In the Android world, there’s one constant: if you don’t like something on your phone, change it. From wallpaper to launcher to ROM to kernel to firmware, there is a lot about Android you can customize.
But at its core, using Android is a lot like iOS, or any other mobile operating system. You open an app from the home screen, press the home or multitasking button and proceed into another app. Yes, there are widgets, and you can open the notification shade or Google Now (OK, there’s a lot more than just opening and closing apps, but you get the gist) but fundamentally your experience is going to be pretty similar from one day to the next.
Android’s home screen, with its ability to create a combination of folders and widgets, has always made organizing and opening apps quite easy. But LevelUp Studio, the team behind blockbuster apps like Beautiful Widgets and Plume for Twitter, has envisioned a world of even simpler app launching, regardless of where you are and what you’re doing.
Quad Drawer is a simple $0.99 app that launches quickly to a T9-style keypad. Your apps are displayed either in alphabetical order or by frequency. Tapping the number keys whittles down the choices based on the letters included (so tapping on ‘8’, for example, displays apps beginning with ‘T’, ‘U’ or ‘V’).
Quad Drawer is a standalone app itself, so you can easily access it from your launcher’s home screen, but it’s best used in Floating Window mode, sort of like Chat Heads for apps. This displays a tiny app drawer icon anywhere on the screen, which can be moved and hidden at a moment’s notice. Tapping on the icon will launch a windowed version of Quad Drawer, giving you quick access to a search bar and recently-launched apps.
My only qualm with Quad Drawer is that it doesn’t load fast enough. It’s the same issue I have with Google Now when searching for information, and that extra one to two seconds of waiting is often enough to just say, “screw it, I’ll find it myself.” I love the idea of Floating Window mode, and hope that LevelUp Studio can improve loading times and add a bit of customization to the icon; I’d love to be able to adjust its size and colour.
Quad Drawer definitely appeals to the terminal-loving, command prompt-using side of me, and fits in perfectly, with its Roboto fonts and minimalist UI, with the rest of the Holo aesthetic.
Download Quad Drawer for Android.