A couple of new Xiaomi products are set to break cover on July 26th. Apart from launching the Mi 5X, a handset in the upper mid-range category, the Chinese phone maker will also introduce the 9th iteration of its MIUI interface.
Today, an official preview of the custom Android skin appeared on the MIUI forums, so let's quickly review all the new stuff coming with the software update.
Split-screen multitasking is finally coming to MIUI. The feature initially premiered in the stock version of Android 7.0 Nougat. However, for some reason, it wasn't present on Xiaomi phones. Apparently, the company did include it on its enormous Mi Max 2 model back in May, but our review unit did not have the functionality (probably a different ROM).
Currently, Xiaomi has confirmed that the following handsets will be receiving multi window mode: Mi 6, Mi MIX, Mi Note 2, Mi Max, Mi Max 2, Mi 5, Redmi Note 4X. The entire list of compatible devices will be revealed after the event wraps up.
MIUI 9 will feature lock screen shortcuts. Doing a swipe to the right will redirect you to the above menu. Currently, we can see that shortcuts for the Mi Home, Mi Remote, Mi Pay, Transport Card, and Torch (flashlight) functionalities will be available, but we certainly hope that these will be customizable, given that most of them won't do too much outside of Asian markets.
A trio of new themes will be available inside MIUI's proprietary app. These go by the names of Cool Black, No Boundary, and Color Fantasy, although the forum thread does state that the names in English are not final.
It's also worth noting that there won't be any labels or text below the dock icons at the bottom. This is done in order to provide a cleaner look to the entire home screen. You can see the new themes in the above gallery.
Xiaomi plans for MIUI to be released gradually. The first batch of devices to get the new software will include the Mi 6, and the Redmi Note / Redmi Note 4X, followed by a second set of popular and recently released smartphones. The thread also mentions that some "Technologies Breakthroughs" are set to be announced, but for more info on that we would have to wait for the actual launch.
source: Xiaomi MIUI forums