Xiaomi smartphones are known to come with a customized version of the Android operating system. Called as MIUI, it does offer a lot of features that are usually not available in stock Android versions. These added functionalities come at the cost of exorbitant resource usage. MIUI ROMs are known for their notorious consumption of RAM and processing power. This has led many Xiaomi smartphone users to crave for third party launchers.
Additionally, MIUI looks and functions distinctively different from traditional Android interface. Some users are so used to the stock Android look, that they find it pretty difficult to work with Xiaomi’s custom ROM. Today, we are presenting the top five launchers which are great alternatives for the MIUI based Xiaomi smartphones. They are snappy, consume less RAM and offer typical Android-like experience.
Google Now Launcher [Free]
This is the best launcher if you want pure Nexus-like Android experience. Google Now Launcher is fluid, clean, fast and consumes just the right amount of resources. You can use this in every handset running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and above. As you may guess by the naming, this comes with pre-integrated with Google Now.
There is a catch, though; it does not seem to work straightaway in Xiaomi devices. You need to perform a few steps to replace the default MIUI launcher.
- Initially, you need to check if you have the Google app installed and up to date. If not, download it from here.
- Next, you launch the app and activate Google Now.
- Now, give auto-start permission to the Google app and Google Services application. If you are running MIUI 8, you may not find the latter as it is already allowed to start automatically.
- Finally, download the Google Now Launcher from the Play Store and also give it auto-start permission. Please note that if you have already downloaded it beforehand, you must remove it and reinstall again.
Voila, Google Now Launcher is working on your Xiaomi smartphone. To make it the primary launcher, please go to Installed App > Defaults > Launcher and select Google app as the default one.
Action Launcher 3 [Free / Rs. 199]
Here comes one of the highly acclaimed Android Launchers of 2016. The Action Launcher 3 bring the same goodness of the Google Now Launcher but with a host of additional features. It is highly customizable and comes with utilities like Quicktheme for a uniquely customized home screen to match your wallpaper, Shutters which displays a windowed version of an application on a single swipe, Covers to make personalized app folders and more.
Unfortunately, most of the added functionalities require you to upgrade to the Plus version by paying Rs. 199. The Action Launcher 3 Plus will also give you access to a Google Pixel-like theme of the application.
Nova Launcher [Free / Rs. 150]
This is one of the earliest launchers in the Android market. Till then it has managed to be one of the top rated among all its competitors. Nova Launcher actually deserves this with its unmatched snappiness and utmost simplicity yet endless functionalities. It boasts a variety of color controls, the sub-grid positioning of app icons and widgets, customizable app drawer, intelligent widget drawer and many more with thousands of available icon theme packs.
Nova Launcher is designed on the stock Android interface and is pretty light on resources. It will fit in perfectly on your Xiaomi smartphone. To use some of the advanced features, you need to buy the Nova Launcher Prime for Rs. 150.
Arrow Launcher [Free]
The Arrow Launcher is developed none other than Microsoft. Although it generated mixed reactions at first, gradually it has proved to be one of the best in the industry. The main feature of the Arrow Launcher is its capability to customize itself based on your usage. It will arrange and rearrange apps, reminders, contacts, etc. depending on how frequently you use them and it will surely feel more and more homely as you keep using it.
Microsoft has loaded it with Bing wallpapers for a beautiful carousel feature. Arrow Launcher is very efficient regarding RAM usage and is also pretty light on the battery. Moreover, it is entirely free with no in-app purchase.
Apex Launcher [Free / Rs. 255]
Just like the Nova Launcher, Apex Launcher has also been around for quite a long time. It is one of the fastest third-party launchers in the market. Build on the stock Android platform; it comes with lots of features and customizations. Being around for years, it sports an extensive support of various third party icon packs. Apex Launcher is optimized both for your Android tablets and smartphones. There are some innovative gesture supports and infinite customization options.
Some of its functions do require a paid version which costs Rs. 255. The Apex Launcher Pro brings in additional support for ADW, Go Launcher and LauncherPro Theme packs and many other advanced features.
This is not at all a complete list as there are tons of third party launchers available in the Play Store which are great too. Some of them which you may try on your Xiaomi smartphone are Atom Launcher, Hola Launcher, Smart Launcher 3, Solo Launcher, Nokia’s Z Launcher and Holo Launcher.