Menu tap-area is broken.

Keslen

Member
Jan 18, 2017
14
0
0
Visit site
I'm in the process of setting up my new S6 and I've run into a problem I can't fix on my own. When I tap the persistent area to the left of the button, I expect a menu relevant to the current context to open - instead, all I've been getting is a meaningless list for which no meaningful interaction exists except the back button.

How do I fix that persistent tapping area such that it opens a relevant context menu instead of a meaningless list?
 

Gary_Berg

Well-known member
Nov 15, 2013
348
6
18
Visit site
I think you are looking for something that's not there anymore. One button is back, the other is the multitasking button. You now have to use the 3 dots menu B Diddy mentioned.
 

Keslen

Member
Jan 18, 2017
14
0
0
Visit site
Thanks for the link to that guide, B. Diddy! Here are some screenshots.

When I tap the menu button, a context sensitive menu is supposed to open like this (taken from my old S4):
View attachment 250374

However, when I tap it, my screen actually fills with a list that's completely useless like this:
View attachment 250375

It doesn't matter what app I have open (or even if I'm on the home screen), the effect is the same and it's incredibly annoying. I'll be incredibly grateful when I learn how to fix it.
 

B. Diddy

Senior Ambassador
Moderator
Mar 9, 2012
165,965
5,279
113
Visit site
Those screenshots aren't showing up, so you might not have followed the steps completely correctly.

More importantly, what are you referring to as the Menu button? If you're talking about the capacitative button to the left of the Home button, that's no longer the Menu button -- it's the Recent Apps button (which shows a list of your recently opened apps). There has been no need for a physical menu button for a while now, because Android apps are supposed to have context menus that show up where they're needed (as mentioned above, either a hamburger menu icon, or the 3 vertical dots).
 

Keslen

Member
Jan 18, 2017
14
0
0
Visit site
I apologize for the mix up with the screen shots, they were displaying when I initially posted but now they seem to be dead links. In any case, it seems to be less relevant now since I am referring to the capacitative (both I and my spell check learned a new word today) button to the left of the Home button - apparently its name has changed.

Nevertheless, the problem remains the same - that button is supposed to open a context sensitive menu when it's tapped but, instead, fills the screen with a useless list. How can I fix that?
 
Last edited:

B. Diddy

Senior Ambassador
Moderator
Mar 9, 2012
165,965
5,279
113
Visit site
The Recent Apps button is not a menu button. It only opens the Recent Apps list. In the past, long-pressing the Recent Apps button might have yielded a menu option, but that no longer happens with pretty much any device any more. If anything, long-pressing the Recent Apps button can initiate a split-screen/multi-window feature, like on the Nexus 6P running Nougat, or on some Huawei/Honor phones.

Like I mentioned before, context-sensitive menus will appear on the screen when they are available. If you don't see one of those menu icons, then there is no context menu available.
 

Keslen

Member
Jan 18, 2017
14
0
0
Visit site
Once again, I appreciate the effort it took for you to offer me more information about how and why this problem exists, but it's, unfortunately, not helpful. How do I fix the Recent Apps button so it opens a context sensitive menu instead of filling the screen with a useless list when I tap it?
 

Javier P

Ambassador
Feb 21, 2014
19,480
4
0
Visit site
Once again, I appreciate the effort it took for you to offer me more information about how and why this problem exists, but it's, unfortunately, not helpful. How do I fix the Recent Apps button so it opens a context sensitive menu instead of filling the screen with a useless list when I tap it?
As B. Diddy has already said, this functionality has been removed and there's not much you can do about it. Sorry. Some people use the new Assistant Menu, which create a permanent floating icon, to access the context menu and some other options.

You can enable it, and edit to your needs, in Settings - Accessibility - Dexterity and interaction - Assistant Menu.
 

Keslen

Member
Jan 18, 2017
14
0
0
Visit site
Thank you for those offers, I've explored both the Assistant Menu and the Menu Button app. It's nice that they provide consistent access to a context sensitive menu, but they don't fix the root problem that the Recent Apps button fills the screen with a useless list. Additionally, they both consistently cover a part of my screen which is quite undesirable.

Could I please have a direct answer to my question? How can I fix the Recent Apps button such that it opens a context sensitive menu instead of filling the screen with a useless list when I tap it? I don't need to know why or how it has this default behaviour or figure out other ways to access the context sensitive menu, I need to figure out how to fix the behaviour of this button.
 

Javier P

Ambassador
Feb 21, 2014
19,480
4
0
Visit site
Could I please have a direct answer to my question? How can I fix the Recent Apps button such that it opens a context sensitive menu instead of filling the screen with a useless list when I tap it? ...

I need to figure out how to fix the behaviour of this button.

As stated, several times, in this thread and in the other one about this same issue, there's nothing to fix here. If you tap that button you get the recent apps overview. If you long press on it you can enable the multi window feature. This is the way it works, nothing to be fixed, nothing that can be changed. The menu button doesn't exist anymore.
 

B. Diddy

Senior Ambassador
Moderator
Mar 9, 2012
165,965
5,279
113
Visit site
I find that the Recent Apps list is useful when I want to switch quickly between two apps. For example, let's say I'm entering an address into a text, but I don't remember it off the top of my head. Tap the Recent Apps list, scroll to the Contacts app (which, if I was just using it, is just one or two apps above the texting app I just paused), tap it to switch to it, and look up the address. Copy and paste it, then tap Recent Apps, scroll back to the texting app, tap it, and the incomplete message is still there. Paste the address, then send.

There is no need for a hard Menu button, because a menu button will always be onscreen when a menu is available to be accessed. That's why you never see a capacitative Menu button any more with more recent phones.
 

Golfdriver97

Trusted Member Team Leader
Moderator
Dec 4, 2012
35,380
127
63
Visit site
The keys (whether they are capacitive or not) are coded in the ROM itself. I'm not sure changing the function is possible. If it is (and may well be) it would definitely require rooting the device, and changing some of the more base files in the ROM.

Be advised: this is not for the faint of heart. There is a high probability of bricking the phone.
 

Keslen

Member
Jan 18, 2017
14
0
0
Visit site
As stated, several times, in this thread and in the other one about this same issue, there's nothing to fix here.

Obviously this isn't true. If there was nothing to be fixed, there would be no thread on a support forum asking how to fix it.

I find that the Recent Apps list is useful when I want to switch quickly between two apps.

There is no need for a hard Menu button, because a menu button will always be onscreen when a menu is available to be accessed. That's why you never see a capacitative Menu button any more with more recent phones.

It's true, switching quickly between two apps is useful sometimes and it can be accomplished by hitting the recent apps button and tapping another app (maybe with a swipe or two if the other app hasn't been used in a while) then repeating the process in reverse. It can also be accomplished by hitting the home button and tapping another app (possibly with a swipe or two if the other app is wildly different) then repeating the process in reverse. This new function saves literally zero effort in any workflow. Meanwhile, it's definitely not true that a menu button will be on screen when a menu can be accessed. I've recently observed several situations where no button existed (or was hidden behind two or three layers of obscurity).

I find it very hard to believe that a group of intelligent people got together and decided to remove a useful function in favour of one that provided literally zero benefit over what already existed (and still exists). Apparently that happened, though. :(

The keys (whether they are capacitive or not) are coded in the ROM itself. I'm not sure changing the function is possible. If it is (and may well be) it would definitely require rooting the device, and changing some of the more base files in the ROM.

Be advised: this is not for the faint of heart. There is a high probability of bricking the phone.

I managed to find an app, Buttons Remapper that offers this functionality. It requires a little more set up that I can't quite figure out (I've sent an email to the developer about it) to get it to work exactly as I want it, but it's already been able to make it such that the recent apps button does nothing instead of filling my screen with a useless list - this is already a big step up.

I wish this had been offered as a solution in the first place since it is, actually, a solution.
 

B. Diddy

Senior Ambassador
Moderator
Mar 9, 2012
165,965
5,279
113
Visit site
Obviously this isn't true. If there was nothing to be fixed, there would be no thread on a support forum asking how to fix it.

"Fixing" implies an error, or something behaving incorrectly. The Recent Apps button behaves exactly as it was designed, as do the onscreen menu buttons. You seem to have more of an issue with how the Android developers decided to evolve the interface -- for that, you could address them directly in a Google Product Forum, but they tend not to be very responsive, unless it's a really popular issue. I'm glad you were able to find a workaround -- I hope it works out for you.
 

Almeuit

Moderator Team Leader
Moderator
Apr 17, 2012
32,277
23
38
Visit site
I wish this had been offered as a solution in the first place since it is, actually, a solution.

Please remember members and the Ambassador team try their best to help and may not have known about the app either (I sure didn't) -- We are just normal users like anyone else who try and help when we can. We don't develop or have anything to do with the Design of Android and so far Google is moving to menu being on screen versus it being a button. Luckily you found an app where a Dev has made this possible via their app. Hopefully they continue to support it for a long time since you want that functionality but phones from here on out will be this same way (no dedicated menu key).

Good luck with the app. Hope it works for you.
 

Keslen

Member
Jan 18, 2017
14
0
0
Visit site
"Fixing" implies an error, or something behaving incorrectly.

I'm glad you were able to find a workaround -- I hope it works out for you.

"Fixing" does, indeed, imply an error or something behaving incorrectly. It doesn't matter whether that incorrect behaviour resulted from someone making a choice or making a mistake (or any other reason), it's still something behaving incorrectly.

Thank you for the well wishes.

Please remember members and the Ambassador team try their best to help and may not have known about the app either (I sure didn't) -- We are just normal users like anyone else who try and help when we can.

Good luck with the app. Hope it works for you.

I respect that very much and my biggest regret around the communication in this thread isn't that the actual solution never came up until I found it independently. It's that so many other people tried to tell me that the default way of things was just fine simply because they preferred it that way. If there was no reason to change the default behaviour, then there would be no reason to start a thread like this one asking how to change that default behaviour. I wish the conversation had gone more like this:

Me: How do I fix X such that it does Y instead of Z?

Support: X is designed to do Z, it cannot do Y.

Me: Oh. On what timeline can I expect the option to fix it to be implemented?

Support: Never.

Me: Really? Smart people thought Z was better enough than Y that the option to change it shouldn't even exist? That's hard to believe, but I guess it must be the case.

Support: It's possible that a third party product exists to do what you want, but it's not a thing that will ever happen without one.

Me: Thanks! I'll look into that.

Glad you managed to find a way to remap the buttons! Never heard of that app before. Tell us how it goes.

I'll make another post in this thread once I get it set up properly or find out I can't.
 

Almeuit

Moderator Team Leader
Moderator
Apr 17, 2012
32,277
23
38
Visit site
"Fixing" does, indeed, imply an error or something behaving incorrectly. It doesn't matter whether that incorrect behaviour resulted from someone making a choice or making a mistake (or any other reason), it's still something behaving incorrectly.

Thank you for the well wishes.



I respect that very much and my biggest regret around the communication in this thread isn't that the actual solution never came up until I found it independently. It's that so many other people tried to tell me that the default way of things was just fine simply because they preferred it that way. If there was no reason to change the default behaviour, then there would be no reason to start a thread like this one asking how to change that default behaviour. I wish the conversation had gone more like this:

Me: How do I fix X such that it does Y instead of Z?

Support: X is designed to do Z, it cannot do Y.

Me: Oh. On what timeline can I expect the option to fix it to be implemented?

Support: Never.

Me: Really? Smart people thought Z was better enough than Y that the option to change it shouldn't even exist? That's hard to believe, but I guess it must be the case.

Support: It's possible that a third party product exists to do what you want, but it's not a thing that will ever happen without one.

Me: Thanks! I'll look into that.



I'll make another post in this thread once I get it set up properly or find out I can't.

But how can we recommend a 3rd party app if we didn't know one existed? Of course the possibility may exist but I didn't think so but I have learned now there is :). All I am saying is we don't program Android or anything and we just try and help. Sometimes we are successful other times we aren't and other people have better solutions.
 

Trending Posts

Forum statistics

Threads
944,526
Messages
6,923,225
Members
3,159,607
Latest member
MrBrown