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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    What is your take on this? I was pretty disappointed when I saw this - the virtual buttons take up WAY too much screen real estate, effectively reducing screen size to 4.5-6". Will there potentially be a way to circumvent or override by hacking something in the device in the future? Do you care at all?
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  2. #2  

    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    Full screen apps can hide the nav bar. Also, yes, there are plenty ROMs that have nav bar hiding support built in. The problem is once the navigation is hidden.. well.. your navigation is gone.
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    I like that. But it would be a cool mod for you to get rid of the buttons and make gestures your buttons instead (3 finger pinch to go home, 2 finger swipe from the left to go back and 2 finger swipe from the right to go to recent apps). Cool thought Imo.
  4. #4  

    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    It's that way with the Nexus 7 as well. Quite honestly, I don't even notice it. I think it makes the front cleaner with no capacitive buttons.
  5. #5  

    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    I dont' care that the buttons take up real estate. The only time I really want full screen is for pics/videos and I've never noticed that I'm losing any screen space. It's a very clean look in my opinion, when you go buttonless you can't really go back.
  6. #6  

    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    I can attest to "once you go buttonless you can't go back." Once using a Nexus 7 was all it took,
  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  

    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    Oh good news all around then . As long as pics and vids are full screen it's all gravy.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    Agree'd - Happy with my buttonless Galaxy Nexus and Xoom.
  9. #9  
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    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    Quote Originally Posted by D3lit3 View Post
    Oh good news all around then . As long as pics and vids are full screen it's all gravy.
    Some of this depends on the application, of course. When I first got my Nexus 7, thinks like MX Player left the navigation buttons up. Then they issued a JB patch that issued whatever command is necessary to hide the nav buttons, and it's been a full-screen love story since. I watch a video using the WHOLE screen with no navigation whatsoever. If I need to interact, I tap anywhere on the screen, and my bottom nav buttons and all the MD Player controls slide in place and the video rescales down to fit on the remaining screen. A few seconds later, back to full screen.

    There may be some older video or gallery or other applications that are not aware that they need to ask for fullscreen. But they'll be fewer and further between in time.
  10. #10  
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    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    I'm happy with on screen buttons with my Nexus 7 and I'm sure I'll like it just as much on my Nexus 4. Non issue. Capacitive buttons suck.
  11. Thread Author  Thread Author    #11  

    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    Quote Originally Posted by natehoy View Post
    Some of this depends on the application, of course. When I first got my Nexus 7, thinks like MX Player left the navigation buttons up. Then they issued a JB patch that issued whatever command is necessary to hide the nav buttons, and it's been a full-screen love story since. I watch a video using the WHOLE screen with no navigation whatsoever. If I need to interact, I tap anywhere on the screen, and my bottom nav buttons and all the MD Player controls slide in place and the video rescales down to fit on the remaining screen. A few seconds later, back to full screen.

    There may be some older video or gallery or other applications that are not aware that they need to ask for fullscreen. But they'll be fewer and further between in time.
    Thank you for clearing that up. In that case I'm really glad they didn't add physical buttons as it looks so futuristic and streamlined without them.
  12. #12  
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    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    Quote Originally Posted by D3lit3 View Post
    Thank you for clearing that up. In that case I'm really glad they didn't add physical buttons as it looks so futuristic and streamlined without them.
    Yeah, I go back from my Nexus 7 to my HTC Thunderbolt and... ewwww... LOL
  13. #13  
    Ry
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    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    I'd rather have no (physical) buttons.
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    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    It would be nice if there was a way to add a separate "screen" in the unused bottom area to do nothing but accommodate on screen buttons.
  15. #15  
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    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ry View Post
    I'd rather have no buttons.
    Makes going back to the homescreen rather hard, doesn't it?

    Or are you talking about some gesture like a three-finger swipe or somesuch being used consistently to get to the home screen. Which would, admittedly, be cool. However, if you think people complain about Android being unapproachable today...

    "How do I run an application?".
    "Oh, it's quite simple. Stroke downward on the screen once with three fingers, then sideways with two fingers to open the apps menu, then draw the symbol for that guy who used to be called "Prince" to run Chrome, trace out a Mandelbrot fractal to run Gmail, and draw out Escher's "Waterfall" in full detail to run Facebook."
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  16. #16  
    Ry
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    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    Quote Originally Posted by natehoy View Post
    Makes going back to the homescreen rather hard, doesn't it?

    Or are you talking about some gesture like a three-finger swipe or somesuch being used consistently to get to the home screen. Which would, admittedly, be cool. However, if you think people complain about Android being unapproachable today...

    "How do I run an application?".
    "Oh, it's quite simple. Stroke downward on the screen once with three fingers, then sideways with two fingers to open the apps menu, then draw the symbol for that guy who used to be called "Prince" to run Chrome, trace out a Mandelbrot fractal to run Gmail, and draw out Escher's "Waterfall" in full detail to run Facebook."
    lol. I made an edit at probably the same time you posted.
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  17. #17  
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    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    Quote Originally Posted by ctfrommn View Post
    It would be nice if there was a way to add a separate "screen" in the unused bottom area to do nothing but accommodate on screen buttons.
    My Thunderbolt has this already. I have "Home", "Menu", "Back", and "Search" context buttons that are always there.
  18. #18  
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    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ry View Post
    lol. I made an edit at probably the same time you posted.
    To answer your (edited) point, I disagree. One of the things I really want to have is more physical buttons. I miss the BlackBerry's concept of programmable physical buttons that allow you to launch programs or macros (one of the only two things I miss about my BlackBerry). A dedicated "camera" button would be great - press once to launch the camera app as quickly as possible (bonus points if you can do it when the damned phone is PIN locked!), press again to take a photo.

    Yes, I know I can simulate this to a point with NFC tags, but physical buttons are easier.
  19. #19  
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    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    Quote Originally Posted by natehoy View Post
    My Thunderbolt has this already. I have "Home", "Menu", "Back", and "Search" context buttons that are always there.
    I didnt explain that properly....I mean in the area below the screen that is current empty on GN and N4. It would be cool if manufacturers added a 48 pixel high screen there to house the onscreen buttons.
  20. #20  
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    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    You need to be rooted and then you can use this app.

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  21. #21  
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    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    Quote Originally Posted by ctfrommn View Post
    I didnt explain that properly....I mean in the area below the screen that is current empty on GN and N4. It would be cool if manufacturers added a 48 pixel high screen there to house the onscreen buttons.
    I know, I was being a smarty.

    Seriously, though, running a second screen would require a lot more hardware (two video cards), and leave you with a strip of dedicated screen where it could just have been part of the main screen in the first place. If they are going to go to the trouble of extending glass down there, just expand the whole screen down there and call it a love story.

    Plus, then you'd have the buttons always on a fixed, short side of the screen. The whole point of eliminating the dedicated buttons was to put them on the screen so they could stay on the "bottom" whether you were in portrait or landscape.
    With my Nexus 7, I frequently find myself reaching for the volume control and realizing it's at the bottom left in portrait instead of the top right. The entire operating system has been quietly compensating for the fact that I'm holding it upside down!

    EDIT TO ADD: One clumsy compromise is extending the glass and touch sensor but not the actual display down to a dedicated area and screen-printing on a common set of buttons. That's how my HTC Thunderbolt works. And I like the new way better.
  22. #22  

    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    I don't really like having physical buttons honestly after using the GS3 for alittle bit. I'd rather have them built into the display giving the phone a cleaner look.
  23. #23  

    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    To me it makes the phone look beautiful.
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  24. #24  
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    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    I'm in the "software buttons suck" camp. Google adding software buttons in ICS so that it could control button placement was too apple-esque. Three reasons why software buttons suck:
    1) They take up 3mm of real estate. Mobile phones are used in portrait mode most of the time where software buttons always are displayed, so they take up valuable screen space.
    2) Functionality errors. Who cares how "clean" a phone looks with software buttons if, when using your phone they create errors? This happens too often when typing an important email, thinking you're hitting the space bar but you accidentally hit the home button. Or when using any app where there is a button at the bottom and you inadvertently hit one of the software buttons by mistake.....happens way too frequently.
    3) They make comparison of phone display specs like comparing apples to oranges. I go look at a new phone with a supposed 4.8" display, compare it to my current phone with a dedicated 4.5" display - and the actual display real estate is the same. But the new phone has larger overall phone dimensions, so what is gained? Nothing. In my opinion, it is actually false advertising of phones with software buttons to claim e.g. 4.8" display -> they should quote specs as "4.5" display, expandable to 4.8" in landscape mode."

    It's great that top 2012 selling phones like the HTC One X and Samsung GSIII ignored the ICS functionality of software buttons - you get the full specs of the large beautiful displays.
  25. #25  

    Default Re: Precious screen space being used by virtual buttons...

    The soft buttons don't bother me. The only time I want them gone is when watching videos or photos full screen. The decently written apps all hide the buttons for that.

    If phones ditched the soft buttons and used hard buttons, many of them would just use smaller displays to make room on the lower bezel for the hard buttons.
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