Level Up Studios have got into the app drawer market with the idea of revolutionising the Android icon grid. Have they made the must have launcher add-on of the decade, or are they trying to fix something that just ain’t broke?
You may have heard of Level Up Studios, they are famous for their Beautiful Widgets range of, well, beautiful widgets for Android; an astonishingly successful series of well designed widgets that most people have tried at some point. Equally successful is their star Twitter client, Plume. So, a pretty good pedigree.
Quad drawer, however, is a bit of an unknown app that is designed to replace the standard Android app drawer, which is just a large grid of short-cuts, with a searchable and sortable drawer to make life easier. It was launched without much fanfare a couple of months ago, at which point it was a little flakey. I’ve been running it ever since on two phones, and I now feel it’s got to a stage where it’s worth a review.
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How it works
- Click the Quad Drawer icon to see the apps and a keypad
- Tap an icon or
- Search then tap on the result
If you prefer your descriptions with music and pictures you can watch the official video below:
Sounds pretty simple, right? Well there’s a lot more to it than just that.
Not only are the app icons searchable, but they are also sortable to your taste, or it can automatically rearrange them based on the most regularly used. It’ll even display the number of times an app has been launched since Quad Drawer was installed.
It also lists your contacts, allowing the same quick access from one place.
I have to say that this has made the app drawer far more usable for me. I am the kind of person who’ll look at a grid of icons for ages knowing that the one I want is there, but it always seems to be in my blind spot.
My favourite feature, though, is the ‘floating window’. This is a small semi-transparent icon that can be placed anywhere on your screen and provide access to Quad Drawer. It will float above everything else that’s happening, such as Chrome, games, videos, etc. giving a way to get to your apps without having to go to the home screen first.
I thought that it would interfere and become annoying, but after half a day I didn’t notice it any more, only when I wanted to launch an app.
Sounds great, right? Well, it is, apart from one major flaw. There are no widgets shown, and because they are part of the normal Android app drawer you loose the ability to add them.
Android without widgets? May as well just have a grid of icons…
I tweeted Level Up Studios and asked if I was doing something wrong. They replied that it was not technically possible. Hopefully it will be possible soon.
There is a way around the problem though, albeit a bit of a bodge – setup a shortcut to the stock android app drawer before installing Quad Drawer and use that for adding widgets. It’s a shame, because I can’t find a fault with the rest of the app.
Quad Drawer is available as a stable release in the Play Store as well as a beta for the most up to date features. If you’re not afraid of a bug or two I highly recommend the current beta release; sign up to be a beta tester on their Google+ page.
Quad Drawer replacement Android app drawer
Idea - 10
Design - 8
Functionality - 6.8
Value - 7.9
An fantastic idea that should become default in Android. It's look and functionality would be perfect if there were access to widgets.