Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Xiaomi: 3rd Largest Smartphone Maker in the World

According to last year's IDC research the Chinese electronics company is the world's third largest smartphone manufacturer in terms of the number of units shipped. In the third quarter 2014, Xiaomi shipped more units than Lenovo and LG. The first and second spots are occupied by Samsung and Apple respectively.

If you've never heard of Xiaomi or seen a Xiaomi handset before, you may be wondering where all these Xiaomi users are. Xiaomi's biggest market is China, unsurprisingly. They also have a large following in other Asian countries such as India and Indonesia.

A big reason for Xiaomi's success is their Android-based operating system called MIUI. Obviously price is a huge factor too. Xiaomi's flagship Mi4 is about $150 cheaper than other brands' counterpart such as HTC One M8.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Xiaomi Mi4: 5 Simple Steps to Install Google Play Store

Edit: The steps described here are outdated. Please see this newer blogpost for how to install Google Play Store on a Xiaomi device.


Xiaomi Mi4 phones that are imported from China don't come pre-installed with Google Play Store (only Xiaomi's own Mi Apps market is included). If you like Mi4's impressive hardware and are a little unsure about its software side, don't let the omission of Google Play Store deter you. Google Play Store is very easy to install and from it you can install whatever you want.

Here are the steps to install Google Play Store on Xiaomi Mi4:

1. Download the Google Installer app .apk file from this Dropbox URL to your phone. If you want to type the URL into your browser, here's a shortened version: .

2. Install the app by swiping from the top of your screen to open the notification drawer and tapping your recent download. You'll be asked if it's alright to install an app from Unknown Sources. Say yes.

3. Launch Google Installer and you'll see a list of Google apps you can install

4. Choose Google Play Store. It'll tell you that Google Play Store requires Google Service Framework to be installed along with other apps. In total there will be 4 apps to install. Just say OK.

5. Once all 4 are installed, you have a fully working Google Play Store! The first time you fire up Play Store you'll be asked to enter your Google credentials. For most people this means entering their Gmail username and password.

Now that you have Play Store, you can install apps to your heart's content. In our test we're able to install the SBS On Demand app and watch streamed videos with no problem whatsoever.
Watching James Cameron's Deep Sea Challenge documentary