tions from the phone's set­tings menu. MIUI 7 has the abil­ity to dis­able an app's no­ti­fi­ca­tion from the No­ti­fi­ca­tion Bar it­self. This is handy if you re­cently ac­quired a new app that's good, but spammy.

To dis­able an app's no­ti­fi­ca­tion, swipe down when in the un­locked home screen. Near the top right is a 'Dis­able' sign. Press it, and a list of cir­cu­lar check­boxes will ap­pear on the left. You are now in the 'Hide No­ti­fi­ca­tions' menu. Check the boxes next to the of­fend­ing app, and con­firm your choices by press­ing the 'Tick' sign (lo­cated where the Dis­able sign was). You're done, and there's no need to en­ter your Set­tings menu to do any of this.

PER­FOR­MANCE UP­GRADES

It isn't just about gim­micks or looks. If you are more of a power user, you will still want MIUI 7, es­pe­cially if you're up­grad­ing from pre­vi­ous MI in­ter­faces. This is be­cause of MIUI 7's new app-launch­ing op­ti­miza­tions. Load­ing and an­i­ma­tion are now both done si­mul­ta­ne­ously, re­sult­ing in a 30 per­cent faster sys­tem re­sponse for app startup time. MIUI 7 also makes the most out of the phone's bat­tery by syn­chro­niz­ing the in­evitable CPU wake-up forced by apps keep­ing them­selves up-to-date, ex­tend­ing bat­tery life by an­other 10 per­cent.

CHILD MODE

You can set an al­ter­nate mode for the phone, lim­it­ing its ac­ces­si­bil­ity to emails and con­tact lists while keep­ing se­lected apps avail­able to use. Be­sides chil­dren, we think that this dou­bles as ex­tra se­cu­rity, es­pe­cially if you have sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion on your phone and you're lend­ing it to some­one else for an af­ter­noon.

Find this fea­ture at Set­tings > Child Mode. You will need to set a pass­word for en­ter­ing and ex­it­ing this mode. Se­lect the list of al­lowed apps from below. There's also the op­tion to pre­vent al­lowed apps from send­ing out SMSes.

XXL TEXT

You can choose to have a big­ger sys­tem font. This can be handy in two ways – eas­ier read­ing, and more im­por­tantly, an eas­ier time plac­ing the text cur­sor in be­tween words be­cause of the size. It works par­tially for both sys­tem and third-party apps – for ex­am­ple, you get the XXL Text fea­ture on the URL bar for Chrome browser, but the text on the sites you visit is still sub­jected to Chrome's set­ting. Our bench­mark­ing apps en­joyed the XXL Text font, yet the phone's pro­pri­etary Cal­en­dar app doesn't use the XXL set­ting un­til you de­cide to in­put a new cal­en­dar event.

To get XXL Text, go to Set­tings > Text Size. The fea­ture comes with a slider from S to XXL for users to pick the best size that suits their needs. Press 'OK' to ap­ply the change. For ref­er­ence, S is the de­fault font size.

UP­DATES FOR NEW FEA­TURES

Most pro­pri­etary OSes have a fixed set of fea­tures once it's ported to the phone, and up­dates are mostly for sta­bil­ity and op­ti­miza­tion. MIUI 7 is dif­fer­ent whereby fu­ture up­dates also come with more fea­tures that were an­nounced but not re­leased. Baby Al­bum is one such ex­am­ple – it's not ready yet, but when it does, your phone can use in-built fa­cial recog­ni­tion to de­tect baby pho­tos and group them in a sep­a­rate al­bum. The group­ing still ap­plies when the child con­tin­ues to grow, giv­ing the al­bum a chrono­log­i­cal track of the child's progress. Other up­dates that have not yet come to MIUI 7's global ver­sion is Auto DND (where you can sched­ule Do Not Dis­turb pe­ri­ods) and Dou­ble Tap to Wake – a fea­ture com­monly found on newer LG smart­phones.

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