Yesterday, just moments after the LG G5 announcement, the world exploded. Yes, that’s right LG had “removed” the app drawer from their launcher. While many murmured about the downfall of Android in becoming very iOS-like it seems that all is not lost just yet.
Upon further examination of the LG software it seems that yes the app drawer is off by default but can be turned back on by selecting “Easy Home”, which you can see in the YouTube video below from XDA TV Host TK. I am personally not sure how an app drawer makes it easier but LG have decreed it so.
On the flip side Samsung have done the opposite and inside Samsung Labs the app drawer can be turned off. By doing this every single app, including keyboards, themes and other miscellaneous apps are placed on the home page. Not sure why you would want that but if you do then there is now the option.
Upon further investigation it seems that Google themselves have been toying with the idea of removing the app drawer, maybe to reach out to the next billion users, as pointed out by Android Police’s Liam Spradlin. Code within Google’s Launcher 3 suggests the possibility of disabling the app drawer although this did not occur in the final product. Rumours persist that this could be Google’s new UX feature in Android version N.
Google explored a no-drawer launcher before
Code in Launcher3 suggests disabling the app drawer
Neither actually happened
But rumors persist
— Liam Spradlin (@LiamSpradlin) February 22, 2016
Personally I think removing the app drawer entirely would be a big mistake unless there was a way to hide apps such as keyboards, themes etc from the home page. Myself, I do not actually have a shortcut for the app drawer but do use one that is accessed via a gesture. I like a clean, uncluttered desktop but I do see a lot of Android users with every app square on their home page used. Even then, I doubt they have every single app on their home page.
I have around 150 apps installed. Can you imagine the mess without an app drawer? If Google do remove the app drawer it could be a boon for custom launcher developers.
*crosses fingers and hopes Google actually enable it this time, thus expanding the market for custom launchers* https://t.co/flFbRBOoCU
— Chris Lacy (@chrismlacy) February 22, 2016
Are you a fan of the app drawer being removed? Will you use stock launcher still or will you move to a custom launcher?