From work apps to social media apps. This is how I customize my phone to fit my needs.
When it comes to getting the most out of my Xiaomi with MIUI, always when configuring a factory phone I usually install the same apps. For me, it is very important to have the necessary applications to be able to manage my day to day.
From social applications such as Twitter or Telegram, to mobile banking applications, through the Google suite. I’m going to teach you the apps i use on my Xiaomi phone with MIUI and some advices to optimize the home screen.
Optimizing the home screen.
In the case of the home screen, I always use the MIUI default launcher. Right now it is the only one that allows me to navigate by gestures since others do not support this feature (and I still do not understand why).
Configuring the MIUI launcher
Once inside the initial screen of the launcher, by holding down in an area where there are no icons, we access the settings in the lower right. As I show in the following photograph, I have applied a 5×6 grid
Thanks to this, I can have more icons on the screen. Clicking on more, we enter general launcher options. Here, I apply the following guidelines:
- Always active gesture navigation. Very useful in our Xiaomi mobile.
- In “Icon size”, I apply the smallest possible size.
- In “Home screen”, I have selected the option “With the application drawer”, since the animation of showing all the applications is the same as the one we have in Android by default. Thus, I do not overload the start with all the apps.
- Within this section, I have also activated the display of new apps at the start, in case I need to have any on the initial screen (default setting).
- I have Google Discover turned on, which we’ll talk about later.
What apps and widgets do I have on my home screen?
If we go to the applications section, on my home screen I highlight having a design minimalisttrying do not overload the screen with many applications. To do this, I divide my desk in two.
At the top, I put the weather widget, where I can always see several cities that interest me. This widget is very useful to always have the forecast at hand, just in case you have to take the umbrella before going out in winter.
At the bottom, leaving a space, organize apps based on usage and group a few together to keep on hand. As we can see in the previous images, in the upper part I usually have applications that I use a day maybe once or twice or sporadically, such as the calendar, shopping applications (in my case Carrefour), Google Fit to go out to do workouts and see the route and the time that I have spent and the Alexa application to manage my smart devices.
If we go down the lines, we are finding apps I use a little less. The gallery for me is essential, with the MIUI camera app, the app store and the MIUI security app. In a separate folder, I have the entire Google suite.
In the third line from the top, we find apps I use most often like Google Wallet to pay for NFC (yes, I hardly use physical money), Contacts, Mail, and a folder with two or three social apps, like Twitter, Asana for work, and Telegram. Amazon Music cannot be missing here, my default music application, which I use several times a day but not regularly.
In the last line, I follow a pattern. On the left, always the browser which you use by default. Lately I use Chrome to browse the web. Next to Chrome, always the Google Phone icon, to be able to call. It is imperative for me to have it in that order. At the center, I keep Google Chat because it is the communication application with work by default. In other companies I have Slack or Teams. To finish, to the right of all (for accessibility) I have the applications that I use the most throughout the day. In this case WhatsApp to talk with the family and YouTube to watch videos daily.
What applications do I have installed on my system?
We have talked about what I have installed on the system, but we have not talked about what applications I use for my day to day. I am not going to lie to you, in this sense I am a user who does not usually go out of bounds much. My applications are usually the ones that most people use, since they are the ones that have given me the best results:
Apps I use for work
When I’m thinking about work, I have a few default apps that I use to help me manage my day to day. They are the following:
Google Calendar. Calendar is my default app for watching meetings. With this application, I have all my important accounts synchronized, so I can see first-hand the meetings I have at work, outside of work and events that happen, such as birthdays of my family and friends or national holidays.
Advice: I normally apply the agenda view, which is the most comfortable and then I scroll the monthly view to see how busy I am on the days of the week.
gmail. To read emails, I always use Gmail. The truth is that I am very happy with the Google application for everything related to email.
Asana. Asana is the default to-do list app. We use it at Andro4all to coordinate with each other.
Teams and Google Chat. I use both apps so I can talk to coworkers and coordinate work for the week.
Advice: It is best to separate your work life from your personal life. In my case, I keep the applications because they don’t bother me in my free time, but you have to be careful with this.
Apps I use for shopping and banking
Each person will have our banking applications by default, but in my case I use the following applications to manage my purchases:
MIUI Notes. Very important to me is the MIUI notes app. When I need to make a shopping list, I use this application to write down each product that I am going to buy. I tend to get confused sometimes, which helps me buy everything I need.
MIUI calculator. Another of Xiaomi’s default applications. I use it to do my accounts when I go shopping or calculate monthly expenses. Very useful to have it above other apps, as we already saw in his day with other tricks.
Wallet. Yes, I don’t use physical money for anything. I am always paying with NFC since I have my mobile. Not only for cards, but for all passes in general, I’m using Wallet as a card management application. Essential for me.
supermarket applications. As things are today, it is better to have supermarket applications at hand, to be able to find out about offers and have offers thanks to what they bring you. In my case, due to proximity, I now have the ones from Carrefour. Before, I used Lidl’s.
Amazon and AliExpress. For online purchases, I usually have both Amazon and AliExpress installed. Both applications are very useful to look at products that I may need in my day to day.
Applications that I use for the day to day
For my day to day, everything is a little different. Although it is true that I have several applications installed, in my day to day I use very few. I tell you which ones.
Google Chrome and discover for news. Both Google Chrome and Google Discover are my favorite apps for finding out what’s going on on a day-to-day basis. I usually reload Google Discover a few times a day because there is very interesting news that I like to read. In the case of Chrome, I usually go straight to favorite media.
Advice. We must try not to have many tabs open in Chrome, to avoid overloading the system.
Twitter and YouTube to disconnect. For social networks, I usually use the same applications always. Twitter becomes my default application to find out what people are talking about and YouTube shorts I use it for entertainment. I don’t use Instagram or TikTok. They just didn’t convince me.
In the case of YouTube, I usually watch a variety of content throughout the day, from summarized live streams to popular science videos to interesting technology videos.
WhatsApp and Telegram for chat. To talk, I use WhatsApp and Telegram. Right now my family and friends mostly use WhatsApp, so I give it more priority over Telegram.
Amazon Music and YouTube Music. These are my two default apps for listening to music. I already commented at the time why i prefer amazon music over other music apps.
Mainly, these are the applications that I usually use in my day to day. As we can see, they are few but I usually use them when I need them. Although it is true that my use of WhatsApp, YouTube and Amazon Music predominates, I use the rest more sporadically, such as video games, Wild Rift or Genshin Impact.
The important is that you feel comfortable with the applications you use and feel that they cover your daily needs. Although it is true that I am a more organized person, you can have the home screen that best suits your tastes.