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[Prediction] Search dead, Menu dead, back button you are next !

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by JiMMaR, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. JiMMaR

    JiMMaR Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    According to the android dev blog , the menu button is gone
    Android Developers Blog: Say Goodbye to the Menu Button

    At first , the search button was killed .. but some phones [Galaxy S] used the long press of menu button to trigger the search functionality, then came ICS and they introduced the app switch button.

    I didn't figure out what was wrong with long pressing the home button , that was doing good .. why have a dedicated button to switch the apps ? till I saw this yesterday.

    According to the action bar guide here Android Design - Action Bar
    developers should include a back button to the top left of the action bar mimicking the behavior of the back button so I predict that they wanna get rid of it soon.

    The problem is that the back button not only used to go back inside the application , it's also used to go back in the applications stack such as
    you go to gmail
    you click on a link
    browser opens
    inside the browser , they can't provide you with a software back button to go back to gmail so you'll have to press the physical android back button to go back.

    here's where the app switching comes, so you use that to go back to the app you were in

    sounds like the same way iOS does it, the only difference is that instead of having one button that acts as home and app switching , that got separated into 2 buttons ... I'm not liking this >_<

    I really loved having a "physical" menu button ...:(

    any thoughts ?
     

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  2. UncleMike

    UncleMike Android Expert

    I saw an article on this yesterday and had a similar reaction. Phones are small-screen devices; arguably, so are some tablets. Eliminating hardware buttons in favor of on-screen action bars, thus reducing the space available for displaying content, seems like a step in the wrong direction to me.

    The linked article fails to mention what will happen when devices with physical buttons get updated (I hesitate to use the word "upgrade" now) to ICS. Will the physical buttons remain functional in all apps?

    Sure, someone has to make decisions on how the UI will evolve, but it seems to me they are basing this decision on limited feedback from a small minority that may not represent common preferences in the Android community.
     
  3. eugene654

    eugene654 Newbie

    This may not be a popular view, but I would actually like to see the back button gone.

    The back button is inconsistent. It is not implemented the same way by all apps, so a lot of the time there is no way to predict what it's going to do. Depending on the app it could do any one of the following...

    • Go back to screen I was previously on (yay it worked)
    • Go to some other higher level screen I may never have seen before.
    • Close the app and go back to home screen.
    • Do nothing.

    I tend to avoid using the button, because it usually does something, but it could easily be something I don't want.

    There are better, more predictable ways to navigate in Android. In-app navigation should be done with in-app menus and navigation between apps and back to home should be left to home/task list buttons.

    I actually never had any real issues though with the menu and search buttons. My current phone Nexus S has them and I have some apps that would really be hard to use without them.
     
  4. broken flyer

    broken flyer Newbie

    This is quite interesting... I just posted a thread on this topic looking at it more as a whole though then just losing the back button. The first reply i got directed me to here. Personally i think all the "physical" buttons other than the power, and volume can go as long as they're replaced by on screen versions. At some point i would think the volume could even go away from a physical button as well (possibly the next step could be a soft key volume on the side of the phone) though it would take some innovating to make it know when you'r actually pressing it instead of making contact because you're just holding the phone, but for now i would really like to see all the soft keys move onto the screen.
     
  5. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Android Enthusiast

    Agreed. I too would like to see all HW buttons disappear except for the volume and on/off ones. I would prefer a HW button for the volume though.
     
  6. broken flyer

    broken flyer Newbie

    As of right now i would still prefer a physical volume rocker as well, i was just saying at some point much further in the future i could see that being replaced with something else if it worked just as well.
     
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