No, the app drawer is not dying people. In fact, it is safe to say that the app drawer’s demise has been greatly overstated. It is not moving an inch.
Why am I saying so?
Forget the machine learning that it does or the several new things that have been added to it, Huawei’s own customized software overlay has something else to get us really excited.
Within the first few hours of playing around with the new Emotion U1 (EMUI) 5.1, I noticed one thing: in the settings app there is the ‘Home screen style’ tab which when clicked lets one choose between a “standard” application layout i.e. the Huawei standard of not having an app drawer and just apps all over the home screen and another that puts away all applications behind a drawer.
Previously (in EMUI 4.1), the ‘Home screen style’ setting used to provide users with a choice between a simple layout and the “standard” app-drawerless setup.
So, yes, after years of doing things ‘the iPhone way’ and not offering an app drawer, Huawei is finally giving users a choice between going with the setup it has preferred over the years or just going a step and customizing their device and making things a bit organized using an app drawer. Personally, as a fan of third party launchers for this very reason, I couldn’t be much happier.
By doing this, Huawei now joins the likes of LG and Samsung both of whom give users a choice between having an app drawer and doing away with it completely.
As things stand, the world’s top 2 Android device makers, Samsung and Huawei, all offer their users an option to keep the endangered app drawer. Definitely, 2016 is not the year we will be seeing the app drawer fade into oblivion. Like the proverbial cat, its nine lives are quite admirable.
This is how things should be.