Google Wants to Kill the Menu Button

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News Posted: Sat, Jan 28 2012 11:21 AM
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 developer.android.com, 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.
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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?

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I don't like the ActionBar introduced in Honeycomb T_T

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

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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.

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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

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JDiaz replied on Sat, Jan 28 2012 7:47 PM

"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.

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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.

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

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

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

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AKwyn replied on Sun, Jan 29 2012 8:21 AM

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.

 

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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.

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LLeCompte replied on Sun, Jan 29 2012 2:50 PM

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.

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JRoss replied on Sun, Jan 29 2012 9:27 PM

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

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digitaldd replied on Mon, Jan 30 2012 10:23 AM

This action overflow is very Windows Phone 7 like. 

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