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4 things that are great in MIUI 12

The MIUI 12 rollout started in June 2020 (Source: Xiaomi)
The MIUI 12 rollout started in June 2020 (Source: Xiaomi)
If you've been into mobile tech for any length of time, you have noticed that Android device updates no longer include grand feature dumps. Nowadays, it's all about incremental feature updates, security and consistency. MIUI is no different, so while Xiaomi is busy rolling out MIUI 13, let's see what MIUI 12 has in store for you.
Julian van der Merwe, 👁 Daniel R Deakin,
Article compiled by Julian van der Merwe
The choices and comments made on this list belong solely to the author.

1. The separated "control center"

It is no secret that Xiaomi has a penchant for taking inspiration from a certain fruit-themed tech giant and nothing drives this point home more than MIUI's latest iterations of the notification tray and control panel. In MIUI 12, you will now find there is an option to enable a separate control center, which is no longer at the top of the notification tray. Instead, much like Apple's control center on the iPhone, you pull down from the right side to access the control center and from the left to access notifications.

This is still Android, so you can rearrange and customize the control center to your heart's content, but the new separation may make things a little more user-friendly for those new to using Android devices. 

MIUI 12 gives users the option of selecting which control center style they want in settings. (Source: Author)
MIUI 12 gives users the option of selecting which control center style they want in settings. (Source: Author)

2. Screen recorder

While this isn't exactly a new feature in MIUI 12, no feature list that mentions MIUI would be complete without mentioning Xiaomi's fantastic screen recording app. It is fully featured, offering access to settings like resolution, framerate and bitrate control and touch markers. It even features a floating button that lets you start and end recordings from any screen, after you have conveniently summoned the pop-up from the control center or notification shade. 

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Calling up the options in the MIUI screen recorder app reveals a treasure trove of options. (Source: Author)
Calling up the options in the MIUI screen recorder app reveals a treasure trove of options. (Source: Author)

3. Revamped animation engine

Xiaomi waxes all sorts of lyrical in its MIUI 12 promotional material about its "new physical animation engine," and "combining MAML graphics, Folme animations, and MiRender rendering," which I'm sure is super impressive, technically but is all stuff that your average consumer shouldn't have to understand. What you can understand, though, is that their animations are now smoother and more natural.

Most importantly, you no longer need to go into developer options and enable 0.5x animation duration scale to make the device feel responsive - it just feels snappy now. So, while this is rather difficult to convey via text, I think it is one of the most underrated upgrades in MIUI 12.  

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Xiaomi describes the magic behind MIUI's new animation engine. (Source: Xiaomi)
Xiaomi describes the magic behind MIUI's new animation engine. (Source: Xiaomi)

4. Floating windows

Android has had multitasking and floating window support for a while now, but Xiaomi has really put some polish into its multitasking support for MIUI 12. You can open a floating window from a pop-up notification by just dragging down the bottom of the notification - great for responding to a quick instant message without disrupting what you were doing entirely. Once the floating window is open, you can resize it, move it around and even minimize it to a corner of the screen with a simple gesture. 

Google Maps in a floating window over the Google Search feed. (Source: Author)
Google Maps in a floating window over the Google Search feed. (Source: Author)
Google Maps floating window minimized to the top right of the display. (Source: Author)
Google Maps floating window minimized to the top right of the display. (Source: Author)
Resizing a floating window. (Source: Author)
Resizing a floating window. (Source: Author)

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Julian van der Merwe
Julian van der Merwe - List Writer - 34 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2022
My interest in tech started in high school, rooting and flashing my Motorola Defy, but I really fell down the rabbit hole when I realised I could overclock the i7 930 in my Gigabyte pre-built PC. This tinkering addiction eventually lead me to study product design in university. I think tech should improve the lives of the people using it, no matter the field. I like to read and write about laptops, smartphones, software and trends in technology.
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Julian van der Merwe, 2022-01-20 (Update: 2022-01-20)