Google Wants to Kill the Menu Button

Google has a message for developers: Say Goodbye to the Menu Button, which is the title of an Android Developers blog post pleading with devs to rethink their reliance on the Menu button. A better option, according to Google, is to direct users towards the ActionBar introduced in Honeycomb, and it's never been more important than with the rollout Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0).

"Not only should your apps stop relying on the hardware Menu button, but you should stop thinking about your activities using a [menu button' at all," Scott Main, lead tech writer for, stated in a blog post. "Your activities should provide buttons for important user actions directly in the action bar (or elsewhere on screen). Those that can’t fit in the action bar end up in the action overflow."

Main says that even if an app is built to support versions of Android older than 3.0, there's no Menu button on later builds. Instead, the button that appears at the bottom is a action overflow command for legacy apps. In other words, Google doesn't even want developers/users to use the term "Menu button" anymore.

"This might seem like splitting hairs over terminology, but the name action overflow promotes a different way of thinking," Main explains. "Instead of thinking about a menu that serves as a catch-all for various user options, you should think more about which user options you want to display on the screen as actions. Those that don't need to be on the screen can overflow off the screen. Users can reveal the overflow and other options by touching an overflow button that appears alongside the on-screen action buttons."

Android, of course, is an open source operating system that thrives on its community of developers, and there are mods available that bring the Menu button back, provided you're comfortable rooting your phone.
Via:  Google
cowboyspace 2 years ago

Ummm I'm not liking it, how about im surfing the web, playing games etc and i want to go to the desktop to look something real quick?

JDiaz 2 years ago

"Ummm I'm not liking it, how about im surfing the web, playing games etc and i want to go to the desktop to look something real quick?"

You'll hit the home button in that case, the menu button is for addition functions and they're showing it already missing in the image.

I'd have to see it in action but their plan does sound dubious at this point.

cowboyspace 2 years ago

OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH you  just made me read the post again youa re rightttttt i just got confused with the menu button hehehe fail.

cowboyspace 2 years ago

I don't like the ActionBar introduced in Honeycomb T_T

dangerrenegade 2 years ago

By Google's own terminology, a menu button is simply a quicker way of accessing the action overflow.

omegadraco 2 years ago

hmmm is this really smart? Does it really matter if there is a menu button on the phone or not the devices are still going to be roughly the same size because people want the larger screen sizes.

cowboyspace 2 years ago

IF THEY WANT BIGGER SCREEN THEY SHOULD SAY good bye to all the button too, which i totally will disagree. They just want to add a more important button in the space of home

dangerrenegade 2 years ago

They should have put a physical root/custom ROM button on the first round of 4G phones, which pretty much require you to root if you want the phone battery to last all day.

MayhemMatthew 2 years ago

I never use tht button, ever... so yeh, get rid of it for ll I cre.

cowboyspace 2 years ago

OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH you just made me read the post again youa re rightttttt i just got confused with the menu button hehehe fail.

AKwyn 2 years ago

Makes sense, I mean they're trying to move into a more streamlined public-oriented direction with the release of Ice Cream Sandwich and I don't blame them if they want to remove a couple of buttons. Granted, people will miss those buttons but I feel like it's for the best.

cowboyspace 2 years ago

Yea, i agree this is the best. i just got confused :) can a moderator plz delete one of the post that for some reason was posted twice the same one.

LLeCompte 2 years ago

Its cool that they want to stream line everything, just they need to make sure they new action bar is in the same place most of the time. As of now on ICS the action bar is kinda all over the place. Its not a problem for me but i can see other people who are used of the menu button get a little lost.

JRoss 2 years ago

WHAT? what the hell is wrong with them? The menu button is absolutely the most useful button, I HATED honeycomb for the lack of quick menu access. Horrible idea, I will not buy any device that doesn't have a menu button

digitaldd 2 years ago

This action overflow is very Windows Phone 7 like. 

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