Xiaomi’s MIUI Launcher finally gets a swipe up gesture to access the app drawer
Xiaomi’s MIUI has been criticized for being an iOS-lookalike in the past, as this was one of the earliest Android UX skins around that had an app launcher without a dedicated app drawer. MIUI’s default launcher had a home screen with a fixed dock on the bottom, and swiping right on the home screen revealed several pages of apps that were installed on your device. The lack of a dedicated app drawer forced many users to switch to third-party alternatives, and Xiaomi even released its own POCO Launcher with a dedicated app drawer to appease users who preferred it this way.
Xiaomi appears to have finally caved into the demands of these users. Last week, Xiaomi released the first build of MIUI Launcher with a dedicated app drawer as well as long-press app shortcuts. With MIUI Launcher Alpha v126.96.36.1995-06141703, users can tap on the middle button on the fixed dock at the bottom of the home screen to access the app drawer.
Now, with MIUI Launcher Alpha v188.8.131.528-06251834, users can simply swipe up on the home screen to open the app drawer. This small yet significant change makes it easier and more intuitive to access the scrolling list of apps, and it also frees up an icon space on the fixed dock for some other frequently used app. The gesture isn’t restricted to be initiated from the dock only — you can swipe up anywhere on the home screen to open the app drawer. The app drawer also displays four recently used apps on the top and is vertically scrollable instead of being horizontally paginated.
Here is a quick preview of the gesture:
To try out the new launcher with the dedicated app drawer and swipe up gesture, simply sideload the APK on a Xiaomi device running MIUI. Once installed, long press on the homescreen and then choose the option that appears in Chinese (with no corresponding translated string yet), and select the second option.
This feature has been a long time coming for Xiaomi, and we’re glad it is finally here. However, this does put into question the existence of the POCO Launcher and the purpose it serves in Xiaomi’s ecosystem if the default launcher changes like this.