As is the case with many other Android smartphone manufacturers, Xiaomi develops and maintains its own custom overlay, called MIUI. While the overlay is typically available in stable form, Xiaomi does offer beta versions of MIUI to a limited number of users, so as to test new features before refining them and making them available to the general userbase. The company has now changed some policies related to the availability of these beta builds of MIUI for certain smartphones, in order to make its own processes more efficient and ensure better quality control.
According to a post by the MIUI team on the company’s official forum for the software, the company will be adopting a new policy for MIUI updates effective July 5, 2019. The development time will be adjusted to one year for beta builds. This means that all phones will only receive beta software builds for a year after release, following which the experimental builds will no longer be worked on by the development team. Additionally, the company will stop developing MIUI beta builds for entry-level Redmi smartphones. It is unclear exactly which Redmi and Mi smartphones will be impacted with this change.
These changes in policy are meant to streamline and improve the efficiency of software development, as well as ensure quality control, according to the post. Users will be able to port back to the stable versions after beta development ends, although this will require the smartphone to be reset with all data wiped. The changes don’t affect stable builds, which will continue to receive software updates and Android security patches as per the existing policy and guidelines.
MIUI is a popular overlay for Android, and is part of the reason why Xiaomi has been successful in China and India. Although users do praise MIUI for its feature set, the software has also been criticised for its large number of ads embedded into the user interface. The company has however taken note of the issue, and has started fixing the problem.