After updating my Xiaomi to the new MIUI 13, I noticed a green camera icon in the upper left corner of the screen whenever Face Unlock is activated. This icon appears for a couple of seconds and then disappears until Face Unlock is activated again.
It’s quite annoying and while it doesn’t affect the way I use my phone, I had to try and figure out what it was, simply because i’ve never seen it on earlier versions of MIUI.
After checking the Xiaomi community on Reddit, I understood that it’s the new MIUI biometric feature that’s been implemented on MIUI 13, that’s based on Android 12. It’s quite similar to what users running Android 12 are experiencing while unlocking their phone or when their camera app is open.
But what is MIUI biometric and how does it work?
In short, MIUI biometric is a system program that’s available on MIUI 13 devices that is responsible for unlocking your smartphone or tablet with either your fingerprint or face. It’s a form of technology that lets Xiaomi users unlock their devices without having to enter a password or PIN. MIUI Biometrics collects and compares two sets of data, one is the preset created by the owner of the device and the second set of data collected is from the person attempting to unlock the device. If MIUI finds that the biometrics are a match between both sets of data, then it will unlock the device and give access to the person attempting to unlock it.
Read on, as I cover all you need to know about the MIUI biometric feature and take you through how this feature works. I’ll even include a section that discusses how you can remove the pesky green camera icon when MIUI biometrics is enabled.
What is MIUI Biometric and How Does it Work?
What is MIUI Biometric?
MIUI biometric is a new feature that has made its way to the latest Android 12 based OS, MIUI 13. This feature is enabled automatically when you update your Xiaomi, Redmi or Poco smartphones to the latest version of MIUI.
This system lets users unlock their devices with nothing but their face or fingerprint and cuts down the need to enter a password or pin to access the device.
MIUI biometric also helps improve the devices security making it harder for unknown parties to unlock your device or access sensitive information.
On Xiaomi devices, or any devices running the MIUI shell, the biometric function will be found under system apps under the label ‘com.miui.face’.
How Does MIUI Biometric Work?
MIUI biometric works in two ways, one is by scanning the user’s face and the second is by scanning their fingerprints.
According to Xiaomi’s patent, MIUI fingerprint biometric technology will use an array of IR LED transmitters and receivers that will be positioned under the capacitive touch-screen layer of the display.
When a finger is placed in that region of the screen, the capacitive touch screen layer will detect the finger’s placement and then the infrared LED transmitters in that area will light up and capture the fingerprint data.
This data is then compared with the data already stored on the device to see if it’s a match and if MIUI biometric should unlock the device or not.
The same goes with the face recognition feature of MIUI biometrics, but without the use of LED transmitters and the touch screen.
In this method, the front-facing camera will automatically detect the face of the person holding the phone, and then use that data by comparing with the face data already stored on the device to determine whether or not the device should be unlocked.
Both features are designed to work on the lock screen and while the display is active and not asleep and you will be able to save up to 4 fingerprints for one device but only a single face scan.
What is the Green Camera Icon After Installing MIUI 13?
A new feature was introduced in Android 12 that lets you know when an application is using either your microphone or camera by displaying a tiny green camera icon in the top right or left corner of your screen.
This feature serves as a warning to users to be careful when using apps and granting permissions to different apps. It also appears while unlocking the device and remains on the screen for a few seconds before disappearing once again.
If you’re using an app that has permission to your camera and microphone then the green camera icon will appear in your notification bar for the duration that the app is open.
The same feature was brought to Xiaomi, Poco and Redmi users once their devices were updated to MIUI 13.
While it does look bulky and an eye-sore in MIUI 13, Android has tweaked their camera icon in such a way that it now becomes a tiny green dot on the display and we’re hoping to see the same update come to MIUI soon as well.
There are loads of users who have reported noticing the new green camera icon post updating to MIUI 13 and nearly all of them have complained about how annoying and obstructive it is.
There’s even an entire Reddit thread discussing this topic and there are also ways you can remove the green camera icon from your Xiaomi device.
How to Enable Xiaomi Biometrics
MIUI biometrics come pre-installed on devices that run stock MIUI. While nothing needs to be done in order to enable biometrics, it has to be configured and for that you’d have to follow a couple of steps to get this done.
- Launch the Settings app on your MIUI device
- Now, navigate to Passwords & Security and then click on it
- Click on Fingerprint Unlock
- Enter your current password
- Pattern, password or pin
- Enable the fingerprint lock by swiping on the toggle switch
- Go back and then click on Face Unlock
- Let the phone scan your face and once it’s successful, click on Save data
Now you will be able to unlock your MIUI device using either your fingerprint or by scanning your face with the selfie camera.
How to Remove the MIUI Biometric Icon
While it’s not recommended to remove the MIUI biometric icon from your device as it’s a security feature, it’s possible to get rid of it if the icon is interfering with your day-to-day activities.
There are three ways you can remove the MIUI biometric icon; one is by disabling the camera and microphone notifications, the second is by disabling the MIUI biometric icon in the ADB command line and the third is by removing fingerprint and face lock from the phone.
Method 1 — Launch the Settings app on your phone and then navigate to Privacy Protection. Now click on the button labeled Privacy and then disable the option “Receive Notifications about App Behavior”
Method 2 — Disable the app from your phone by navigating to the Settings app and then click on Apps. Once all the apps are open, locate “com.miui.face“ and then click on it. Tap on disable app and save the settings.
Method 3 — Launch the Settings app on your phone and then navigate to Passwords & Security. Now click on fingerprint or face lock depending on which one you’ve configured and then disable it.
Can I uninstall MIUI biometric?
You will not be able to uninstall MIUI biometric as it’s a system app that MIUI depends on to function properly. You can however choose to disable it by either changing your phone’s privacy settings, or by removing your fingerprint/face lock. You can also Open Settings > Lock Screen and Security > Screen Lock Type and toggle off all.
Why is MIUI biometric using my camera?
Since it’s a privacy and security feature, MIUI biometric will always turn on when the camera or microphone is in use. This is done to make sure that no third-party app is using your camera or microphone without your permission.
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