Nova Launcher vs MIUI System Launcher: Which One to Use?

One of the best things about Android is that you can customize it. Don’t like the preinstalled browser, messaging app or phone app? You can always try a new one from Google Play Store. The same thing is true for launchers.

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An app launcher is your gateway to the entire mobile experience. It is the first thing that you see when you unlock your phone. So you should always use the most comfortable launcher. If you own a Mi phone and don’t like the default MIUI system launcher, you will find many of its alternatives on the Play Store.

One of the best among them is the popular Nova Launcher.

Now you may wonder how does Nova Launcher fare against the MIUI system launcher? Here are some of the major differences between the both.

App Drawer

MIUI’s system launcher combines the aesthetics of Android and iPhone in one. Similar to iPhone, you won’t find the app drawer in this launcher. All the apps will be present on the home screen.

On the other hand, not only does Nova Launcher offer an app drawer, but also allows you to customize its look. You can change its style from vertical to horizontal or list, change grid size, add background color, transparency, etc.

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Change Dock

If you are the kind of person who doesn’t like docks, you cannot do anything about it on MIUI system launcher. But Nova lets you disable the dock altogether or even change its appearance and add new pages to it.

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Use Different Search Bar

Apart from changing the position of the search bar in Nova Launcher, you can also change its style. For instance, you can choose from the bar or logo style. None of the features is available in the MIUI launcher.

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Very few launchers support themes and MIUI system launcher is one of them. You can change the overall appearance of your device and make it look cool.

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On the other hand, Nova Launcher lacks theme support. All you get is a dedicated night mode.

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Smart Hub

Another feature missing in Nova Launcher is the Smart Hub. When you swipe right on MIUI system launcher, a new panel screen known as Smart Hub opens up. This is a quick access panel that basically houses app shortcuts, calendar events, stocks, notes, and more. You can add or remove cards according to your preference from the available choices.

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Gesture Support

Both launchers support gestures. The MIUI system launcher supports only one gesture where you can swipe or pull down anywhere on the home screen to open the notification panel.

Though Nova Launcher supports a couple of other gestures (double tap, swipe up, etc.) in addition to the above one, all are restricted to the Prime (paid) version.

Icon Swipe

Nova Launcher comes with one unique and exclusive feature in its Prime version. The feature known as icon swipe lets you assign two different functions to the same app icon on the home screen. Meaning, tapping the icon will open the app but when you swipe up on the app icon, you can set it to open any other app or shortcut. Basically, tapping and swiping app icons will have different results.

Notification Badges

Unlike the Pixel Launcher that only supports dots as notification badges, MIUI system launcher offers notification badges in the form of numbers. Sadly, you cannot switch badges from numbers to dots in MIUI.

Android Launchers With Notification Count Badges Like Iphone 30

But guess what? Nova Launcher supports both types of badges – numeric and dots. In fact, it also supports dynamic badges where icons are generated from the notification content. Further, you can change the shape, color, and size of these badges.

While you do get all of this in Nova, there’s a slight hiccup. You will have to purchase its Prime version.


One of the key areas where Nova Launcher differs from MIUI system launcher is in the customization. Nova Launcher lets you customize everything related to a launcher. Be it icon size, grid size, icon shapes, folders, app drawers, transition effects, etc., you can keep them according to your preference.


While you do get all of these customizations, you have to pay the price as Nova Launcher comes in two versions, free and paid. You can use the free version as long as you want, there is no restriction on the time period. However, it lacks some features available in the Prime version.

On the other hand, MIUI system launcher only comes as a free variant.

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Mi Launcher comes preinstalled on Mi devices running MIUI. It’s not available on stock Android devices such as Xiaomi Mi A1 or A2. Further, it’s not available on Google Play Store as well. So you cannot use it on any other device except Mi devices.

Both the versions of Nova Launcher are available on the Play Store. You can use it on any Android device. Be it Google Pixel or Redmi 5A.

Which One to Use?

The answer is clear. If you want a lot of customization options, nothing can beat Nova Launcher. Paying for the Prime version will unlock more features.

But if you are looking for something minimal with themes and not too many configurable options, you don’t need to look for an alternative of MIUI Launcher.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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