Android's Button Situation - Mini Rant
In light of the recent AT&T One X update that added a feature to reassign multitask to menu I wanted to chime in on a few things that I was surprised to read and also talk a bit about the button situation on Android.
For one, I keep reading that Software rendered buttons are "the only way to go". I strongly disagree. I can see the benefit of those extra 720x100 pixels lost to the software rendered buttons.
That being said both have their advantages, with software rendered buttons, they are always oriented properly, can disappear in SOME situation (video) and are seamless for legacy menu button implementation.
Capacitive buttons, in the perfect world where all apps follow ICS/JB design guidelines allow users to use the full 720p screen at all times.
So really this isn't a question of Capacitive or Software rendered buttons, as both would work just fine if ALL apps were designed without hidden menu buttons.
This is more of a question of how long will is take developers to switch.
And the leads me to the next part of this mini rant and that's the button configuration of the Galaxy S III. This by far is the most detrimental setup to the Android ecosystem. I can't even begin to explain how short sighted it is to even think that this is a good button setup.
Having a menu button on the Galaxy S III will be single handedly the biggest hindrance to developer adoption of the non-hidden menu design paradigms.
While the menu button is useful RIGHT NOW with legacy apps, how would a user feel down the road if all apps followed the ICS/JB design guidelines. You'd have an absolutely redundant button.
In the end I have to commend HTC for trying to foster adoption ICS/JB design guidelines while trying to differentiate from the Nexus line. Even if it meant pissing off a few people with the menu button configuration.
To Samsung, bad move. In the long term the Menu button is USELESS. The one way I see it working out is if Sammy updates it to do the opposite of HTC's implementation and make the menu button double as a multitasking button later down the road.
Thanks for reading