Xiaomi what you're working with: Chinese mobe maker starts Android 11 rollout

Ladling out custom brew to its devices


Android 11 is coming to Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro smartphones, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer has confirmed.

The latest-and-greatest from Google is already rolling out to developers and early adopters through Xiaomi’s beta programme, ahead of a wider release later this year. As expected, this comes with the Middle Kingdom upstart’s heavily customised MIUI 12 Android skin.

In contrast to several other phone vendors with a penchant for Android customisation, UI’s release cadence doesn’t match that of Android's releases. Xiaomi first started rolling out MIUI 12 in June, and is actively bringing the software to more devices. Consequently, Xiaomi phones running Android 11 will appear relatively unchanged compared to those running MIUI 12 on Android 10.

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Nonetheless, the main system-level changes will carry over to the new version, including the overhauled messaging tools, as well as “bubbles,” which works much like Facebook Messenger’s “Chat Heads” feature. In practice, this allows users to view notifications for certain messaging apps in a small overlay and access them while using another app.

It’s worth noting that the release for Android 11 has largely differed from previous years, when Google’s Pixel lineup had an early (and generous) head start against other vendors. This time around, a bevvy of developers have announced early access to Mountain View’s freshest operating system via public beta programmes, with wider general availability expected in the short-term future.

That makes sense when you consider Android 11 is geared towards reducing the existing fragmentation in the Android sphere. The system comes with several tweaks geared at making it easier for vendors to test and ultimately release future versions, such as seamless updates. ®


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