A few years ago, it was a one-phone one-SIM kind of a world we all lived in. I still remember how I used to carry two different cell phones in college, back in 2010. One of which was exclusive for parents and family while the other was for college buddies for all the unmentionables we used to do back then! However, the point is, most of you, be it college or work, can very well relate to this. Even the phone manufacturers heard the consumers (except Apple fanboys) and came up with dual SIM phones from budget to flagships for a person to keep two identities using the same phone.
While still in Beta, Second Space on MIUI 8 is a very interesting, and the first of its kind feature to be made available for Android users. It basically creates a second sandboxed environment where a person can have a totally different work space with a different set of apps, wallpapers, files and even unlock patterns. Some of you may wonder that Google already provides support for multiple accounts with Android Lollipop, what’s different in second space then? Let me quickly explain you the technical difference.
Google Multiple Account Vs MIUI Second Space: Same Concept… But Different Execution
You can add different accounts in Android and have different wallpaper, theme, and even the ringtone. Also, with Android Marshmallow, security has increased and the user cannot see the data from one account to another. However, one needs to configure a different Google account in order to use the additional user feature. Moreover, switching to a second account from the lock screen is a time-taking process.
On the other hand, when you activate second space on MIUI 8, you can move your data from the primary work space like photos, files, and even the apps so that you don’t have to install them again. You can also use the same Google account if you wish to. One more interesting thing is that there will be no trace on your primary work space on the secondary space. You can set a different passcode lock for secondary space and from the lock screen, simply tap the respective unlock code to go to that particular space.
How is Data Managed in Second Space?
Second space can be considered as a virtual operating system running inside your current one. At the beginning, some storage is allocated to the second space for the private files and data and it’s dynamic in nature. For example, if you have a game on primary space which is also present in the second space, the public files will be shared from the memory card. However, private data like account info and app settings will be maintained differently in both the spaces.
The RAM and space management is dynamic and how and when required, MIUI will free up space in the memory to make space for the new ones. Therefore, it’s possible that the app in the first space may be closed in order to get more free RAM in the second space.
Is it Really That Useful?
Second space can be useful if you wish to use the same phone for your official and casual needs. This MIUI 8 feature will help you keep a balance between the files, photos, and even the official data through the second space. The feature using which you can use a particular fingerprint or passcode on the MIUI lock screen is another reason to love it.
Also for personal use, if there are apps like Tinder which you would want to hide from the someone you can install it in the second space. While you are using it, you can lock the phone and just login to the first space using the pass code and it will be like, it never existed.
It’s Easy to Get Started in MIUI 8
The development is still in Beta at the moment and it’s unlikely to change much in the public release. Therefore, to activate the second space, you must navigate to the respective Android settings and activate the feature. You will be asked to choose the files, apps and photos you wish to migrate to form the second space in the process.
Finally, you will be asked to set up a lock code to secure the space. Next time, just unlock MIUI with the respective lock code or fingerprint to jump to the respective space. Also, on devices like Mi 5 and Mi Max, I never noticed any lag in parallel use. But that might differ from device to device, with older variants showing lags.
Note: There will be a home screen icon of Second Space that will be created for an easier switch. If you wish to be discreet, you might want to delete that.
That’s Clear Enough I Guess
With all those features it’s clear how second space is better than multiple account feature of Android and why every phone manufacturer must think about implementing a similar feature in their devices. The only thing is that I see it only possible for Android users. As for iPhone guys, who are stuck with single SIM phones, I see no reason to even put the request on the table!