Xiaomi announces MIUI 7: here’s what’s new

by: Robert TriggsAugust 19, 2015

MIUI 7 launch event

Following its Chinese announcement the other day, Xiaomi has now lifted the lid on the global version its latest Android-based operating system – MIUI 7. While perhaps not as drastic of an update as some users were hoping for, there are a number of useful features to get to grips with. Let’s delve on in.

Opening up the announcement, Xiaomi has gone big with customization for MIUI 7, introducing four new system designs for users to pick from, each of which can be tweaked with additional colors. There’s also a new MUSE engine for designers that can be used to create new MIUI themes, apparently without the need for complex coding.

MIUI 7 themes

MIUI 7 ships with a variety of new themes and users can now create their own too.

If you love to change your wallpapers, Xiaomi’s international wallpaper market should have you covered, with 10 pre-sets available on a daily rotation for now, and more to come. Although this is only available in India right now.

Moving on from customization, Xiaomi seems to have made a big effort to further optimize its customized Android OS, promising faster app loading times, a more responsive feel and longer battery life this time around.

MIUI 7 wake up cycles

MIUI 7 startup cycleStart-up times have been reduced by lumping the data loading and animation parts into a parallel process. MIUI 7 also appears to feature a new CPU acceleration feature, which boosts CPU speeds for important tasks. I’d imagine this was already part of previous MIUI builds, but perhaps there’s a new governor, although details are a little thin right now.

MIUI 7 also now aligns CPU wake-ups from various apps to take place at once, rather than at their own discretion. This allows for longer sleep periods in between wake-ups and therefore a longer stand-by battery life.

The end result is that the system should respond around 30 percent faster than before, while battery life has been extended by around 10 percent for typical usage. Xiaomi says that this could make its phones last up to 3 hours longer before needing a charge. The video below certainly shows some performance improvements over MIUI 6.

In terms of new features, MIUI 7 adds in a XXL text function to improve readability for a huge range of apps. There’s a new photo album feature to group precious baby pictures into a single album, which can also be linked to your lockscreen background for rolling images. Xiaomi has also introduced a Child Mode, which limits access to emails and messages and offers parents control over apps through a settings menu. One particularly nifty feature is the automatic do-not-disturb option, which uses Xiaomi’s Mi Band to detect when you’re sleeping and sets your phone into DND mode.

Xiaomi is big in India these days and MIUI 7 has a couple of specific features for the country. Along with support for 10 local language variations, MIUI 7 also includes the Visual IVR feature that was promised a while back. Visual IVR allows users to see voice prompt options when calling certain services, to help speed through those automated call centers. The system works with more than 50 Indian partners, including Citibank, ICICI bank, Spicejet, Indigo, Tata Sky, HeroMotoCorp, and more.

MIUI 7 Visual IVR

Xiaomi has also partnered up with Opera Max to save on mobile data consumption, by using a system wide data compression technology and optimization of audio and video streaming. The data savings apply to any application, including popular services such as YouTube, Instagram, Line, Lazada, among others, and can result in data savings of around 40 percent.

MIUI 7 data saving

The Data Saver service has been available in China for more than a year, but is now also heading to India, Brasil, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines in September 2015.

Rather than any huge new features, MIUI 7 is a combination of lots of little tweaks and improvements designed to make certain tasks easier. However, there appear to be mixed initial impressions coming from MIUI users.

MIUI 7 will be available as a developer (beta) version for the Redmi 1S, Redmi 2, Mi 3/4/4i and Redmi Note 3G/4G beginning August 24th. A full global rollout will likely take place later in the year, but may vary by region.

What do you think about Xiaomi’s latest operating system?

  • F. S.

    It’s based on 5 or 5.1 (or still 4.4)?

    • Jerome

      currently it is based on 5.0.2, I have the dev rom for mi note pro

    • Shinshin

      Depends on the device.
      Most are still on 4.4 and only Mi 4i, Min Note Pro and the newly released Redmi Note 2 are based on Lollipop.

  • oizo

    @Sckillfer:disqus It is based on 5.1

  • Daniel Eluvathingal

    Definetly the Miui v7 has improved a lot in performance,smooth animations and battery life too atleast in My Mi4.At first i guess they rolling miui v7 with kitkat to older devices, then based on specs,lollipop will be pushed slowly to the eligible ones.

    • पंकज पाल

      Why don’t I think so? Only thing improved is battery life. Sure there is more free memory, but optimization sucks big time. Also calling apps from cold is delayed.

  • ITprogrammer

    Curious … is Google Play pre-installed on Xiaomi devices sold outside of China?

    • Deepak Gawande

      Yes, it is pre-installed in Indian phones.

      • ITprogrammer


    • s2weden2000

      google play is available in xiaomi app store…

      • ITprogrammer

        Wow, really?

        • s2weden2000


  • Jee

    how about mi pad? no update?

  • kaushik ray

    Now this presentation is more interesting than Samsung Note5 one..!!

    • Simone

      are you sure? most of it was about themes, they spent like 10 minutes talking about a pink theme inspired by fashion…

  • DJ Subterrain

    LOL That video doesn’t prove much, you could reproduce that by just using different animation timings

    • uopjo6

      Uh…you could say that to any video presentation then. Crap my phone doesn’t float like it does in the presentation.

  • Roel Morelos

    I’ve been using CHINA Developer ROM for Mi 3 for about 9 months now. We received the update to MIUI 7 last week and it was really Android 4.4.4. Sorry, no Lollipop. But despite of that, I’m really impressed with the update with regards to battery optimization. On MIUI 6, the 3050 mAh battery lasts only for about 3 hours, 3 and a half tops. Now, I’m reaching 4 to 4 and a half hours. And I’m always using the “Performance” Mode. Always except when using data connection because turning on the HSPA+ and “Performance” mode together is not a great idea, with that configuration the phone tends to heat up in the upper portion.

  • crutchcorn

    Still not much for US users again. :(

  • Clippoz

    I’ve been playing around with this rom for a while. I have the developer one on the Mi Note pro.
    Basically is one hell of an update (performance wise) i manage to get 3:50 – 4h everyday on the note pro and this is huge.
    Of course i’m a bit disappointed for the lack of novelties, but..well..can’t complain too much

  • पंकज पाल

    The new app launch process means that most of the system apps are optimized for this and if you try to use ART, many of them break. Just after switching to ART the first app to break is com.android.systemui.meaning your phone is ON but you can’t do sh** on it, lol.

  • Fabulous Cat

    where is the cpu usage in MIUI 7? because last time I check in MIUI 6 you can change to performance or balanced mode