Google Building

Physical Menu Button is DOA According to Google Engineer

December 9, 2013 - Written By Cory McNutt

The Physical Home button that Samsung continues to use, is constantly criticized by the both Samsung lovers and haters, and there are plenty on both sides of this argument. I know I used to be one of the naysayers, until I got my first Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and now I could not imagine life without my physical Home button – I have gotten so use to it and all of the things I can do with that button. I its a holdover from the early Google Android days, but most manufacturers have long since abandoned them, like Motorola, LG, and HTC, but Samsung has continued to included that big physical button at the bottom, center of their devices, both smartphones and tablets. However, it looks like I may finally have to learn to do without my new-found friend, if Google Engineer, Adam Powell, has his way. He says:

Always show overflow buttons on action bars

The menu button is not pining, it’s passed on! This button is no more!
It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a
stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to a
flagship device it’d be pushing up the daisies!

THIS IS AN EX-BUTTON!!

 He even throws in a Monty Python video to get the point across – if you love Monty Python, then you will find this hilarious – if you do not find Monty Python’s humor funny, simply bypass the video:

What all of this means is that from Android 4.4 KitKat forward, API-compliant applications will ALWAYS show an overflow menu button at the top-right in the action bar.  When we say always, we mean it will appear there whether you are using a phone or tablet (read that as Samsung) that has a physical Home key or not – in the past, if you had a physical Home button, then the overflow would “disappear,” but this will no longer be the case.  While this is a small change, it finally means more consistency across devices and menus…something Google is definitely working on doing with each update of one of the “pieces” to their giant puzzle.

Let us know in the comments or on Google+ how you feel about the physical Home key, and while this question is open to all, I would especially like to hear what Samsung owners think about having a physical button – I have come to love mine, but what about you?