One of the very first Xiaomi devices to officially land in the US was the Mi Box (known as the Mi Box 3 elsewhere) back in fall 2016. While the original model has already been replaced by the Mi Box S in the States, Xiaomi hasn’t stopped pushing newer updates to its nearly four-year-old box. Now the company's rolling out Android 9 Pie to those enrolled in the beta program.

This news comes courtesy of a Redditor who posted a screenshot (below) of their Mi Box receiving the Android 9 beta update weighing in at 620MB. The only thing mentioned in the included changelog is that the Mi Remote app will now be compatible with the Mi Box. Xiaomi usually sticks to stock UI for its Android TV boxes, so you should expect all the goodies that came with the Pie update for the Mi Box S. The beta version R2810 is currently rolling out only to the MDZ-16-AB variant of the Mi Box. And as the Reddit user pointed out, Xiaomi isn’t accepting new signups for the Mi Box’s beta program, so only existing enrollees are eligible for this update.

Xiaomi launched the 2016 Mi Box running the now-ancient Android Marshmallow and bumped the device directly to Oreo in 2018, skipping the Nougat build. After almost a two-year gap, the unit is now picking up Pie in beta, though we aren’t sure as to when its stable release will be out. The Mi Box S’s Pie build spent two months in beta testing before hitting the stable channels earlier this year, so you can expect a similar release timeline for its predecessor.

Stable rollout

Xiaomi has started rolling out the stable version of Android Pie to its 2016 Mi Box after a beta run last month. A bunch of users who were on the previous stable version confirmed on Reddit (via XDA) and Twitter that the final Pie build hit their devices in the last few hours. The OTA is going live for eligible users all over the world, so you won’t have to wait for long if you haven’t already received the update notification.

The stable Android 9 Pie version weighs slightly more than the beta at 650MB and includes security patches up to July 2020. The build size will naturally be a bit smaller for those upgrading from Pie beta. With this update, the settings and power menus are getting a facelift, while you’ll also get access to a recommendation section in the app drawer, a Play Store shortcut, the Amazon Prime app, and a few other tweaks here and there. Here's the full changelog (via Android Sage):

  • Amazon Prime Videos preinstalled
  • Reading and writing via USB
  • New settings menu interface
  • Audio via USB
  • Special access for apps, such as overlap
  • Amazon Prime video as system app
  • New interface when pressing the volume button
  • Screenshot while holding on / off button pressed
  • Options to manually select audio formats, such as Dolby Digital plus and AAC
  • Fixed frontal light automatically on/off after suspend.
  • Fixed system language change automatically
  • Integrated the latest GTVS.