Now MIUI haven’t just compiled a ROM and put a theme engine on top, no they have also added some of their own applications and implementations as well to make it a much more "Me You I" experience.
First up we will cover two of the additional extras added in the Camera and Music Player and then some of the native MIUI applications.
It’s not a vast improvement i would admit and it’s own design is pretty much the only difference really. With the usual feature set is the basic and stock offering, although with some ROM’s you will have the tap-to-focus feature working as well. The video quality is able to record up to 720p and 1080p on certain MIUI ROM’s and devices, all this is with a good quality picture and video output.
MIUI Music Player
We all like a nice Music Player experience right and with MIUI you get a stunning experience. The MIUI Music Player has garnered some fans among users in the Android world and even the users not on MIUI want it as well. It has the abilities to make it one of the best and with features that include a built in equalizer, ability to integrate the Music Player with the lockscreen, easy ways of use and organization, and the ability to be able to download lyrics and album artwork from the internet directly. It’s a straight simple, great featured and easy to use Music Player. Hell, it was even released as a standalone apk for the masses to download and use it was that popular.
It’s also a heavy feature rich set of options that are given to you the user. You will find so much that you’ll never want another Music Player. These options range from the basic offerings to nice additions like displaying downloaded lyrics, shake to skip, filtering content out of a certain size so you won’ be hearing a ringtone or notification tone when you have it set on shuffle at all. Your also see a nice visual spectrogram to give you some eye candy and visual when the Music Player and Widget is in view playing away. The lockscreen being a option to customize within MIUI quite a lot also supports the use of MIUI Music controls for ease of use when needing to get to those options.
MIUI Native Applications
The browser in MIUI is not as big or feature heavy as say Dolphin, Firefox or many others on the Android Market, but the native browser does have a quick, fluid, and very easy to use UI for even the biggest novice user. It features tabbed browsing, speed dial, it’s own brightness settings, panorama and full screen viewing modes and also the usual set of browser features such as bookmarking, flash support, pop-up blocking, and much more.
This is one addition that is particularly useful if you are on a limited data plan. Found in the tools folder initially it will keeps tabs on your mobile internet and Wi-Fi data use, also as well as the number of calls, texts and your device uses. It’s an amazing native application to have and it also allows you to set limits so you can be informed when your itching closer to your limit. Normally apps like these are found within the Android Market like 3G Watchdog, but here MIUI does it better and natively in my opinion that’s fantastic.
Along with all that monitoring greatness comes an in built firewall that can allow you control over which apps are allowed access to the internet at all or you can also choose whether to restrict it for mobile data or Wi-Fi only. I very handy addition again if your on a limited data plan again.
As we just mentioned in the Monitor app comes the firewall, but that was for apps only. The Firewall comes as a full application as well that can filter out calls that you want to receive and ones that you don’t want to be getting. Pretty easy really, it’s a native app that can block calls and messages that come from a certain number.
MiTalk is MIUI very own IM application just like Whatsapp, but MIUI and it’s native MiTalk adds as a fantastic addition natively to MIUI users.
Now, as it’s the first time for you launching the app you will have to create an account, once this is done and dusted with the application will pick up other MiTalk users in your phonebook if they have an account that is associated with that phone number, see the comparison to Whatsapp already? This is always available in the Android Market and not just for MIUI so you can get connected with anyone including cross platform with iOS users as well.
Now, your also given a far few more features within MiTalk like a wall, yes a wall where you can share thoughts, upload pictures, add audio clips and more.
You can add emoticons with your messages, pictures you draw, a voice recording, pictures from phone, and more. Typing is also not just available in the conventional keyboard method as you can also use the handwriting option. A must use app or at least try it if you have others in your phonebook who use MIUI it’s well worth using.
The MIUI native File Explorer is not as powerful as a tool as say Root Explorer, for one it doesn’t allow access to system files or root privilege tasks, but it’s features for the conventional use are all you will need. The MIUI File Explorer is able to manage files easily, and also supports an in built FTP server.
The File Explorer has the ability to browse files in pre-defined categories and these include Music, Videos, Pics, Themes, Docs, Zips, APKs, Misc and Favourites. A very handy way to navigate through your files easier than searching through files and folders to find what. You will see sitting below on the main screen of the File Manager that displays those folders a very handy coloured bar that displays the space information of your systems storage. The next feature is the SD Card and it displays like most file managers in that it’s a scrollable list of folders and files on your memory card.
Copy, Cut, Paste and other conventional functions are present of course and we also have that FTP built in server we mentioned before. All you need is to tap the start service button and then enter the FTP address in your explorer on your PC/Laptop.
I’m sure if you have been modding your devices then you will have heard of Titanium Backup and if not and this is your first time then it’s simply been a must have tool when you need to backup up system data and pretty much anything you want. Well, in MIUI they have their very own MIUI Backup which can do system data along the likes of Applications, Call History, Contacts, Desktop Layout, Desktop Screens, Wi-Fi Settings and more. All this can be set up to be backed up locally or if you set up your Xiaomi account then you can back all this data within the cloud as well as that added space option and constant access.
The Gallery application that comes with MIUI is in my opinion better than the native Android offering. It is simple, quick and easy to use and comes with the core features you expect from a Gallery application. Simple, effective and easy to use.
That’s all the MIUI applications and extras explained with the Chinese custom rom that has become a worldwide hit from Xiaomi. I hope it helps you find your way through and maybe persuade others to give it a go as well who have been hesitant to try out MIUI.