All those who have rooted their phones or have at least considered rooting it must be aware of what custom ROMs are. ( if you are unaware you may further know about it here.) CyanogenMod(CM) certainly is the undisputed winner among the most popular custom ROM. But we cannot just ignore all the action going on in the far east, yes you guessed it right China! China is not only a tough competitor to USA at every step and here is China’s answer to CM, MIUI. MIUI, pronounced as “Me You I”, is a custom ROM developed by Xiaomi Tech. Unlike the developers of CM, Xiaomi tech themselves are a cellular phone manufacturer and have yet contributed to the world of open source by releasing this amazing piece of custom ROM in free market.
When MIUI was initially launched it was severely criticized to steal the UI from iOS. Unlike other android ROMs MIUI does away with the iconic app drawer and instead focuses only on the home screen. However after the launch of MIUI v4 which is an Android version 4.0.4 based on sources from CM9 has bought drastic changes in the UI and made sure to steer clear from any infringement on the iOS UI. MIUI is originally a Chinese only ROM. However they have officially handed over the source to various counter parts in different countries like USA, Spain,etc to allow people all over the world to enjoy the amazing features in this ROM.
Features that make MIUI stand out from other Android ROMS are :
- Toggle Switches: Though ICS features toggle switches in the notification bar MIUI was one of the first ROMS to introduce toggle Switches in the notification bar ever since Gingerbread.
- Themes: This is a star feature of MIUI. MIUI is a heavily modifiable ROM. It lets you theme everything like icons, System UI, framework, lock screen, font, boot animation, etc. Even CM features a theme option but not even close to the amazing themes available for MIUI. It is one of the most awesome looking ROMs. Period.
- Integrated apps: MIUI features some amazing features by integrating some amazing apps into the system UI. The integration is so seamless that you hardly notice that the apps are actually not a part of the system. It features some security apps like anti-virus, data monitor, App Control, Guard, etc. These apps allow you to closely monitor apps that use risky permissions and also alert you when an app is trying to use one of such permissions.
- Inbuilt Backup Service: MIUI features an inbuilt backup app which allows to to backup everything from system settings to apps in one click. However the restore option works only on another MIUI rom. It also provides you a free cloud service called MiDrive that allows you to sync your backup to the cloud.
- Other cool apps: MIUI features many other apps of its own like camera, gallery, video player, etc and other basic apps with expanded functionality and convenience.
- Convenience: This ROM features many small features which one might consider pretty useless but makes your life a tad bit easier. One such feature is your phone is locked just press the lock button this will land you onto the lock screen, now press and hold the home key to start the LED torch(if available) on your phone. Another such convenience is when an app tries to download any file larger than a custom value over the data connection, it informs you and asks for permission to allow the app to continue. Once you start using the ROM you’ll know how convenient things can be if the developer keeps the problems of the user in mind while developing a ROM. Many cell phone manufacturers have a lot to learn from such user oriented designing techniques.
After this if you feel like flashing your phone with MIUI you may visit it’s English site. ROMs like MIUI are a boon to the whole android community as they create a strong healthy competition that pushes the developers towards building better ROMs and promotes innovation.