Even if more than a month has already passed since the release of the MIUI 6, I'm testing it only now on my Xiaomi Mi2, and waiting for the review let's see what are the news and features of this new version. It must be said that most of the features are identical to those of MIUI v5, but for those unfamiliar with them we will list them all.
At first glance it may seem that the launcher has no settings or customizations but everything is based on the gesture, 'pinching' the display.
- With a pinch in - or a pinch - a two-finger menu starts at the bottom, which enables: moving several apps at the same time; adding widgets; wallpaper selection and transition effects. Moving instead to the right (but also left), towards the last home to be clear, you can quickly add a new home screen.
Regarding the movement of applications, there are several Tip & Tricks to know:
- folder: tapping any app, the folder icon will appear in the menu below, which will be placed in the first free space with a single tap, or in the position we prefer via an extended tap. It is possible to easily create folders by overlapping multiple apps.
- multiple selection: tapping more icons, they will disappear from the desktop and will be momentarily added to the bottom bar, by doing so we can place them in different screens individually: with a tap in the first free space; dragging them; selecting them all with one horizontal swipe: in this case they will approach, so it will be possible to make: a tap for the random arrangement; drag them where we prefer; drag them to other apps to create and add them to a folder.
- random order: if the apps are scattered in the screen without any order, with empty spaces between one and the other, after the pinch in just take the phone in hand and shake it 2-3 times: the apps will be placed filling all the empty spaces .
- Instead, making a nice pinch with 3 fingers, we will enter the screen editor where we can set a different home, remove existing ones and create new ones (apparently without limits, I tried to create 36).
- With a swipe upwards you start the Google search, vice versa the notification drop-down menu appears.
Being based on Android 4.4.4, MIUI 6 introduced notifications Heads Up, again (but probably forever) without customization, apart from the possibility of setting through the settings of the individual apps, for which it should appear or not: Show in keyguard, in my English version. With this option, notifications will also be shown on the lockscreen.
In the notifications area we can expand and get more options from notifications received through a pinch out: for example with a pinch out on the screenshot notification occurred, the option comes out share. Unfortunately - and I hope for the moment - in the status bar the notification icons are not shown, but 3 dots regardless of the application and the number of notifications.
To remove notifications you need to swipe from left to right, vice versa you switch to quick settings. But just swipe slightly to the right and then all the way to the left to remove the notification even in the opposite direction.
Each application in the home shows the number of unread notifications
Divided into 3 areas, the music player controls (play and forward, which are missing on the lock screen) have been added at the top; in the center we find the usual buttons for quick settings which, however, cannot be changed. Among the profiles for the battery, savings have been removed, now there is only standard and performance that we can activate using the appropriate button. Another new toggle is Guest, which I will explain later. In the last part, at the bottom, centered, we find the button for settings.
Changed the key for the task manager, now by single press of the Menu. What's new is the interface: at first glance it is the same as that of the MIUI 5, but through a pinch out on the icons, in their place will be shown the actual preview of the running apps. Whatever the type of visualization, with a swipe towards the app it is closed, with a swipe downwards it is blocked so as to remain started if we press the button to close all the apps simultaneously. With a long press on the app you access the application settings.
Even the camera interface on MIUI 6 has been revisited and here too some functions are regulated by gestures:
- swipe from left to right to activate the various modes: night, hdr, audio, etc.
- swipe from right to left to apply filters
- swipe from top to bottom for the switch between internal and external camera
- after the tap for the focus and after the sound you can rotate your finger on the circle to increase or decrease the exposure
Even with the display locked there are some tricks.
- A swipe from right to left will quickly start the camera
- by pressing the button volume + together with the button you tested the restore function of your back, the screen unlocks
- key volume + e menu, pressed together, they instantly increase the brightness to the maximum. It only works if this is not set to automatic. It also works on the other screens
- Long press on the home button to quickly activate the torch.
To take a screenshot there are 3 modes: via the toggle screenshot quick settings; by pressing the keys vol- e power or by pressing the keys vol- e menu. The latter is faster than the previous one.
Privacy and Security
In my opinion it is one of the strengths of this ROM: the MIUI 6 has features that guarantee excellent privacy and the right security necessary to keep data and apps away from prying eyes, but also to control the behavior of the applications.
- Automatic start: serves to establish which app can start automatically and which does not.
- Permissions: we can set what the installed apps can access.
NOTE: By installing some apps, some permissions are denied by default. For example by installing Viral he is not allowed to 'draw' on screen. If your apps give problems, check the permissions.
- Root: to give root permissions to apps. Unfortunately, you are not asked to start the app, but you must log in to this area.
- Virus Scan: to scan all the apps.
- Blacklist: adding numbers we can avoid calls and messages. You can create custom rules
Settings -> Security -> Privacy Protection
- Guest: hide photos, messages, notes, calls and more. But it has its negative side: also works without a password. As I mentioned earlier, we find the toggle in the quick settings menu and, if a sequence has not been set (via the voice permits just below), you can disable the mode with the simple tap.
- App lock: it is activated only if the sequence in the entry permits is set, we can then apply a block to our apps.
Re-enable the Menu key
On the MIUI 6 the menu button has been replaced with the task manager. To enable it go to Settings -> Keys and Recent selected Show menu. It will work with the extended tap. From here you can also assign functions to the other keys.
- Blur effect in the notification area and quick settings
- Opera Max included to save on 3G connection
- Background app Music changes depending on the song
- Compass completely renewed and connected to the camera
- Vocal assistant in Chinese | English patch
- Settings -> System App to change the settings of pre-installed apps.
- Settings -> Installed apps and press the button at the bottom to manage the default applications.
- Settings -> Accessibility -> Magnification Gestures gives the ability to zoom in on any screen. It starts with 3 quick taps.
I hope I haven't forgotten anything!
Graphically speaking it is a copy of iOS, but this is known. The features are however interesting and surely the ROM will improve with the next releases. I will test it a few more days before writing the review and I hope I can also make some comparisons with iOS.