As promised by Jai Mani, product head of POCO, the POCO Launcher has been made available to the public, starting today, and comes 6 days before its scheduled arrival. That’s because it’s available exclusively to MIUI-based phones for now.

During the launch of the POCO F1, Mani outlined several nifty little changes that were made to the existing MIUI platform, which the POCO Launcher is based on. These changes emphasize on better categorisation and customisability of apps.

What’s new in POCO Launcher?

App drawer

The biggest change in the POCO Launcher is the presence of an app drawer, which MIUI has been missing out on since its first stable public release, four years ago. The app drawer now shows all apps installed on the phone in a grid format, just like other launchers based on stock Android.

Although this hasn’t been an issue with native (and Apple) users, people coming from other Android UIs, especially those that prefer a near stock-Android experience, have expressed their need to have an app drawer. Vivo’s Funtouch and Oppo’s ColorOS also skip the app drawer.

App categorisation

Apart from appearing alphabetically in a grid format, apps can also be put in tabs categorised according to their genre. The POCO Launcher comes pre-installed with Communication, Entertainment, Tools, Shopping, Finance & Business, Lifestyle, Photography and Personalisation tabs. Apps are automatically categorised after they are launched from the Play Store. You can, however, change the order of these apps.

Mani also mentioned a colour coding feature that allows categorisation of apps on the basis of the colour of their icons, but it hasn’t made its way on our version of the POCO Launcher. You can expect it in the upcoming updates.

Searchability

The POCO Launcher comes with a search bar on top which allows you to type and search apps. This is especially useful when you overlook an app while browsing through your app drawer.

If you have an MIUI-based device, you can download the beta (unstable) version of the POCO Launcher from MIUI forums. It’s important to know that this version is just there to provide you the first look and is susceptible to crashes and bugs.

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