In a new post on its Android Developers Blog today, Google is giving devs tips on how to better prepare their apps for a brave, Menu button-less future. Honeycomb started the revolution by introducing the so-called "action bar" at the tops of applications and by killing physical buttons in favor of soft, reconfigurable ones, but that was strictly a tablet affair — the impetus to get developers on board with the Menu button's demise is greater now that Ice Cream Sandwich is out and in the process of bringing those same UX paradigm shifts to phones.
As it stands, Android 4.0 bridges the gap with older apps by posting an "action overflow button" — three vertical dots — to the right side of the soft button bar at the bottom of the screen. Google doesn't pull any punches, though, saying "this button doesn't provide an ideal user experience" and pointing out that even legacy apps without any menu commands still show a non-functional action overflow button (we've seen this countless times on the Galaxy Nexus, and it's frustrating).
Google insists that you can bring your apps into the modern era with just a few quick code changes — it even has a repository of slick action bar icons as part of its new design guidelines — so if you want them to look their best as everyone moves to ICS this year, it's time to get moving.