Xiaomi MIUI 7 goes big with themes, small with data use

Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi has just pulled the wraps off the global edition of MIUI 7, the latest version of its Android-based operating system. At the announcement event in New Delhi, India, Xiaomi showed off the OS's new features including a large number of options for user customized themes, plus the ability to reduce mobile data usage by up to 50% thanks to a partnership with Opera and their new Max technology.

On the customization front, MIUI 7 offers four new UI themes, each affecting the way graphic elements like icons and menus look. From there, users can choose to personalize it by adjusting the colors. Taking a step beyond that is MUSE, a tool that allows users to design new themes from scratch, even if they don't know how to code. If that's still not enough, Xiaomi says its theme store has over 15,000 options available.

The other big feature is the native integration of Opera Max, technology that can compress mobile data usage from browsers and most other apps by as much as 50%. The feature is found in MIUI 7's "Data Saver" setting, and is especially effective at optimizing streaming video and audio.

Other small additions to MIUI 7 include a new XXL font size option, for those who really struggle with text readability in different apps, a Baby Album feature that will automatically collect photos of babies into a single location, and Showtime, which lets users assign a 5-second looping video to contacts so it will play when they call.

Xiaomi says the MIUI 7 developer beta will be launching on August 24th, and will be available for the Redmi 1S, Redmi 2, Mi 4, Mi 4i, Mi 3, Redmi Note 3G, and Redmi Note 4G devices.