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Xiaomi is removing a popular MIUI feature from old and new phones alike

Xiaomi users lost a free popular YouTube feature. Here's why.
By

Published onMarch 11, 2024

MIUI 14 logo on Xiaomi 13 Ultra
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Xiaomi has removed a feature that allowed its users to play YouTube in the background.
  • The company says it was to meet compliance requirements.
  • This is likely because Google wanted to protect the paid YouTube Premium service.

Xiaomi has removed a feature that previously allowed MIUI devices to play audio from YouTube videos even with the screen off.

The company made the announcement on March 7 via their Mi Fans Telegram channel, citing compliance requirements for the change.

In their post, Xiaomi notified users, many of whom were likely caught off guard, that it has removed the “Play video sound with screen off” function in the video toolbox feature and the “Turn off screen” function in the game toolbox feature with recent updates. These features were first introduced with MIUI 12.

Which devices are affected?

Affected devices include popular flagship smartphones, including the Xiaomi 14, 13, 13 Pro, and 12T, among others. See the screenshot from Xiaomi for a complete list of system versions, device models, and security versions.

Why Xiaomi is removing the feature now?

As the company’s Telegram post implies, the change is likely being implemented due to Google cracking down on services that offer YouTube Premium features for free.

As part of a $13.99 monthly subscription service, YouTube Premium offers users exclusive benefits like ad-free watching, video downloading, and, of course, background video playback with other apps open or with the screen switched off.

Considering that a competitor was offering one of YouTube Premium’s paid features for free, it makes sense that Google would frown upon it. However, it is interesting that Xiaomi is only now removing this feature despite YouTube Premium offering it for years.

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