Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. is notorious for mimicking the design of Apple's iPhone. The company’s latest MIUI mobile operating system makes its devices look more like an iPhone than ever.
Xiaomi is marketing its new MIUI 6 as simple and intuitive; it is also a spitting image of the current iOS 7 software of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), including flat, square icons and gradient rainbow colors. Tech pundits have sarcastically commented that Xiaomi released iOS 7 on Monday. Furthermore, several MIUI 6 applications, such as its calendar, compass, and calculator bear a striking resemblance to apps on iOS 7.
— Jon Russell (@jonrussell) August 18, 2014
While Xiaomi is known for being Apple-inspired, its operating system is actually a heavily modified version of Android. Ramon Llamas, smartphone research manager at IDC, has noted that one of the biggest attractions of Xiaomi’s smartphones is that they are Android devices that look like iPhones. The Mi 4 smartphone, for example, looks like a cross between the Apple iPhone 4s and the iPhone 5, and with the MIUI 6 it will have an operating system to match the Apple aesthetic. But Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s vice president, insists that the smartphone maker has not directly copied any ideas from Apple.
MIUI 6 includes many usability and security updates. In particular, Xiaomi has included a built-in Permission feature and a Virus Scan, so that users won’t have to install additional security tools. The update also includes new phone app features that identify unknown numbers and mark service numbers like telemarketers and a revamped notifications page (also reminiscent of iOS7) that allows users to access notifications from any screen, including the lock screen.