comscore Dear Xiaomi, it is time to simplify MIUI in general | BGR India
News

Dear Xiaomi, it is time to simplify MIUI

MIUI is one of the most customisation-friendly Android skins you can use but the complexities of basic tasks often make for a long learning curve. It needs simplification soon.

Poco C3

MIUI 12 on Poco C3


A couple of weeks ago, my mother wanted to buy a new phone under Rs 30,000 and after she took my suggestions, she went for the Redmi K20 Pro. Yes, the same K20 Pro that was deemed overpriced back in 2020 but won hearts later with its robust performance and a design that still stands out. Along with the great hardware, it is MIUI interface that makes this phone feel special. However, once my mother started setting it up, she started struggling soon with the interface. Also Read - Mi Notebook Ultra Review: The best work laptop under Rs 80,000?

Coming from the stock Android interface of the Mi A1, my mother, who is more invested in phones herself than I ever will be, often came up with the phrase, “why is it unnecessarily complex?” After trying to explain to her via video calls how to get stuff done, I did realize she was right. As beautiful and flairy the new MIUI 12 system is, it is surely complicated. For tech-savvy people ready to explore, it is nirvana but for the majority of “normal” people, MIUI comes across as overdone. Also Read - Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G Indian launch date officially revealed

And when I say a majority of people, I mean hundreds of people who use these products on a daily basis. The group includes youngsters, middle-aged, and the elderly (count my grandma too). Also Read - Flipkart Big Billion Days Sale to begin soon: Up to 80 percent discount on electronics

MIUI is trying too hard to be iOS now than ever

The last Xiaomi phone I used was the Mi 10T Pro flagship, which was highly impressive as a package. I loved the MIUI interface as well, despite some of the undesired pre-loaded apps (both first and third-party). However, coming from the OnePlus 8T, the software felt kind of forced for some of the simplest stuff. Let me give an example.

Let’s try changing a wallpaper on a current Xiaomi smartphone running MIUI 12. You long-tap on the homescreen and an option to change Wallpaper pops-up. Instead of showing the options to choose the wallpaper, it now opens up the Themes app, which itself is a mess at best. You now need to find the tab that suggests “Your Profile” and then choose the Wallpaper option from there. Once you are in, you now have options to choose from static, video and Super Live Wallpapers. That’s a lot of clicks for just changing the wallpaper.

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

MIUI 12 on Mi 10T Pro

In comparison, you do the same on a Realme or OnePlus smartphones, and at most, you are in for a 3-step process. Why does Xiaomi need to open the Themes app for just changing the wallpaper? I feel the process is unnecessarily complicated. Also, try to set a custom wallpaper for the lockscreen and I bet you will head over to Google, searching for some video guide to do so. I still do it everytime I review a Xiaomi device.

This is just one instance of the point I am trying to make. Similarly, dealing with notifications isn’t as easy as you would find on a stock Android interface. Swiping down on a notification still requires utmost precision and you have to swipe right only in order to dismiss one. Swiping left from the homescreen opens up a Google Discover-Feed-esque page that does everything apart from any actual help. There are certain shortcuts to system functions and the entire layout is messy and doesn’t quite match with the rest of MIUI 12’s design flair.

Moreover, I still find the concept of two app stores preloaded on a phone weird. After all, if I have Google Play, why do I need GetApps that forces me to download the same stuff from it while setting up a new phone? Xiaomi will argue that you can always skip it but it shouldn’t be there in the first place. Let me choose whether I want another app store for my apps over Google Play.

miui

MIUI 12 on Mi 10T Pro

There’s a lot more of those niggles that us reviewers skip while reviewing a Xiaomi devices, given that we look at the big picture. That said, once you live long enough with them, you do wish for a simpler and easy way to do things. MIUI is trying harder than ever to ape Apple’s iOS and as a result, it is complicating things further than simplifying. All that flair and design of the interface is fancy for sure but it becomes annoying if you have to Google Search a simple task that should ideally be at arm’s length. Moreover, this is an issue that cannot be solved by installing a third-party launcher.

Android itself is a nicely designed operating system in its stock form and despite using an iPhone as my own phone, I still love the simplicity Android offers. iOS itself is still complicated and when an Android phone tries to ape it, the result is mostly a “khichdi” that is often less desirable. I do credit Xiaomi’s designers for the efforts they put in MIUI but there’s simply too much going on to absorb.

Simplify MIUI, Xiaomi

Poco C3

MIUI 12 on Poco C3

The next release of MIUI, dubbed MIUI 13 is months away and as of now, there’s no clue as to what could we expect from this newer version. Given that Xiaomi’s designers love taking inspiration from iOS, I won’t be surprised to see iOS-style first-party widgets and a revamped App Drawer coming in the next release. While I welcome such cheeky design changes, it wouldn’t hurt Xiaomi to make the MIUI interface easy.

It couldn’t be a bad idea to have a simpler homescreen setup with easy access to basic settings while the all customization stuff is buried a layer underneath. Basic things like dealing with notifications, changing wallpapers, and others. Given the efforts and resources Xiaomi puts into software development, some simplification is surely not too much to ask, right?

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel. Also follow us on  Facebook Messenger for latest updates.
  • Published Date: December 27, 2020 3:05 PM IST



new arrivals in india

Realme 8i
Realme 8i

13,999

Realme 8s 5G
Realme 8s 5G

17,999

Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime
Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime

12,499

Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G

35,999

Samsung Galaxy M32 5G
Samsung Galaxy M32 5G

20,999

Vivo Y33s
Vivo Y33s

17,990

Realme C21Y
Realme C21Y

8,999

Vivo Y21
Vivo Y21

15,490

Realme GT Master Edition
Realme GT Master Edition

25,999

Realme GT 5G
Realme GT 5G

37,999

Itel A48
Itel A48

6,399

Motorola Edge 20
Motorola Edge 20

29,999

Motorola Edge 20 Fusion
Motorola Edge 20 Fusion

21,499

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

84,999

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

1,49,999

Samsung Galaxy A12 (Exynos)
Samsung Galaxy A12 (Exynos)

13,999

Nokia C20 Plus
Nokia C20 Plus

8,999

Vivo Y53s
Vivo Y53s

19,490

Tecno Pova 2
Tecno Pova 2

10,999

Infinix Smart 5A
Infinix Smart 5A

6,499

Micromax In 2b
Micromax In 2b

8,999

Vivo Y72 5G
Vivo Y72 5G

20,990

Tecno Camon 17
Tecno Camon 17

12,999

Tecno Camon 17 Pro
Tecno Camon 17 Pro

16,999

Realme C11 2021
Realme C11 2021

6,999

Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G

39,990

Oppo Reno6 5G
Oppo Reno6 5G

29,990

Samsung Galaxy M21 2021
Samsung Galaxy M21 2021

12,499

OnePlus Nord 2
OnePlus Nord 2

27,999

Poco F3 GT
Poco F3 GT

27,999

Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
Samsung Galaxy A22 5G

19,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F22
Samsung Galaxy F22

12,499

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite

21,999

Infinix Note 10 Pro
Infinix Note 10 Pro

16,999

Infinix Note 10
Infinix Note 10

10,999

Vivo Y73
Vivo Y73

20,990

OnePlus Nord CE 5G
OnePlus Nord CE 5G

22,999

iQOO Z3
iQOO Z3

19,990

Realme C25s
Realme C25s

9,999

Poco M3 Pro 5G
Poco M3 Pro 5G

13,999

Realme X7 Max 5G
Realme X7 Max 5G

26,999

Oppo F19
Oppo F19

18,990

Motorola Moto G40 Fusion
Motorola Moto G40 Fusion

13,999

POCO M2 Reloaded
POCO M2 Reloaded

9,499

OPPO A74 5G
OPPO A74 5G

17,990

Oppo A53s 5G
Oppo A53s 5G

14,990

Vivo V21 5G
Vivo V21 5G

29,990

Realme C25
Realme C25

9,499

Realme C21
Realme C21

7,999

Realme C20
Realme C20

6,799

Motorola Moto G60
Motorola Moto G60

17,999

iQOO 7
iQOO 7

31,990

Samsung Galaxy M42 5G
Samsung Galaxy M42 5G

21,999

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

69,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G
Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G

39,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X
Xiaomi Mi 11X

29,999

Realme 8 5G
Realme 8 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F02s
Samsung Galaxy F02s

8,999

Samsung Galaxy F12
Samsung Galaxy F12

10,999

POCO X3 Pro
POCO X3 Pro

18,999

Realme 8 Pro
Realme 8 Pro

17,999

Realme 8
Realme 8

14,999

Vivo X60 Pro Plus
Vivo X60 Pro Plus

69,990

Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro

49,990

Vivo X60
Vivo X60

37,990

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
OnePlus 9 Pro 5G

64,999

OnePlus 9R 5G
OnePlus 9R 5G

39,999

OnePlus 9 5G
OnePlus 9 5G

49,999

Samsung Galaxy A72
Samsung Galaxy A72

34,999

Samsung Galaxy A52
Samsung Galaxy A52

26,499

Micromax In 1
Micromax In 1

10,499

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5

49,999

Samsung Galaxy M12
Samsung Galaxy M12

10,999

Motorola Moto G30
Motorola Moto G30

10,999

Motorola Moto G10 Power
Motorola Moto G10 Power

9,999

Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G
Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G

25,990

Oppo F19 Pro
Oppo F19 Pro

21,490

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

18,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

15,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10

11,999

Realme Narzo 30A
Realme Narzo 30A

8,999

Realme Narzo 30 Pro
Realme Narzo 30 Pro

16,999

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Samsung Galaxy A12
Samsung Galaxy A12

12,999

Nokia 5.4
Nokia 5.4

13,999

Nokia 3.4
Nokia 3.4

11,999

Realme X7 Pro 5G
Realme X7 Pro 5G

29,999

Realme X7
Realme X7

19,999

Vivo Y31
Vivo Y31

16,490

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Best Sellers