The Xiaomi 13 series might have grabbed more headlines. Still, the recent Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona also saw Xiaomi take the wraps off the global version of the latest variant of its Android interface, MIUI 14. The skin has been heavily criticized in the past for having too much bloatware and ads, but Xiaomi has been working on ironing out these rough edges and claims that MIUI 14 is the cleanest and most efficient version of the software yet. The new software is available on a limited number of devices at the time of writing but is scheduled to roll out to most of Xiaomi’s current and recent portfolio in the coming months.

miui 14 features

MIUI 14 comes with a number of new features and fixes (and new wallpapers). There are routine claims of subtle UI improvements, smoother animations, and faster operations. RAM and storage usage also is believed to have been optimized, but those changes will become evident only in the long run. We have been trying out MIUI on both the new Xiaomi 13 Pro as well as on its predecessor, the Xiaomi 12 Pro, for the past two weeks, and these are seven new features that definitely grab attention:

7 Best MIUI 14 Features

MIUI 14: Gallery app can now recognize text

MIUI 14 joins the likes of One UI and iOS in identifying text in images in the gallery itself. You do not need any network connectivity either. Just open the picture with text in it, and choose the ‘Recognise Text’ option from the menu. It works very swiftly and gives you the option to edit the text (to fix any rough patches or misreads), copy it, send it to Notes, or share it on social media.

miui 14 recognising text ocr

MIUI 14: The Sidebar gets better

The Sidebar has been a part of MIUI for a while now. As its name indicates, it is a bar that floats on the side (generally to the left) of the display. Tapping on it reveals all the apps in a thin strip, allowing you to launch any app, no matter what is on your screen at the moment. The app then opens a window that you can move around, resize and keep an eye on even while doing something else. It is a super quick launching option and a handy feature for multitaskers who like to have many apps open.

miui 14 sidebar

Now, in MIUI 13, you could, at the most, open one app using the Sidebar on top of the already running one. In MIUI 14, we found ourselves being able to open more apps and, at one stage, had four apps in all on one window – one being a main video and three others (Note, Calculator, and Twitter) having been launched from the Sidebar. Also, unlike in MIUI 13, where you could only reduce the size of an app launched from the sidebar to a smaller window, in MIUI 14, you can actually make it an icon and park it in the corner of the display. Very cool!

Related Read: Top 5 Hidden MIUI Settings That You Should Use

MIUI 14: Enlarged folders

miui 14 enlarged folders

App folders can be very handy as they let you group apps in them, making apps easier to find and classify. So you could have a folder that contains all your music apps, another for your social network apps, yet another for games, and so on. Finding your app is as simple as tapping the folder to open it and selecting the app from it. MIUI 14 has made this even simpler by introducing Enlarged Folders. All you need to do is activate the option by long pressing on any folder and choosing “Enlarged.” You will not only get a larger folder icon, but three of the apps within it will be large enough to be activated directly by tapping on them right there, without even having to open the folder!

MIUI 14: A much more vivid and colorful Widget menu

miui 14 widget menu

Widgets are one of the USPs of the Android platform. And MIUI comes packed with many of them. The problem in the past, however, was that picking widgets was a bit difficult from the crowd of options and that the whole ‘Add Widget’ interface was rather dull, with rather small icons and fonts. With MIUI 14, Xiaomi has jazzed up the whole widget scenario with larger and more colorful icons and far more readable fonts, giving you a much better preview of what widgets are actually like. We think we will be using widgets far more often on this interface.

MIUI 14: A Clearer Settings menu

miui 14 settings menu

It is not just the Add Widgets which has got a cleanup. The Settings menu in MIUI 14 is also subtly different from its counterpart on MIUI 13. Fonts are definitely easier to read. Also, a number of options now have their icons placed inside boxes, making them more distinct. It is a small touch but definitely makes the Settings menu (one which is used so often) easier to read.

MIUI 14: Searching Settings is a whole lot easier now

mini 14 settings search

The Settings in MIUI 14 might be visually more appealing, but they are extensive, so going through them all can be a little challenging. You can cut through all this by just searching for what you are looking for. And this gets a whole lot easier on MIUI 14, as when you start typing in the Search box in Settings, you are also shown the history of terms you have already searched for. This can save time if you are searching for the same thing one more time (yes, that happens, ask us) or are searching for something similar.

MIUI 14: No ads

We found no ads at all on MIUI 14 running on both the Xiaomi 13 Pro or Xiaomi 12 Pro. Xiaomi has been cleaning up its ad baggage in recent versions of MIUI, but on both flagships, MIUI 14 is clean in the ad sense. The big question is whether this freedom from the ad, ad world will extend to lower-priced Xiaomi, Redmi, and Poco devices, but this is definitely a very bright start.

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