Forget about the Android Menu Key

You know that “Menu” key on your Samsung Galaxy S II, Motorola Droid Razr or HTC Rezound? Yes, that’s right, the “Menu” key. Yeah, well forget about it. This button on your future Android phone looks like it will be nothing more than a figment of your imagination.

Why? Well, the answer is simple: Google said so.

Google explained in a blog post to developers yesterday that it wants developers to no longer create applications that support the “Menu” button. And as well all know, what Google wants, Google gets.

Going forward, Google wants all app developers to use the Action Bar, which is part of the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. In the blog post, Google made it pretty clear about exactly what it wants:

“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. 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.”

Well, we guess that’s that. Not a lot of room to misinterpret Google’s desires from this. One thing that remains unclear is how a lack of a “Menu” button might affect the overall design of Android phones. It seems like there is a chance that Samsung cases, Motorola cases and HTC cases for Android phones all might need to change in the future to accommodate a phone without a “Menu” button.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was the first Android device without a menu key. Apparently Google likes the idea of giving their phones a standard look and feel that does not involve a menu key. It will be interesting going forward to see how phone manufacturers change their designs to accommodate.

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