MIUI 12.5 has been released alongside the Mi 11. The new MIUI version comes as an intermediate update after MIUI 12, but offers a list of new features and improvements. MIUI 12.5 is touted to enhance privacy protection with transparency and controls that appear to be inspired by Apple's iOS 14. The custom skin by Xiaomi also includes MIUI+, which lets users integrate their smartphone with a Windows PC to view mobile notifications, apps, or even clipboard data directly on their computer screen.
Xiaomi has already started taking registrations for a closed beta release of MIUI 12.5 and is planning to roll out a public beta in batches around the middle of January, 2021. The initial beta releases are limited to 21 devices in total. These are: Mi 10 Extreme Commemorative Edition, Mi 10 Pro, Mi 10, Redmi Note 9, Redmi K30, Redmi K30 Pro, Redmi K30 Extreme Commemorative Edition, Redmi K30 5G, Redmi K30S Extreme Commemorative Edition, Redmi K30i 5G, Mi 10 Youth Edition, Redmi 10X, Redmi 10X Pro, Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro, Xiaomi Mi CC9e, Mi 9 SE, Mi 9, Redmi K20, Redmi K20 Pro, Redmi Note 7, and Redmi Note 7 Pro.
After the beta releases, Xiaomi has scheduled the first batch of MIUI 12.5 stable version for the end of April 2021. This will be rolled out initially in China for Mi 11, Mi 10 Extreme Commemorative Edition, Mi 10 Pro, and Mi 10. Release plans for other models and global markets will be announced at a later stage.
Xiaomi claims that MIUI 12.5 is designed to consume up to 32 percent less memory in system operations and provide a 17 percent decrease in power consumption. The new skin also optimises memory usage in core scenarios by as much as 20 percent. Additionally, it is touted to optimise system apps and deliver better graphics rendering over MIUI 12.
MIUI 12.5 carries on the presence of animated Super Wallpapers, with the addition of Snow Mountain and Geometry. These come alongside the existing Super Earth, Super Mars, and Super Saturn wallpapers that are available with MIUI 12. Xiaomi also claims that Super Wallpapers consume 40 percent less power on MIUI 12.5.
Similar to the new additions in Super Wallpapers, the latest MIUI update brings additional nature-inspired sound effects, with special tracks from the Amazon and the African jungles, as well as the Arctic ice dessert. There are also improved haptics and notification sound effects to provide a fresh feel. You'll also notice stereo system sounds on compatible devices. Further, MIUI 12.5 includes a new motion effect architecture to provide an improved animation experience. It also brings an enhanced immersive touch with the integration of an all-new tactile library.
More on the interface front is the introduction of floating windows that lets you quickly respond to a message or look at maps without leaving your active screen. The MIUI update also brings new ‘Ripples' animation for downloading apps and ‘Burst' animation for uninstalling apps on the home screen. The MIUI 12.5 also brings a vertical layout for the ‘Recents' screen.
In terms of upgraded privacy, MIUI 12.5 comes with the ability to prompt you with a pop-up when an app attempts to access your clipboard data. You can either grant access or decline. An option to automatically decline access after a timeout is also in place. All this sounds quite similar to how iOS 14 provides notifications for clipboard data access. The MIUI 12.5 update also brings an option to share approximate location instead of exact location with certain apps. Again, something that we have seen on iOS 14.
MIUI 12.5 also comes with sandbox support to isolate photo albums and private information from third parties. The new update also highlights webpage behaviour records to give you details about the websites that could steal your data. And just like iOS 14, the Mi App Store on MIUI 12.5 also provides privacy details for each listed app.
Xiaomi has also brought updated Notes and Mi Browser to MIUI 12.5. There are also updates specifically for Xiaomi Health services and Mi Cloud to provide an improved experience. Moreover, Xiaomi claims to offer no bloatware on MIUI 12.5, with fewer pre-installed apps over other custom ROMs.
MIUI 12.5 also includes MIUI+ that works like Microsoft's Your Phone app and allows you to integrate your Xiaomi phone with a Windows PC. Once integrated, it enables you to view notifications, text messages, and photos from your phone directly on your computer. You can also access your phone's clipboard data and some apps on your computer screen.
Initially, MIUI+ is available in beta and is limited to Mi 10 Extreme Commemorative Edition, Mi 10 Pro, Mi 10, Mi 9 Pro 5G, Mi 9, Redmi K30 Ultra, Redmi K20 Pro, and Redmi K30 Pro. The phone needs to run MIUI 12.5 to enable the integration. Xiaomi recommends Mi Notebook Pro 15 Enhanced Edition, Pro 15.6-inch 2020 model, Redmi G gaming notebook, RedmiBook 16, RedmiBook 14 II, and RedmiBook Air 13 as the computers that can make the most of the new UI. The company says that due to driver and hardware limitations, it wouldn't guarantee the same experience on other notebooks.
Is Mi 10 an expensive OnePlus 8 or a budget budget S20 Ultra? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.