[Update: Official comment] Is Xiaomi planning to disassociate MIUI from Android?
This story is being continuously updated…. New updates are being added at the bottom…..
Original story (published on September 21, 2020) follows:
Android is a vast ecosystem comprising of hundreds of different OEMs from all around the world. All these Android devices have one thing in common, they’re pretty dependant on Google’s own services.
Think about it, the underlying Android system notwithstanding, the Google Play Store is every OEM’s go-to when it comes to sourcing for apps to take advantage of the hardware.
Xiaomi devices often run the company’s own custom skin on top of Android, MIUI. This skin is one of the most feature-packed ones we have in the market today and it bears little resemblance to stock Android.
The company has its reasons for trying to differentiate itself from mother Google but still, it heavily relies on Google’s services for the devices sold outside of China where Google doesn’t operate.
In recent times, Google’s data collection practices have come under sharp scrutiny. The search engine giant also came under fire back in 2018 over the surfacing of data on its Selfish Ledger plans.
This outlined the company’s idea to nudge users’ decisions into aligning with Google’s goals, doing this based on a digital model that is built around all the data Google already has on a user.
In a detailed post on Xiaomi’s Mi Community Forum, the company goes on to highlight countless instances where Google has failed to offer users convincing answers to queries surrounding their Android devices, instead, redirecting them to their respective OEMs for further support.
Recently, Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 became the first smartphone OS to receive the Enhanced Privacy Protection Certification. This is a big deal and according to Xiaomi, demonstrates its privacy-centered approach to building a mobile OS, a ‘sharp contrast from what Android does’.
The post concludes by offering users a poll in which the users are asked to choose between having MIUI as a separate OS that is security and privacy-oriented, or having Xiaomi stay and fix the Android issues in MIUI.
At the time of writing, less than 150 users had cast their votes but this could have a far more reaching impact than what meets the eye.
In recent times, there’s been a lot of tensions between US and China over the sensational social media platform, TikTok.
Huawei, once a tech juggernaut, has since been relegated to the shadows and its home market of China, with even stringent sanctions on the way as its partners continue to get targetted.
Could Xiaomi be plotting a divorce from Google, trying to land the first punch in these increasingly murky waters? We know that Huawei is already making remarkable strides in its bid to build its own operating system.
Is Xiaomi trying to do the same? Well, we can not say for sure but in light of such tones from a Chinese tech giant, this could not be completely out of the picture.
We shall continue to keep an eye on this story and update as and when we get more details so stay tuned for that.
Also, what’s your opinion? Would you like to see Xiaomi’s MIUI being separated from Google’s Android? Tell us in the comments section.
Update 1 (September 24)
With the second round of Mi Engineer Face to Face Q&A session, Xiaomi engineers have responded to a question regarding whether it will distance itself from Android and will develop its own MIUI operating system. Here’s the entire question and the response:
Q: When will Xiaomi distance itself from Android and fully flesh out an independent MIUI operating system?
A: There are no plans at present. (Source)
Based on this answer, it’s safe to assume that Xiaomi isn’t planning to ditch Android for its smartphones anytime soon. Of course, this does not mean that the company may never consider the possibility of developing its own OS.
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