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.

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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.

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Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Ryan

    My only confusion is that I pretty much never use the app drawer. I keep the apps that I use organized into folders on my homescreens. Apps that I don't use that often I don't need instantaneous access to, and can find in Nova Launchers app drawer alphabetically.

    • Justin Foster

      Same here. Google needs to get rid of the app drawer in favor of a more efficient way to access your apps

      • NotTheTodd

        That's your opinion - some of us keep a pretty clean homescreen and use the app drawer often.

        • Justin Foster

          That's your opinion - some of us keep a pretty bustling homescreen and rarely use the app drawer.

          • DannyBiker

            I'm all about clean home screens so I access everything from the drawer. So watch out next time you take your opinion and turn it into science.

          • Justin Foster

            I'm all about extravagant home screens so I access everything from there. So watch out next time you take your opinion and turn it into science.

        • Mike


    • ithehappy

      Good, if you don't need to use the App Drawer then why don't use that i thingy?
      I too, don't use it every hour but yes I like my home-screen to be less cluttered, maybe you like it otherwise, good for you.

      • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

        iThingy. Lol. :D

    • Sameer

      Checkout Wyze launcher... We a released frequent apps feature last week to access your most frequently used apps on "swipe up" gesture on the app drawer icon. No need to create folders or drop shortcut... Wyze does it for you :-)

  • wolfkabal

    Do people not know how an alphabet works. The drawer is sorted A->Z, it shouldn't take that long to find something, and passing it up (unless it's recently moved to a new page do to a new install) is simply silly.

    Maybe it's just me though, I don't keep 20 pages of apps, I also customize my app drawer to a 5x6 grid (more apps per page). And frequently used apps are in folders on the home screen. *shrug* Maybe I just don't get it.. (or maybe I'm missing something being a Nova user)

    • NotTheTodd

      Then obviously this isn't for you. The beauty of Android is that you can customize it to look however you want and do whatever you want.

      • wolfkabal

        I made it apparent it's not for me. My main argument though isn't that it offers choice, but that it mocks users by claiming they're too ignorant to efficiently use an alphabetical list.

        • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

          Here's a use-case...

          You are looking for Titanium backup; which for whatever reason is not on your homescreen etc. You go inside app drawer, swipe swipe swipe swipe... reach approximate page where it might be (assuming app drawer is alphabetically sorted). Then you look for TiBu on that page. "here it is". Tap.

          Now compare it to this -

          Launch the T9 dialer app from homescreen, type T and I. TiBu shows up, you tap it.

          So, no, using T9 dialer apps doesn't mean the user is 'ignorant' or isn't familiar with how alphabets work. :P It's just quicker way of reaching to the app you want.

          • wolfkabal

            But 9 seconds? Really?!? It takes you 9 seconds to scroll 3 maybe 4 times and click? I just tried it literally.. 2-3 seconds. The key was "efficiently". The video above makes it look like users are idiots and don't know how to swipe, or have no clue what they're looking for. Ignoring any sense of an ordered list. I could understand if apps showed in random order, or order of install. Then sure, take a second or two to scan the page looking for what you need. My argument is with how they portray the 'standard' method. Not that T9 Dialer is slow or not worth it for some.

          • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

            That is of course exaggerated. It won't take 9 seconds normally. They even swiped the pages slowly, deliberately to delay the entire process in the video.

            Still, typing 2-3 letters to have the app popup is easier than swipe-swipe-swipe-look-look-look. Yes, in alphabetically sorted drawer. Say you reached the page where TiBu would be. But you can't spot it instantly, right? You'll go like this - "there's soundhound... speed test, umm.. next next.. tether.. there's TiBu".

          • wolfkabal

            That's my exact point, the video is simply mocking the process of doing it manually. Look at me, super slow swiping, oops I passed up the app I wanted because I can't spell. Regardless of real world stats, which is easier, or which anyone prefers, the video is overly exaggerating the process to sell their own app. THAT is the argument.

          • https://plus.google.com/u/1/112066854034638430359/posts Jorodan

            It is a video. In real usage Stock Drawer it is 3 seconds, quad is 1 second. But in real time the video is unreadable, so we accentuated the two ways to be visible in a video.

            We don't want to create more epilepsy. ;)

  • Zak Taccardi

    I tried using it, but I prefer to just use the good old fashioned app drawer.

    There should be an option in the app drawer to automatically hide any apps that appear on the home screen though. I've manually done that and it greatly improves usability

  • http://aayush.me/ Aayush Arya

    It has too many features and that is not a good thing. I bought it and returned it within five minutes. It's much slower than App Dialer Pro and the extra features only add clutter and degrade the experience. In my opinion anyway.

    • Cerberus_tm

      It's slower than App Dialer Pro? That is unfortunate, because to be honest I find ADP slow already, on my Galaxy Nexus. Then I suppose trying this one is not worth the trouble, alas.

  • Pascal Welsch

    I'm faster with Action Launcher Pro

  • Matt Dowdy

    I use swipe pad and the keypad s add on which does what this app does and more plus I can call it up anytime without the need for a floating icon