Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Xiaomi Unveils MIUI 6 Android UI That Looks a Lot Like iOS 7

Xiaomi, as promised at the Mi 4 smartphone's launch, unveiled the next version of its MIUI user interface, MIUI 6, on Saturday at an event in Beijing, China.

MIUI 6, the new smartphone UI for Android-based Xiaomi devices, comes with major design refresh and also brings a slew of new features. Notably, the Mi 4 runs MIUI 6 out-of-the-box.

The company, also referred to as 'China's Apple', defined the new Android skin as "the best MIUI ever." However, as numerous industry pundits have pointed out, the new MIUI version noticeably takes a lot of design inspiration from Apple's iOS 7 and the newly announced iOS 8 smartphone and tablet operating systems.

The Chinese handset maker announced that the MIUI 6 is currently in beta testing with over 1,000 beta testers; though the number is likely to grow up to 10,000 people by Friday.

The company announced that the MIUI 6 developer version will be open to the public by September and will be rolled out to as 'final upgrade' to select Xiaomi handsets by October. 

The Xiaomi will begin testing MIUI 6 on the Mi 2, Mi 2S, Mi 2A, Redmi 1S, and Redmi Note by the end of this year, and updates for these devices can be expected to be rolled-out by next year.

Some of highlight features that the MIUI 6 brings is a brand new design (in what the company calls 'Content is essence' philosophy) with flat app icons. The company said at the launch, "MIUI believes that content is the essence, and has put that belief in the design of MIUI 6."

"MIUI 6 supports moving apps by holding on the app and switch screens. It has the most convenient icons organizing method, supports batch organize and delete icons," added the company.

MIUI 6 also brings a revamped camera app that will allow swipe down to switch between front and back camera, swipe left to launch menu panel, and swipe right to launch filters. The company has also re-worked the lockscreen notifications on MIUI 6, which will now appear as folded by default.

The new Android OS customisation adds a global search function feature that will allow users to place the search box anywhere on home screen, and even locate apps via it. Some other additions on the MIUI 6 include new Linux kernel and RAM optimisation techniques; new power-saving features to adjust the standby time of the device; 10GB free Mi Cloud storage space for storing images, contacts, messages, call logs and more, and the redesigned Mail app.

In addition to the iOS-styled flat icons and lockscreen notification on the MIUI 6, some of the app icons on the new MIUI appear to come straight from iOS 7 or iOS 8, like the calendar, compass, timer, and calculator.

What do you think of the new Xiaomi MIUI 6? Does it look like iOS 7? Let us know via the comments.

Source: NDTV

Sony’s Xperia M2 Aqua is a Waterproof Phone for Cheap


Sony just announced the latest addition to its Xperia lineup with the M2 Aqua, a water-resistant variant of its sleek mid-range Xperia M2. The new handset offers the same middle-of-the-road hardware and industrial design as the original M2, but adds the waterproof coating that’s helped the company carve out a niche in the smartphone market.

Just like the the Xperia M2, this water-resistant variant comes equipped with a 4.8-inch qHD display, a Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz, a 2300mAh battery, an 8-megapixel rear camera with a dedicated camera button and LTE capability. There’s no official word on software, though we’re guessing it runs Android 4.4 with a bit of Sony’s own stuff on top, including battery-saving Stamina Mode.

The Xperia M2 Aqua is set to launch this fall in Europe, South America and Asia, where it will probably cost a little more than the $300 Xperia M2. Unfortunately there’s no plan to ship the device to U.S. stores any time soon, though you’ll probably still be able to find one through a third-party reseller online. If you’re willing to pay a bit more, it might be worth waiting for the rumored Xperia Z3, which we have on good authority will be available from at least one American carrier when it hits the market.

Source: TechnoBuffalo

BBM Drops its Beta Tag and Goes Public on Windows Phone

BlackBerry Messenger is now officially available on Windows Phone after more than a month of beta testing. The app provides access to almost all of the BBM features you know and love, including groups, multi-person chats, and broadcast messages.

BBM for Windows Phone is unique in that it has its own clean and colorful user interface specifically designed to fit Microsoft’s smartphone platform. In comparison, BBM for Android and iOS was designed to look as identical to the BlackBerry 10 version of possible.

There are some downsides to the Windows Phone release, however, such as a lack of BBM Channels, no voice or video calling, and no Glympse integration. BlackBerry will be working to add these features in later, however, and the basic BBM functionality is still here.

In addition to standard one-on-one chats, you can enjoy multi-person conversations; the ability to send photos, voice notes, and your location; broadcast messaging; and BBM Groups, which lets you organize your contacts into categories like family, friends, and colleagues.

If you’ve been using the BBM beta release on Windows Phone, you should find the public version loads faster and is more responsive overall. It also fixes an issue for Spanish-speaking users that sometimes caused the app to load in English instead.

If you haven’t installed BBM on your Windows Phone device yet, you can find it in the Windows Phone app store now by following the link below.

Download BBM from Windows Phone Appstore

Source: TechnoBuffalo

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