Xiaomi’s mobile ecosystem is undergoing a significant change with the introduction of HyperOS, the successor to the long-running MIUI operating system. While HyperOS inherits much-loved features from MIUI, such as animation speed customization and fingerprint sensor gesture controls, one popular functionality is set to be removed – background video playback.

The end of an era: Xiaomi removes background video playback in HyperOS

Before, Xiaomi devices offered a unique advantage. We’re talking about the ability to minimize a YouTube video and continue audio playback with the screen off. This functionality first introduced in MIUI 12 and ported to MIUI 13, MIUI 14 and HyperOS. It effectively provided a free YouTube Premium-like experience.

However, a recent announcement from Xiaomi indicates a change of course. Citing “compliance requirements”, the company confirmed that the ability to minimize videos and listen in the background will be removed from future updates for Xiaomi, Redmi and POCO devices running MIUI 12 and above.

This change, as Mundo Xiaomii reports, will be done gradually through upcoming updates. While the exact timeline remains undisclosed, each device model will receive its specific update at a different time.

While some users may be tempted to avoid updates to keep this feature, it’s worth the price. Refusing updates leaves devices vulnerable to security breaches and deprives them of new functionality and performance improvements included in updates. Also, all new Xiaomi phones will ship with the latest software. This means that background video playback will not be available to them from the start.

Despite this obvious obstacle for users, there is a readily available and free alternative. Using the Xiaomi Music app, which offers a built-in background playback feature. This can effectively serve as a replacement for the now discontinued background video playback feature.

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The current rollout allows users to continue using the video minimization feature until their specific update arrives. While Xiaomi hasn’t provided a definitive timeframe for the rollout, the updates aren’t expected to take a significant amount of time to reach users.

Looking Ahead: Implications and Potential Causes

Removing background video playback on Xiaomi devices raises several questions. While the exact reasoning behind this decision remains unclear, industry speculation points to potential pressure from Google, the owner of YouTube. By removing this functionality, Xiaomi may be complying with Google’s terms of service or trying to avoid copyright infringement concerns.

This change also highlights the dynamic nature of the mobile software ecosystem. Manufacturers like Xiaomi must navigate a complex environment where user preferences, platform limitations and partnerships with other companies can affect software features.

Impact on users and potential workarounds

Undoubtedly, the removal of background video playback will cause frustration among some users who use this feature heavily. However, the existence of alternatives, such as the Xiaomi Music app, can mitigate the impact. Additionally, users may explore third-party applications that offer similar features, bearing in mind potential security considerations when using such applications.

Conclusion: A balancing act

Xiaomi’s decision to remove background video playback represents a balancing act between user preferences, platform limitations, and potential compliance considerations. While users may need to adjust their habits or explore alternative solutions, the change highlights the constant evolution of mobile software features. Going forward, it remains to be seen how users adapt to this change and whether Xiaomi introduces new features in the future that address the functionality gap created by this removal.

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Xiaomi’s HyperOS Update: Say Goodbye to Background Video Playback