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Google Phasing Out the Android Menu Button

By - Source: Google | B 28 comments

Google is giving Android developers a heads up that the Menu button in Android is being phased out.

Interface changes will be largely replacing the feature of the "Menu" button. Google is aiming for fewer buttons and if you really needs those extra features that are provided by a "menu" feature", you will get an "action overflow" menu.

In an article posted to the Android developers blog, Google states that, "as Ice Cream Sandwich rolls out to more devices, it’s important that [developers] begin to migrate [their] designs to the action bar in order to promote a consistent Android user experience." The action will also be streamlined as Google wants Android developers to "stop relying" at a menu button at all. Instead, primary user activities should be directly integrated in the action bar or in other areas of the app. Those activities that do not fit in the action bar or somewhere else will be moved to an "action overflow" menu that is marked with three vertically aligned dots. Legacy apps for Android 2.3 and below will automatically get that overflow menu. Developers who do not need the action bar at all can remove this feature entirely.

To support a consistent graphical user interface, the Android UX team is providing standardized UX buttons that include Refresh, Delete, Attach, Star, and Share. There is also an Icon design guide that assists users in creating their own icons.

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Top Comments
  • 18 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , February 2, 2012 3:20 AM
    Umm... screw you, Google? I happened to like the Menu button!
  • 13 Hide
    jezus53 , February 2, 2012 3:45 AM
    I got an idea, lets take something that works and everyone is used to, and change it for no particular reason! We can call it, an upgrade...
Other Comments
  • 18 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , February 2, 2012 3:20 AM
    Umm... screw you, Google? I happened to like the Menu button!
  • Display all 28 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    AznCracker , February 2, 2012 3:21 AM
    Well, still better than one button on the iPhone.
  • 5 Hide
    joytech22 , February 2, 2012 3:43 AM
    I liked the menu button (capacitive), it was fast to get to the menu.
    On my Galaxy Nexus it took me a while to stop hitting the bottom left side to get to the menu.
  • 13 Hide
    jezus53 , February 2, 2012 3:45 AM
    I got an idea, lets take something that works and everyone is used to, and change it for no particular reason! We can call it, an upgrade...
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , February 2, 2012 3:49 AM
    Sounds vaguely in the right direction, since "menu" on a mobile device is slippery and the way Android menu is more like a shortcut bar we used to on a desktop.
  • 4 Hide
    cookoy , February 2, 2012 5:48 AM
    If you can't deliver substantial improvements under the hood, then you tinker with the UI and highlight the skin-deep changes as must-have upgrades.
  • -7 Hide
    DSpider , February 2, 2012 5:57 AM
    Wait. So they're replacing 3 buttons with 6? How about NO buttons? Replace them with gestures. Or at least add a gesture that will show/hide the menu bar.
  • 2 Hide
    capt_taco , February 2, 2012 7:24 AM
    Wow, that's just ... not very smart. One of the good things about Android phones is that you can use a few buttons to take care of obvious shortcuts that are a pain in the ass with a touchscreen. Works way better than Apple's "dummy button."

    Seriously, Google -- you were starting to win. Why start to imitate the inferior OS now? Steve Jobs is dead, man.
  • 3 Hide
    neon871 , February 2, 2012 8:57 AM
    You shake your phone once to go back 1 page, shake it 3 times to go to home page........ yeah Google nobrainer!

    I like it.....................NOT!
  • 4 Hide
    Kryan , February 2, 2012 9:03 AM
    I LOVE that's even still a PHYSICAL button on my phone (Original HTC DESIRE)
    I use it so much, that that is the only button to show my "WASD" and the part where my thumb presses "spacebar" ....sigh, i'm such a pc nerd...
  • 3 Hide
    N.Broekhuijsen , February 2, 2012 9:33 AM
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I want my damn menu button. It's so quick 'n easily accessible this way.
  • 4 Hide
    freggo , February 2, 2012 10:16 AM
    We spent years teaching non-geek users to use Menus and now we remove the MENU button.

    Yeah, that sounds reasonable. I can use some extra $$ retraining people.
  • 0 Hide
    Crush3d , February 2, 2012 12:00 PM
    I like my menu button.. why would you want to stop my reliance upon something good..
  • 0 Hide
    kawininjazx , February 2, 2012 12:06 PM
    I also like the menu button. I think they are trying to slowly phase out all buttons, maybe Apple patented buttons?
  • -2 Hide
    mrmaia , February 2, 2012 12:25 PM
    Maybe someone finally patented the use of buttons.
  • 0 Hide
    kartu , February 2, 2012 1:18 PM
    Never dissapearing statusbar is the thing I hate most in my Android tablet. It's even there when I watch video!!! It sucks, dear google and "oh, but consumer can get lost" argument doesn't stand.
  • -1 Hide
    devnul3 , February 2, 2012 2:02 PM
    Way to report the news in a timely manner. ICS came out (with no menu button) in MID OCTOBER.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , February 2, 2012 2:10 PM
    NO NO NO NO NO. This is one of my favorite parts about Android. Ever try to adjust the settings for a program in iOS? Open app, need to change a setting? press home button, open settings, find program, click program, scroll through settings, change settings, hit home button, find program, open program, check to see if settings worked. If not? repeat.

    In Android? open app, hit menu, adjust settings.

    I understand they're going to try to encourage software menu interaction rather then a hardware button, but now we are dependent on app developers giving us what we need in an easy to find place. Right now its just so simple...
  • 2 Hide
    TomsSound , February 2, 2012 2:26 PM
    Umm why not have both available.

    For manufacturers who want to develop phones with buttons. Let them have buttons.
    Those who do not... let them have "soft menu" buttons.
    Just have the phone check to see if it has the buttons available and if so .. do not show "soft menu".
    and vice-versa

    I'm not a programmer.. but I would think there would be a way for them to do this.
  • -2 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , February 2, 2012 2:28 PM
    I thought people only wanted touchscreen, I never liked it. I love keys. Like the nokia e7
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