Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has just released on official Android ROM for the Nexus 7 2013 running its MIUI custom interface. While that might actually be somewhat of a non-event, considering how many unofficial MIUI ROMs there are floating around, this official ROM might be a solid indicator that Xiaomi is indeed preparing its first Android tablet.
Even before Xiaomi became a household name in the Chinese smartphone market, it already made a name for itself in the Android world for its MIUI interface and ROMs. Like many custom Android ROM, MIUI adds it own launcher, settings, themes, and even sometimes apps. MIUI somewhat took a backseat when Xiaomi started marketing smartphones, but it has always been the interface that drives them.
With this new MIUI ROM for the Nexus 7 tablet, Xiaomi is entering a new territory, that of larger screen devices. The MIUI is said to be suitable for both landscape and portrait use, unlike the smartphone version that is constrained to only one. This will definitely feed rumors that the company has its own tablet in the works, though one that has very different, and lower, hardware specs than Google's beefed up tablet. Still, this MIUI ROM could give the MIUI a good amount of exposure, not to mention testing, for tablets, which might be what Xiaomi is after before it launches its own product.
It is important to note that the ROM is officially tested to work only on the international version of the WiFi-only Nexus 7 2013 edition. And despite coming from MIUI directly, it is still consider an unofficial ROM for the Nexus 7, which carries all the disclaimers and warnings like any other custom ROM. Users are required to have their bootloaders unlocked and their devices running the Nexus 7 stock ROM before attempting to flash the MIUI ROM.