User using iOS 14 App Library to see how it works
Khamosh Pathak / How-To Geek

iOS 14 introduced an “App Library” feature that acts like an app drawer. It’s a place for your apps to be automatically organized into folders by category.  That concept might sound handy to you, too, if you have an Android. Let’s see if we can mimic it.

The App Library can sort of be compared to Android’s app drawer, the place where all of the apps on your device are stored. The big difference is the App Library organizes the apps into categories automatically. This can make it easier to find what you’re looking for.

RELATED: How to Move iPhone Apps From a Home Screen to the App Library

To mimic this feature on an Android device, there are a couple of different approaches we can take. You can download a launcher that supports app drawer categories, or use an app drawer application with your existing launcher.

Supplement Your App Drawer

The App Library is Apple’s version of an app drawer, so it makes sense to replace the existing app drawer in your launcher. “Smart Drawer” is an app that organizes all your apps into categories. You can use it as the app drawer in any launcher.

First, download Smart Drawer from the Google Play Store to your Android device.

smart drawer

Open the app, and you’ll be greeted by a few introductory slides. Tap “Continue” until you get to “Enable Online Sorting.” This setting is what allows the app to automatically sort your apps into categories, so make sure it’s enabled and tap “Continue.”

enable online sorting

The next screen will explain how you can replace your existing app drawer with Smart Drawer. Tap “Start.”

replace app drawer

You’ll be taken to the Smart Drawer with different app categories along the left side of the screen. Tap the category icons to see your apps. It may take a few minutes for all of your apps to be organized.

app drawer categories

You can tap the “Search” icon in the top-right corner to find a specific app.

search for an app

Long-press an app to bring up more options. From here, you can drag it to a different category.

move app to new category

You can add a category by tapping the three-dot menu icon in the top-right corner and selecting “Add Category.” The free version of Smart Drawer allows a maximum of six categories.

add new category

To remove a category, long-press the category icon and then select “Remove.”

remove category

The advantage of Smart Drawer is you can place the app icon anywhere on your home screen and you have access to an organized drawer.

Try a New Launcher

The launcher is the app that you see as your home screen. One of the cool things about Android is you can change up the launcher pretty easily. That’s what we’ll do here.

First, download “Smart Launcher 5” from the Google Play Store on your Android device.

smart launcher 5

Open the launcher, and tap “Get Started.” Agree to the terms and conditions to proceed.

tap get started

Next, you’ll see a list of permissions. You don’t need to allow all of these permissions to use the launcher. The only permission we need is “Storage;” the others are for widgets and other optional features. Tap “Next” when you’re done.

give permissions and tap next

Android will ask you to grant all the permissions you enabled. Tap “Allow.”

allow permissions

Now you’ll be asked to choose a wallpaper. Make your choice, and tap “Next.”

choose a wallpaper and tap next

The app will ask if you want to unlock all features with a Premium subscription. This is not necessary for what we will be doing. Tap the “X” icon in the top-right corner.

skip premium

You’ll now be looking at the default home screen set up for the launcher. The App Library-like categories can be accessed by swiping up on the home screen.

The launcher can be used perfectly fine just like this. However, if you’re interested in removing some of the extra stuff (news feed, widget panel, etc), we have a file you can download to import a more cleaned-up home screen.

First, download this file to your Android device. You’ll need to extract the ZIP file before proceeding.

RELATED: How to Unzip Files on Android

Now that the backup file has been downloaded, tap and hold on your home screen to bring up the “Settings” panel and then select “Show All Settings.”

tap show all settings

Choose “Backup” from Settings.

select backup

Next, tap the “Folder” icon in the bottom-left corner.

Select the file you downloaded earlier. A message will explain that restoring from this backup will wipe the current configuration. Tap “OK.”

restore from backup

You’ll be brought back to your home screen. Now, all you have to do is swipe over to the right-most home screen to see the faux App Library.

The launcher automatically sorts your apps into the categories listed in the bottom bar. To add a new category, tap the three-dot menu icon, and select “Add Category.” You can choose from one of the preset categories, and your apps will be sorted.

add category

To remove a category, long-press the icon, and tap the “Trash” icon to delete it.

remove category

These solutions aren’t exactly like iOS 14’s App Library, but they do allow you to automatically organize apps. It can be a pain to sort dozens of apps on your phone. Hopefully, these solutions can help.

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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