Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi on Thursday announced the roll-out of MIUI 9 Global ROM – customised Android read-only-memory for smartphones and tablets – in India. It also launched the new brand Redmi Y1 and Redmi Y1 Lite.
Jai Mani, lead product manager of Mi India, was one of the star speakers at the kickoff event and talked about its new features and updates.
After his public speech, Entrackr caught up with Mani off-stage and had an exclusive chat with him on Xiaomi’s plans for India.
Q. Xiaomi is quite an active smartphone company, which keeps launching new updates time and again. Why were the recent updates important for Xiaomi?
Mani: If you are just a smartphone company, the only time you interact with your consumers is when you launch a new device. However, for us, software is our first product.
Though every update incurs a lot of cost, we offer it to our customers so they can have the best experience of our product.
This “MIUI 9” update will be available even for the Mi2 device, which was launched in 2012. This shows our commitment towards customer satisfaction.
Q. Xiaomi claims to be much more than a smartphone brand as it positions itself as an internet company in China. How do you plan to pan out the internet positioning for the Indian market?
Mani: Yes, we’re not just a phonemaker in China. We also offer loans (Mi Finance) and we are also in the content business (Mi Video, music etc.)
Similarly, we have a long-term goal in India as we plan to introduce similar products. We have already made investment here across various domains — entertainment (Hungama), finance (KrazyBee) and networking app (Sharechat) — which is the way towards a large goal.
Q. Please tell us about more feature and updates.
Mani: The new MIUI version includes faster app load time, new design elements, lock-screen shortcuts, split-screen feature, smart photo editing and more. We have also optimised the system to boost performance.
Of various features, notifications, split screen, icon animation, and smart photo editing have received massive changes. Unlike before, the notifications on MIUI 9 will now show multiple styles, bundling notifications, and enabling quick reply. We have also integrated smart photo editing tools in its editing app. We also have 21 animated icons that will be part of MIUI 9.
Q. MIUI 9 is quite Indianised in terms of features. How were these features finalised?
Mani: We concentrated on the requirements of the people. We observed that the Indian users fancy notifications and so we tried to enhance it.
Besides, Indian users’ most favourite feature is Midrop, which is more popular in India than anywhere else. So, we have improved the feature a lot more, where users enjoy a far better experience.