MIUI 9: Everything you need to know

Xiaomi's MIUI custom ROM is one of the most popular manufacturer skins around, with over 280 million users across 220 countries. A majority of users are from Xiaomi's home market, China, but with the brand seeing a lot of momentum in India and other Asian countries, it is now offering features tailored to a global audience.

Here's a look at what's new in MIUI 9, and when you can start using it on your Xiaomi phone.

What are the new features in MIUI 9?

With MIUI 9, Xiaomi's main goal was to improve stability and speed, and to that effect the company optimized over 20 areas of the interface for better performance. The result is that MIUI 9 feels much more responsive when compared to older versions of the ROM.

And with the ROM seeing a lot of usage in markets like India, Xiaomi rolled out a retooled notification pane designed for global markets. The notification panel in the global ROM comes with bundled notifications and in-line replies, features that aren't present in the Chinese version of the ROM.

While the Chinese ROM leverages Xiaomi's digital assistant and universal image search, the global variant comes with an all-new image editor that can easily remove background elements from photos, a new video player, exclusive themes and stickers, and a Google Now-style pane that lists your frequently used apps.

MIUI 9: Nine new features you need to know

What devices will receive the MIUI 9 update?

Xiaomi is rolling out the MIUI 9 update to a total of 32 phones. Basically, most Xiaomi phones released over the last five years will be getting updated to MIUI 9. Here's the full list:

  • Mi Mix 2
  • Mi Mix
  • Mi Note 3
  • Mi Note 2
  • Mi Note
  • Mi 6
  • Mi 5
  • Mi 5s
  • Mi 5s Plus
  • Mi 4i
  • Mi 4
  • Mi 3
  • Mi 2
  • Mi Max 2
  • Mi Max
  • Mi Max Prime
  • Redmi Note 4
  • Redmi Note 4X
  • Redmi Note 5A
  • Redmi Note 3
  • Redmi Note 4G Prime
  • Redmi Note 2
  • Redmi Note 4G
  • Redmi 4
  • Redmi 4X
  • Redmi 3
  • Redmi 3S
  • Redmi 3S Prime
  • Redmi 2
  • Redmi 2 Prime
  • Redmi Y1
  • Redmi 5A

While it's great that the five-year-old Mi 2 is picking up the update, XIaomi has announced that MIUI 9 will be the last stable release for the device, along with five other Xiaomi handsets — the Mi 4i, Redmi Note 4G, Redmi 2, Redmi 2 Prime, and the Mi Note.

When will my phone get the MIUI 9 update?

Following its rollout last month, the MIUI 9 OTA has rolled out to Xiaomi devices, with the likes of the Redmi Note 4, Mi Max 2, Mi Mix 2, Mi 5, Redmi 4, Redmi 4A, and the Redmi Y1. The update is also currently making its way to the Mi Note 2, Mi 5s, Mi 5s Plus, Mi Max, Redmi 3, Redmi 3S, Redmi Note 3, and the Redmi Note 2.

Xiaomi is rolling out weekly builds with bug fixes and feature additions following feedback from the MIUI community. With over 30 phones set to receive the update, it will be a few months before Xiaomi rolls out the latest version of its custom ROM to older devices. But with the major launches from the last two years already receiving the update, the company will be shifting focus to older devices in its portfolio over the coming months.

Did you receive the MIUI 9 update on your Xiaomi phone? How are you liking the new additions?

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.