MIUI is one of the most powerful Android OEM skins, if you take the time to delve into it and put some prejudice aside. Sure, it has some shortcomings, like any other software, and it does some things in its own weird ways, but it has plenty of interesting features and additions. There's one aspect though that outright annoyed me when I tested the Poco F1: ads. Thankfully, Xiaomi is now recognizing they're a little too much and will be getting rid of some of them in future updates to MIUI.

When setting up the Poco F1, every built-in app I opened asked me to agree to its terms of services, many requested some nonsensical permissions, and ads kept popping up left and right — in the notification bar, as a full-screen layer when opening some app, or just as banners in multiple apps. I had to keep disabling some notification channels or delving into settings to look for a way to turn off ads. It left me with a sour taste in my mouth. I understand that the company needs to turn profit somehow, and its impossibly low hardware prices are an indicator of the tiny margins it's operating on, but ads weren't a compromise I was too comfortable with. For other users who can't afford to pay more, this might be acceptable, but I'm sure no one will moan their loss if they were to show up less.

Xiaomi is finally admitting that it's doing a little too much with ads, and has promised to tone them down across its software. As reported by XDA, these are the ad-related improvements that will be coming to MIUI in the near future:

  • The company has already reduced the number of places in MIUI where advertisements are served and will continue to make reductions in the next 2 months.
  • The company will make sure that no “vulgar” advertisements will be shown to users, especially in the notifications.
  • The MIUI browser app will show fewer advertisements within 2-3 months.
  • All advertisements will be clearly disclosed to the user, and users will have the express ability to suspend or close ads.
  • Xiaomi will make it easier to find advertisement controls in MIUI system apps and settings.

This is what I call good news.