Concept: Playing with the back button

Howdy folks,

I've noticed a few people complaining about the back button on Android. I was hoping we could brainstorm a few ideas together and - hopefully - someone might take notice and implement something from our comments section.

So, to get the ball rolling, I spent ten minutes with Paint and a Google image search and came up with these rough ideas. I'm a secondary school teacher and this is my lunch break, so please don't bother complaining about thinks being a pixel out (although I did fix that odd pixel on the back button. WTH?). They take advantage of the way on-screen buttons can adapt for different purposes, just like they do when the keyboard is in view. It wouldn't work on devices without on-screen buttons, but I can't think of a good way around that off the top of my head.


via Image 1. Shows where the back button will lead when pressed. Could be used to show when the button will exit the app into another app, as happens when you open a web page from Facebook etc.. I'm not sure if I like having the app icon there and I think it throws the bottom out of balance a bit.


via Image 2. Without the icon. Better balance, but couldn't tell if pressing would take you one level up or out of the app. Not much better than current implementation.


via Image 3. Just the icon. Maybe the icon would only appear to show the user when they would be about to leave the app and return to another? The rest of the time it could look like current implementation. Not sure if I like the function of this one - but it does look more pretty I think.


via Image 4. This would show the user when pressing the button would effectively 'close' the app. I quite like this one - I'm always coming out of apps when I didn't mean to. I like this one.

Anyhows, has anyone else got any ideas? Do you know of any concepts already out there that are worth looking at?

Cheers folks,


P.S. I am stupid, so the images will probably come out giant or tiny or some other such helpful thing. I am sorry, but my next class is about to come in! Bye!