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Google Phasing Out the Android Menu Button

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.

  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Umm... screw you, Google? I happened to like the Menu button!
  • AznCracker
    Well, still better than one button on the iPhone.
  • joytech22
    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.
  • jezus53
    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...
  • 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.
  • cookoy
    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.
  • DSpider
    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.
  • capt_taco
    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.
  • neon871
    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!
  • Kryan
    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...