Breathing new life into old Android phones


ios ui cyanogenmod ui android ui touchwiz ui


You know what’s good? This:


The Galnet MIUI rom (Build 2.11.26)

I was ready to sell off my Galaxy S2 (yes not exactly old..). All content backed up, all data partitions wiped, flashed a new fresh rom and so on. It was ready. It was to be replaced with my new Galaxy Note. Before I could place an ad however, I decided I’d try flash some ICS alpha roms.

Now I’d been aware of MIUI for a long time but it wasn’t until I was on a quest to find a working ICS rom that I was forced to pay attention to it proper. I came across something called Galnet MIUI and it promises that it has a “merged ICS framework” with all the ICS benefits but just none of the frontend UI. Sounds better than some alpha ICS builds with a huge list of non-working stuff, I guess.

The flashing went smoothly- it was no different than flashing a regular rom: via CWM recovery. The boot animation was impressive and turned out to be the precursor to something great. I fell in love with the rom immediately. And just to summarise this rom in 3 words: beautiful, functional and stable.

The original MIUI concept, in my opinion was to bring the iPhone UI to Android. But it’s evolved from that and has grown into so much more. The rom was made for those who either wanted to have a UI that mimics iOS or for those who like to mock iOS, probably. It’s clear in the screenshots alone that it lifts iOS’s apps icon homescreen (because there is no longer an app drawer) and combines it with the best that Android has to offer e.g. widgets, the Android notification system (that ios ripped and planted into ios5). All the animations that MIUI is capable of is on par with iOS and a step above anything found on a stock Android launcher…or even LauncherPRO and ADWLauncher. The modifications aren’t just launcher-deep. Even the popups, settings menus, camera ui, notification area and so on.. it’s a complete suite of something totally different. it’ so heavily modified that it really ought to be considered a branch off that separates itself from Android. And Indeed the team who did the original MIUI rom has built their own phone based on this rom- known as the “Xiaomi phone”.

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Speaking of settings, see for yourself in the screenshot. Again it doesn’t stop at the visual level. Many many functions and features were added with native apps to support them. Here are some of the features that are much appreciated here and are sorely missing from practically every other android rom:

guard mode- privacy mode to hide personal data

per application access control- security measures to fence off sensitive data e.g. Messages requires a password before access is granted

local and cloud backups- goodbye to titanium backup and hello sms backup

highly customizable out of the box- different screen transition animations, notification area icons, toggles, built-in themes manager,…

beautiful animations- never gets in the way and enhances the user experience tenfold. love the “cascading” transition effect..

app support: calls and sms firewall, miui customization, MIUI music, Galnet video..

tactile feedback has been given a lot of thought- must experience this yourself

And so on. And I run this rom at 800mhz with no perceivable slow down whatsoever which is definitely a feat. Those who have tried 800mhz on other SGS2 roms would have noticed ui slowdowns one way or another. Not here.

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Purists may say MIUI sucks because it is not an Android experience at all. And then people waiting for the Android 4.0 will also moan about how Galnet MIUI is not a proper ICS rom.

But the question that I ask myself is: do I want to flash the stock ICS rom once it gets a beta release? I sure am not going back to any other gingerbread rom. This is the best of both worlds if you can’t decide between an iPhone and an Android (presumably a SGS2).

Heck I might just wait till there’s a stable while I enjoy Galnet.


This was just a random (and overly wordy) post. All I want to do is put the word out and ask those who are remotely interested in flashing roms to please, give Galnet MIUI a go. They support some of the most popular models: SGS2, SGS, Nexus One and S and a bunch of popular HTC models.


Some useful links:

Official website:

Official download page:


rom builds download mirror:

Couple days ago Galnet MIUI’s download servers were down…right when I was desperately trying to grab hold of 2.11.26. In the end I had to settle for an older version that was hosted by an external party.

forum post:

direct link to mirror folder:

MIUI manual:

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