[Update: Now Under Consideration] Xiaomi Mi 6 may not get an official Android Pie update
Xiaomi’s OS update cycle differs from the conventional cycle followed by most other OEMs. In addition to base Android versions, Xiaomi devices also rely on MIUI updates for getting new features and stability improvements. This often means that features across devices are reliant more on the MIUI version than on the Android version of the device. On the other hand, the base Android version update definitely takes more time to arrive on the device as compared to other OEMs, but that is to be expected considering how heavy MIUI is as a UX skin.
The Xiaomi Mi 6 began receiving its MIUI 10 update in August last year. This update was based on Android Oreo, but its feature set was dictated more by the MIUI version rather than the Android version. Since the device was launched in April 2017 with MIUI 8 based on Android 7.1.1, the two version jump in MIUI versions was decent. But it now appears that the Mi 6 may not be receiving another Android version jump that would take it to Android Pie.
An engineer from Xiaomi’s BSP* team put up a post on Weibo revealing the company’s thoughts on the update. According to him, Mi 6’s MIUI 10 update that is based on Android Oreo has already incorporated most of the major functions of Android Pie. If the device would be update to Pie, the user experience would not be different from what it is currently. However, the update would cost time of the development team, and with no real benefit arising out of the situation, this time could be spent elsewhere.
Xiaomi is, however, open to reconsidering its decision. If enough users consider the Android Oreo update to not be good and hence, want an Android Pie update, they should approach the concerned team with their reasoning. This might just convince Xiaomi that the effort is worth the generated goodwill.
*BSP, or Board Support Package, is the term for the set of tools and software that, in this case, Qualcomm releases to their OEM partners to support a particular Android software release for a particular chipset. In this case, the relevant BSP would be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 BSP for the Android 9 Pie release.
Update 1: Mi 6’s Android Pie Update Now Under Consideration
After the release of the Mi 9, the BSP engineer shared a post on his Weibo account once more stating that Xiaomi has heard the feedback from users regarding the Android Pie update. The engineer says that he will “pull through the various departments and start doing it!” We’re not sure if that’s even possible for an engineer to do on his own, since something like this would need to be signed off by a Product Manager. Still, we’ll follow this development in case something changes.