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After the long wait, Xiaomi is finally giving MIUI an app drawer

This is long overdue!

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Xiaomi Mi 9 SE | Image credit: GadgetMatch

One of the notable features of the Android operating system is the app drawer. Since Google introduced the Android OS to the world, the app drawer has always been present. However, phone manufacturers customize the OS according to their liking.

Chinese brands are known culprits of omitting the app drawer to make their interface similar to Apple’s iOS. Some have already embraced the app drawer (thankfully!) and Xiaomi is just about to join the gang.

The app drawer is not exactly a major feature, but it’s something that people want. Which is why Xiaomi is finally adding an app drawer to MIUI. Better late than never, right?

Image credit: XDA Developers

With the latest alpha build of the MIUI launcher version number 4.10.6.1025-06141703, Xiaomi phones will finally get an app drawer. Based on the screenshots obtained by XDA Developers, it appears that the app drawer is accessible by tapping on the middle button. So far, there’s no swipe up gesture option.

Apart from the app drawer, MIUI will also soon have app shortcuts. These feature has been around since Android 7.1 Nougat and it’s accessed by long pressing an app icon.

Since this new version of MIUI is still in the alpha stage of development, nothing is final and stable. Also, it might take a few weeks or months before it rolls out to Xiaomi phones.

It’s quite surprising how long it took for Xiaomi to make this happen. Xiaomi’s bang-for-the-buck Pocophone F1 launched with an app drawer thanks to its special Poco Launcher. The launcher is based on MIUI; moreover, you can easily download the Poco Launcher from the Play Store.

If you have a Xiaomi phone and want to have an app drawer immediately, I strongly suggest downloading the Poco Launcher while you wait for the official MIUI version to come as an update. Those who feel adventurous can try out the MIUI Launcher alpha here, but it could be really buggy.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi unveils Mi Band 4 with a colored display and 20-day battery life

Apps

Google discontinues Datally, its mobile data saving app

It’s gone from the Play store

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Using the Datally app from Google? It’s time to move one and find another as Google officially discontinues its mobile data saving app.

In the official support page of Datally, Google notes that the app is not available on the Play store. True enough, visiting the link to Datally throws the app not found error.

Users of the mobile data saving app can continue using it, but the app will not receive future updates. To speed up its discontinuation, the app is giving a warning that it is incompatible with Android 10. So, users who upgraded to the latest OS can’t use the app anymore.

Datally launched last 2017 to help users control their mobile data usage. The app shows the data usage of every app as well as overall data usage metrics. It also let users block background data.

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Apps

Google Maps will now show you speed traps

You can also report road closures and accidents

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Google Maps is borrowing several features from the company’s other popular navigation app, Waze. Google today announced a series of new features that will allow drivers using the Maps app on iOS to report accidents, speed traps and traffic jams.

Hazard reporting was introduced on Android earlier this year, but this is the first time that iPhone users can also help crowdsource traffic snarls. Google has also expanded the types of road hazards that can be reported through its incident feature to encompass ‘construction, lane closures, disabled vehicles, and objects on the road.

These features have been unique to Waze and many users preferred to use it over Google Maps. It was long-speculated that when Google purchased Waze for US$ 1.1 billion five years ago that the features would be swiftly migrated to Google Maps. The transition has been extremely slow, but it’s finally happening.

To report an incident, open Maps and start navigating to your destination. You’ll see a small location pin with a + sign button on the left side, tap it. Now, you’ll have multiple options that include speed traps, construction, lane closure, and more. Simply select one and you’re done.

Google’s algorithm constantly looks out for these reports and helps in rerouting other riders. These crowdsourced features made Waze a perfect alternative to Google Maps and many users claim they’ve reached faster.

A few months back, Google also added augmented reality support for pedestrian navigation. The feature has been highly appreciated since GPS accuracy may not always be very on-point.

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OPPO Reno2, Reno2 Z launch in Singapore

Challenges people to #CreateYourWorld

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The OPPO Reno2 series launches in Singapore featuring the OPPO Reno2 and OPPO Reno2 Z. The series has a focus on content creation, specifically video.

The series builds on the foundation of the OPPO Reno with fantastic cameras and a premium design.

The Reno2 features a quad-camera setup that applies the same 5x Hybrid Zoom from the OPPO Reno Series’ photography features to video shooting, enabling users to not only get closer to their video subjects, but to also uncover different perspectives that may otherwise seem ordinary from further away.

Meanwhile, the OPPO Reno2’s Ultra Steady Video brings users closer to an exceptionally clear and smooth video shooting experience and reduces the need for additional stabilisation equipment.

#CreateYourWorld and be a #BeAStorygrapher

The content creation is even more evident with the #BeAStorygrapher short film competition.

The challenge is for aspiring filmmakers to use the new OPPO Reno2 to create a short film that represents their own perspective of Singapore. Up for grabs are cash prizes totaling SG$ 6,000, OPPO Reno2 smartphones and an all-expenses paid trip to Dubai.

Call for competition entries will be open through December 2019. For more information, visit OPPO Singapore’s official Instagram and Facebook pages.

Price and availability

The OPPO Reno2 comes in Luminous Black and Sunset Pink with 8GB RAM and 256GB ROM starting at SG$ 899. And the OPPO Reno2 Z in Luminous Black and Sky White with 8GB RAM and 128GB ROM, starting at SG$ 599. Both will be available island wide from October 26, 2019.

Customers who pre-order the phone will receive a free pair of OPPO Enco Q1 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones worth SG$ 179 at the NEX OPPO Roadshow from October 21 to 25 2019.

Collection of pre-ordered phones will take place at the NEX OPPO roadshow from October 26 to 27  and the first 100 customers to collect their phones will walk away with an OPPO 10,000mAh Power Bank worth SG$ 69.

The OPPO Enco Q1 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones in Midnight Black and Sunny Orange will be available from October 26 2019 at OPPO concept store and OPPO official online store on Lazada, Qoo10 and Shopee, starting at SG$ 179.

SEE ALSO: OPPO Reno 2 review | OPPO Reno2 series in the Philippines

 

 

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