One of the things I enjoy about Android phones is their customizability. Third-party smartphone makers can tweak the user interface to help set them apart. Xiaomi MIUI does lean more on a heavy skin on top of Android, which might not suit some people. But there are many features on Xiaomi phones I wish I found on other Android phones.
This roundup can be considered the best of MIUI 12.5, the latest Android 11-based version of its software. Xiaomi promises that this version of its operating system is a faster, more efficient experience than its competition. But it still carries over features from MIUI 12, which I’ve gotten used to while testing devices like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 and POCO M3 Pro 5G.
I’m not going to talk benchmarks or numbers or anything here. Instead, I’d want to share some features on MIUI 12.5 that offer some practical, real-life use.
New Control Center
This feature made its debut on MIUI 12, and Xiaomi has carried it over to MIUI 12.5. Like on iPhones, you get access to the Control Center if you swipe from the top right. Then if you swipe from the left, you access notifications. Xiaomi gives you the option to choose this new look or the old version, where your quick settings and notifications are all together.
To change the Control Center style, head to Settings > Notifications & Control center > Control center style.
Quick access to Do Not Disturb timer
I rely on Do Not Disturb when I want to concentrate on work and at the end of the day. I like how Xiaomi makes it easier to access the feature, with the option of setting a timer for up to eight hours (perfect for my sleeping hours).
To access the timer, press the volume rocker, then the three-dot menu. Tap on the DND button so the DND timer will appear. The slider will let you choose between 30 minutes, one hour, two hours, or eight hours. The moon icon at the bottom of the volume slider and silent mode option also lets you enable Do Not Disturb for as long as you want.
App drawer customization
I prefer having app drawers around, and thankfully, Xiaomi still gives users the option to have one. (You can also choose to go without it, like on iOS.) The company takes it up a notch by offering several customization options.
You can have your frequently used apps showing up at the top of the app drawer via App Suggestions. You can set the background of the app drawer to be in Light mode, Dark mode, or on Auto and customize the background’s transparency.
You can categorize apps to suit your needs and create custom categories of your liking. And you can even arrange apps alphabetically or in their original position, depending on what you downloaded first. While available on MIUI 12, it doesn’t look like I can organize apps by color anymore.
Head to Settings > Home screen to access these features.
Share photos securely
Xiaomi also carries over one of its privacy-related features, and it’s one I hope they continue to offer in future versions of MIUI.
Secure sharing allows you to send pictures you take from your Xiaomi phone without sending location, metadata, or both. This feature is accessible through the three-dot menu in the Gallery app. Head to Settings, then scroll down to Send, and then Secure sharing.
I’ve seen this feature on past Xiaomi devices, and I like that the company has decided to keep it on. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, right? For casting your smartphone’s screen on TVs and external monitors, I like that Xiaomi goes beyond just letting you show what’s on your phone’s display.
Xiaomi offers options like minimizing the window on the smartphone so you can continue using the phone, turning the screen off to save battery life a bit, and hide notifications, calls, incoming calls, and other private items on the external display.
There are more MIUI 12.5 features you can keep digging through in the settings. And we’d love to hear about your favorites! Let us know on social media. We have more Random Tech Tips that you can check out HERE.