Does MIUI have an app drawer? In recent years, Xiaomi and its MIUI launcher has received some backlash or should I say negative comments as regards two missing features that most Android skins have: an app drawer and app shortcuts.
The Xiaomi app drawer is one feature Xiaomi users want to see in MIUI 11 and it looks like Xiaomi have listened to its users feedback as they have already started testing app drawer and app shortcuts in MIUI.
The early years of Xiaomi were frequently being criticized for mimicking Apple, reason the company was tagged “The Apple of China”. This meant Xiaomi was going to try to build its devices to look and function like an iOS device, something not all of its users were okay with.
Xiaomi, however, preferred to mimic Apple and decided to go against Android standards by removing the app drawer in its MIUI launcher, which essentially meant all app icons had to be on the home screen. I’ve been using a Xiaomi device for 3 years now and I think I’ve gotten used to it and don’t really care if an app launcher is added in the next MIUI version.
However, the latest alpha build of the MIUI launcher, with version 18.104.22.1685-06141703, is finally getting an app drawer. You should be able to tap on the middle button in the app bar at the bottom of the home screen to open the app drawer. For now, a swipe from the bottom does not appear to open the app drawer.
When you expand the app drawer, the recently used apps are placed on the top while other apps are listed, as usual, in alphabetical order. There’s a downward-facing arrow on the top which allows you to tap on the button to collapse the app drawer. You can’t swipe down on the app drawer to close it for now but you can use the back button or gesture swipe left/right from the edge of your screen for those on full screen display.
The MIUI launcher having a native Xiaomi app drawer is great but guess what? The MIUI launcher alpha also gets app shortcuts. These are sets of quick actions which show up when the app icon is long-pressed. Released with Android 7.1 Nougat, app shortcuts allow you launch any specific part of an app directly to perform certain key tasks.
How to Download Xiaomi App Drawer
If you want to try the beta version of the Xiaomi app drawer on your Xiaomi device, you can download the Xiaomi App Drawer Alpha Build from APK Mirror.
Be that as it may, bear in mind that this is a beta/early version and isn’t stable yet and may malfunction. To turn the app drawer on, you’ll have to long-press on the home screen, click on Settings -> More -> You’ll find an option in the Chinese language ( 桌面模式 -> 抽屉模式 ) under the settings group “Home Screen Settings.” Tap on it and it will open a page with two options for the home screen. While the contents of this page are also in Chinese, you’ll be able to figure out the option for the app drawer based on the attached graphics.
Yes, these options are in Mandarin, regardless of your system’s language, but they’ll hopefully be translated when the final release comes out.
Ultimately, it’s exciting to know that Xiaomi is testing these two features in the MIUI launcher now since the only Xiaomi device that had an app drawer is the Pocophone F1. I think Xiaomi saw the success of the Poco F1 since it had the Poco Launcher and realized its users actually love app drawers.
Here’s a quick preview of the Xiaomi App Drawer on a Redmi Note 7
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