Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - We've been a little harsh on MIUI since Xiaomi launched in the UK in 2018. There's a lot going on in the software skin that the company layers over Android, but there's one thing it doesn't offer - an app drawer.

That's not uncommon for Chinese brands, or it wasn't until recently. There was a time when Huawei didn't offer it in EMUI and Oppo doesn't have it in Color OS. Why? It's just not the done thing, or, as some suspect, it might be to more closely reflect the experience on the iPhone. 

But the app drawer or app tray is one of the things that a lot of people want. When Android first launched, the thing that really set it apart from iOS was the ability to have multiple home pages with apps, widgets, folders pictures and basically whatever you want, safe in the knowledge that all your apps were safely stored in their own section of the launcher.

For those using devices like the Xiaomi Mi 9, it often means that a third-party launcher is used in place of the MIUI launcher.

That could be about to change according to screenshots sent to XDA Developers showing an alpha build of a MIUI launcher with the option for an app drawer. 

It also appears that Xiaomi might be moving to support app shortcuts, allowing a long press on an up to pop-up common actions. 

Both these moves will bring MIUI closer to the experience offered by most other Android brands and as the company looks to expand outside of its homeland China, that could be a big step in getting people to stick with its software and not replace it as soon as the phone is out of the box.

Best iPhone 13 deals on EE

Writing by Chris Hall.