Xiaomi is the newest smartphone maker to join the growing list of companies that offer screen time feature. The Chinese smartphone maker has begun adding a Digital Wellbeing-like feature and WiFi probe protection in the latest beta version of MIUI, it custom skin for Android. The company often tends to add new features to its own user interface without having to change the base version of Android. While Android versions tend to bring new features with every release, Xiaomi tends to focus on adding smaller features with every minor release of MIUI.
The difference between MIUI based on Android Nougat and that based on Android Pie is only marginal because the company brings newer features of Android to its UI without changing the version. This move, while ingenious in some ways, also results in Xiaomi dropping core Android features from its own build. Two such features omitted by Xiaomi were Google’s Adaptive Battery and Digital Wellbeing released with Android 9 Pie. Now, Xiaomi is filling the gap by introducing its own version of Google’s Digital Wellbeing, available in the latest beta of MIUI for certain devices.
Digital Wellbeing was introduced by Google last year with Android Pie as a way to keep track of screen time on digital devices. Xiaomi’s iteration of Digital Wellbeing does the same and gives information like screen usage and also offers details of the amount of time spend per app on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Xiaomi’s MIUI users will be able to tap on each app individually to see the total screen-on-time for those apps throughout the day and it can even be further segmented to see hourly time spent. According to XDA Developers, the feature will also tell users the number of times they unlocked their smartphone and the number of notifications received during the day or the entire week.
Like Digital Wellbeing, Xiaomi’s offering shows the frequency of notifications segregated per app as well as a graph shows the influx of notifications each hour. Since it is a fork of Digital Wellbeing, Xiaomi’s implementation also comes with the ability to set a timer for daily usage. When you cross the threshold, the feature will alert giving the option to dismiss it to snooze the reminder for an hour. Huawei was among the first to implement digital wellbeing feature besides one seen on Google’s own Pixel devices.
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Like Huawei‘s implementation, Xiaomi also lets users set different screen time for weekdays as well as weekends. Once the feature is enabled, the remaining screen time will be shown in the notification. In addition to Digital Wellbeing, Xiaomi has also implemented WiFi probe protection feature protecting data transferred from or to your device over a WiFi connection. The feature works by randomizing your smartphone’s MAC address so that the actual address is not shared with a WLAN router having probe frame. The digital wellbeing feature has been spotted on MIUI 10 beta (version 9.4.15) on Xiaomi Mi 8 SE is expected to arrive officially soon.