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10 tips for getting the most out of Poco Launcher

Poco Launcher (download here from Google Play) was developed by Xiaomi for use on the Pocophone F1, and is halfway there. It's easy to use and doesn't have too many features, but it still gives you plenty of control over aspects of your appearance and behavior. Some options, such as hiding apps and changing icon sizes, are only available on paid versions of competitors such as Nova Launcher.

In addition to being free, it is fast, very fast, recalling a time when Xiaomi developed only MIUI and its main highlight was speed. And it can be installed on any smartphone, regardless of make or model. Here are 10 tips for getting the most out of all this Launcher has to offer.

Hide unwanted apps

You know those apps that come pre-installed on your smartphone, you never use them and just take up space in the app drawer? You can easily get them out of sight with Poco Launcher. The feature can also serve as a safe for you to store apps you don't want visible on your device.

To do this, open the application drawer and double-slide your left edge finger to the center of the screen. You will see the Hide App Icons screen and Poco Launcher will ask you to set a password. Set up a fingerprint (if your smartphone has a sensor) and a default, which will be required to access hidden apps in the future.

Poco Hide Apps
Apps can be hidden, and can only be accessed with password / AndroidPIT

Now click on Add Apps. On the next screen, select the apps you want to hide and tap at the top right of the screen. Ready! From now on, the selected apps will no longer appear in the app drawer. To access them, open the drawer, slide your finger twice from the left edge to the center of the screen, and confirm your pattern or fingerprint.

Change the appearance of the icons

Poco Launcher supports Icon Packs, packs with thousands of icons for the most popular apps that help change the face of the system. You can have a Motorola with Samsung OneUI icons, or a device with Android 7 and Android 9 style icons.

To install one of these packages open Google Play, search for Icon Pack and choose what suits you best. Some are paid, others are free. After installing the package hold your finger on an empty space on the home screen and tap Setup> More. Tap Cone pack and select what you want to use. You may have several packages installed on your phone, but only one of them is in use at a time.

Poco Change Icons
Cone Packs Help Change the Face of the Operating System / AndroidPIT

Find your apps faster

This is for those who have many apps on the smartphone and sometimes get lost in the middle of so many icons. Poco Launcher automatically organizes apps by categories such as Lifestyle, Knowledge and Education, Games and others listed at the top of the screen. Touch a category to see all apps that fit into it.

Still have a lot of apps? Use the scroll bar on the right side of the app drawer. Hold your finger on it, slide it up or down and you will see letters. So you can quickly jump to all apps that start with the corresponding letter.

Want something even more direct? Use the Search apps bar at the bottom of the app drawer. Just start typing the name of the app. Usually one or two letters is enough to find it.

Poco Find Apps
Poco Launcher offers several ways to find an app quickly / AndroidPIT

Group your apps by color

Here's another tip to make your apps easier to find: If you're a visual person, you might want to group icons by color. To do this, hold your finger on an empty space on the home screen and touch Setup> More. Touch Apps drawer and enable Group icons by color.

Now go back to the Apps drawer and you will see in the footer a series of colored dots. Tap a dot to see all the cones of the corresponding color. Turning this on turns off the search bar at the bottom of the screen.

Poco Group Apps Color
Group icons by color another of Poco Launcher's organizing options / AndroidPIT

Stay dark

The light colors of the standard Android interface can be tiring to the eye, which is why many people are excited to include it darkly in the next version of the operating system. But you can get a taste of this feature with Poco Launcher.

Hold your finger over an empty space on the home screen and touch Setup> More. Select the Dark option and below indicate the transparency of the app drawer if desired (I recommend 25%). Tap apply and you're done.

Of course, this setting only applies to the app drawer and search results in Poco Launcher, as the app has no permissions to change the appearance of system parts like the notification panel or settings screen. But better than nothing, isn't it?

Poco Dark Mode
Dark Mode Tears Less Eyes / AndroidPIT

Tap to lock

It falls into the category of small changes that make life better. Instead of pushing the power button to turn off the screen and lock your smartphone, you can set Poco Launcher to do this whenever you double-tap the home screen.

Hold your finger over an empty space on the home screen and touch Setup> More. Tap Tap twice to lock the screen and select the option you like best, I recommend Lock instantly. You need to give Poco Launcher Device Administrator permission for this to work. Just follow the onscreen instructions.

Now try double-tapping an empty space on the home screen, and the smartphone should lock immediately. Unlock using your standard and fingerprint.

Poco Touch Lock
To block the 2-touch device you need to give POCO Launcher Administrator permissions / AndroidPIT

Change app drawer layout

You can control how many icons appear at a time in the app drawer. The default is 4 columns, but you can choose 3 or 5. Hold your finger over an empty space on the home screen and tap Setup> More. Now tap Customize Layout and choose the amount of cones by sliding the bar under the preview. Click Apply and Done.

Poco Drawer Layout
You can have 3, 4 or 5 icon columns in the apps drawer / AndroidPIT

Change the size of the cones.

In the same screen as the tip above you can also change the size of the icons. There are five options, from Extra Small (XS) to Extra Large (XL). Smaller sizes work well with more columns on the screen, while larger sizes look better with more columns. Choose your favorite and click Apply.

Poco Icon Size
You can choose from five icon sizes / AndroidPIT

Do a memory cleanup

This feature may be useful for those who have a smartphone with 2 GB or less of RAM: Poco Launcher has an included memory cleaner that closes apps that are not in use to free up RAM. Just tap the rocket cone on the home screen.

The number below the cone and the yellow border around it represent how much of the memory is currently being used. In the image below I was using 73% of the RAM of my smartphone, and after activating the 1 GB feature were released and usage dropped to 50%.

Memory usage is not something you should worry about on a daily basis (Android already has a good memory management system) and it makes no sense to constantly switch on this option. But it can be useful at times when you feel your smartphone is choking, or before opening a heavier game.

Poco Memory Clean
Memory Cleaner may be useful for those with low RAM smartphones / AndroidPIT

Swap transition animation between screens

You can change the animation that appears when you switch between home screen pages. Hold your finger over an empty space on the home screen and touch Setup. Select the Transition Effects option and choose the one that most suits you from the seven options available. Tap an option to see a preview of the animation, and after choosing your favorite one tap Back at the top of the screen.

Poco Home Transitions
There are seven effects of changing pages on the home screen / AndroidPIT

Have you tried Poco Launcher? Is there a tip we don't mention here? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

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