Xiaomi has developed a new phone with the aim of collecting some former OnePlus users. As a result, the Pocophone F1, or just Poco in some markets, is quite unlike most other Xiaomi phones. While you can not buy the F1 in the US, you can now get your app for the home screen on almost any phone.
This new launcher is not like the MIUI of yesteryear – it's similar to Xiaomi's Pixel Launcher. You swipe from the bottom up to access your app drawer, which actually contains tabs that automatically populate with certain categories of apps.
Xiaomi has released a beta version of this launcher on Google Play, but the early access program is currently full. Therefore, it is no longer available for download. Luckily, someone has shared the official APK on XDA so you can just sideload the app. We tested it on a OnePlus 6 and Galaxy S9 with Oreo and a Pixel 2 with Pie. It should be easy to install on most phones, but we've heard reports from users who can not install the APK so their mileage can vary.
To start, go to the link below and select "Download APK." If the file was downloaded, open it in your notification bar and click "Install" when prompted. If you see the message "Install blocked", you may need to activate Unknown sources
Step 2: Grant permissions
Now, the Poco Launcher asks for permission to access your phone's memory so configuration files can be stored. Tap "Allow" at the bottom of the screen and then "Allow" in the pop-up window and you're ready to try your new launcher.
Before you start running, you should now join the Familiarize the launcher options. Long press on a blank field, then select "Settings" and tap "More" at the bottom of the pop-up menu. This brings you to a screen where you can see all the configuration options of Poco Launcher
Here you can You choose a new icon package, optimize some layout options, or disable the proposed app strip at the top of your app drawer. Automatically group apps is a nice feature that creates tabs for app tabs and automatically inserts certain types of apps into each category. If you do not like all of the categories on these tabs, you can rearrange them with "Manage App Groups" or even hide categories that you do not use.
In my option the option "group icons by color" is the most interesting one here. When this option is on, colored circles appear at the bottom of the app tray. Tap one and you'll see all apps with icons that use that color.
If everything is configured, you can Try out your new launcher. Most aspects are quite commonplace, eg. For example, the swipe gesture that opens the app tray. Perhaps the most outstanding feature is the Tabbed App Drawer with automatic groups, but overall it's a clean and snappy launcher – far from Xiaomi's normal MIUI splash screen.