Good old T9 is still good for some stuff, as we recently learned from T9 App Dialer. Apparently this is becoming a thing now, because here comes LevelUp Studio (of Beautiful Widgets fame) with an alternative T9 app launcher. Quad Drawer lets you tap out app names, but it does a lot more.
You can launch Quad Drawer like any other app to get the keypad, but it also has swipable tabs with multiple ways of listing your apps – recent, install date, alphabetical, and most used. As you spell out app names, Quad Drawer offers a big list of options, but the top result is highlighted and has a launch button down at the bottom of the key pad. That's a nice touch. If T9 isn't your thing, it works with your regular keyboard too.
Quad Drawer goes a step farther and offers a floating icon that you can use to launch a pop-up version of the app at any time. This version doesn't have the multiple tabs, but all the search functionality is there. The app costs $0.99 and I think it's pretty impressive for that price.