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Xiaomi sees the light, starts testing app drawer and app shortcuts in MIUI

The features are still in alpha testing, but even that is probably good news to MIUI fans.

Published onJune 17, 2019

Xiaomi Mi 9 screen

For years now, the native launcher in Xiaomi’s Android skin known as MIUI has been missing two features that nearly every other Android skin has: an app drawer and app shortcuts. Now, according to research conducted by XDA Developers, it appears both those features are in early alpha testing.

While there certainly is no guarantee that alpha features will make it to a stable release in the future (perhaps even MIUI 11), it’s still good news that there’s now at least a possibility that MIUI fans will have access to a stock app drawer.

The latest alpha build of the MIUI launcher is version You can visit XDA and install it on your MIUI-capable device if you like, but it is very unstable, so we don’t recommend that. Instead, just have a look at these screenshots:

The off-white circle in the center of the home screen is the app drawer icon. A tap on that brings up a familiar-looking app drawer, with recent apps at the top and an alphabetical list of apps below it. The down-facing arrow at the top of the app drawer closes it, as does the back button as well.

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Unfortunately, a swipe up on the home screen doesn’t yet open the app drawer, and a swipe down while using the app drawer doesn’t close it. However, since this is an alpha release, those features are likely on the way.

App shortcuts, as depicted in the right-most screenshot above, work just like every other Android launcher: long-press an icon to pull up shortcuts related to that app.

It’s interesting that Xiaomi is testing these two features in the MIUI launcher now since the Pocophone F1 launcher has an app drawer. Is it possible Xiaomi saw the success of the POCO F1 and realized people, you know, like app drawers? Hard to say, but it’s certainly a possibility.

What do you think? Are you happy you might no longer need to install a third-party launcher to get an app drawer on MIUI devices, or will you likely stick with third-party launchers regardless? Let us know in the comments!

NEXT: Xiaomi to end global MIUI beta testing for all devices

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