Nexus 4 buttons

vNaK

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Software buttons are context sensitive, so applications can use the whole screen if need be and they can move around the screen based on orientation of the phone.
Hardware buttons are always just sitting there in the way.

I was checking out some of the apps I use, and a lot, if not most of em was not able to utilize the software buttons area making it a true "full" 4.7" screen. Youtube, chrome, a few games, etc was not able to utilize that software button area. I'm sure it could be done, but so far it's not mainstream, especially when only Nexus (correct me if I'm wrong) devices uses onscreen buttons.

Hardware/capacitive buttons are not in the way. They are in a designated area that is not part of the screen. If anything, software buttons are the ones that are in the way because they are almost always on the screen. Example, you can turn off the lights completely for capactive buttons making them "invisible," whereas for the Nexus, the most I've been able to make it "invisible" is in camera mode where those buttons turn into little dots.

And I mentioned in my first post why I like software buttons on the Nexus. It moving around based on orientation of the phone is a nice touch. I wish more phones were like this, but it must not take up the usable space on the screen. If the Nexus 4 was advertised as 4.5" usable screen, then there would be no complaints from me at all. But it stating it as 4.7" is a bit misleading.
 

bakerbert

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I have seen this argument on every phone that has soft keys.
If this phone had hard keys: either your whole phone would be bigger to make room for the hard keys and keep the screen the same size, or the screen would be smaller to make room on the face for hard keys to keep the phone the same size.
I personally love the soft keys; there when you need them and you can turn them off when you want. Not to mention i think the phone looks better when the screen is off with out all the buttons showing. (just has a sleek look to it.)
Also to truly take advantage of the soft keys you need to root/ROM.
AOKP allows you to switch them on and off, change the number of keys from 0 to 7, add long press to open apps/shortcuts, change the height/width and color/design.
 

Citizen Coyote

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I don't get the complaints against the softkeys, either. So you sometimes lose a tiny portion of your screen, big deal. I had always had hard/capacitive buttons on my phones before, but don't miss them at all. It was a complete non-issue when I switched to the Nexus 4.
 

vNaK

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I have seen this argument on every phone that has soft keys.
If this phone had hard keys: either your whole phone would be bigger to make room for the hard keys and keep the screen the same size, or the screen would be smaller to make room on the face for hard keys to keep the phone the same size.

133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm <--- Nexus 4
141 x 70.5 x 9.73 mm <---- Droid DNA
136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm <--- GS3

I'm not sure what you are referring soft keys to, but I'm guessing they are the onscreen keys, not capacitive keys. Looking at the dimensions, even the GS3 with an actual physical hardware home button, is still roughly the same size as the Nexus 4, while having a usable 4.8" screen. So adding hard keys doesn't mean the phone itself is going to be bigger.

I would rather they add a 2-5 MM more to the Nexus 4 to give it a 4.7" usable screen. I mean who is going to feel that 2-5 MM more when holding it?

I don't get the complaints against the softkeys, either. So you sometimes lose a tiny portion of your screen, big deal. I had always had hard/capacitive buttons on my phones before, but don't miss them at all. It was a complete non-issue when I switched to the Nexus 4.

Again, no complaints with the softkeys, I love it. But my complaint is that it Google states the Nexus 4 as 4.7" but in reality it's only 4.5" of usable screen. Every other phone that I've known off, when they state the screen size, that is how much of the screen you are able to use. If Google said the Nexus 4 was 4.5" of usable screen with .2" for the onscreen buttons, I and a few others would have not brought this up at all.
 

corance

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It is 4.7 screen. You use the ON SCREEN buttons that are on the screen that you are touching I.e. using. I consider the buttons you use on the screen as usable screen space. If you just want your wall paper bigger, like me Haha, then root and flash something.
 

badbrad17

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Ya this is also one of my complaints. The screen is bigger than my SGS2, but it really doesn't give me that much more room with the buttons on screen. If you see a side by side with the DNA its very significant. The odd thing is that there is room below the screen that most phones use for buttons. I think they should have used a bit more of this space.

But what I do like is that the buttons dim with the screen brightness. The capacitive buttons on my SGS2 were really bright when reading in the dark with no option to dim them. You could only have them turn off after a certain time.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Android Central Forums
 

Whistler4

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Sorry if I've missed something here but is there a way to add a search softkey to the three standard ones on the vanilla nexus 4?
I prefer the layout of keys from older versions of android (menu home back and search)
I don't particularly want to move away from the stock ROM but will if this is the only way.
Cheers
 

IBM Kid

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This is the reason I like on screen buttons better:
Screenshot_2013-07-01-19-31-01.png

Also if anyone is wondering I am running Paranoid Android 3.60.
 

IBM Kid

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Sorry if I've missed something here but is there a way to add a search softkey to the three standard ones on the vanilla nexus 4?
I prefer the layout of keys from older versions of android (menu home back and search)
I don't particularly want to move away from the stock ROM but will if this is the only way.
Cheers

As far as I know you need a custom rom to do that. The rom I am using, Paranoid Android, lets you do that and I am pretty sure CM10 and AOKP let you do it as well. I know at least older versions of AOKP even let you put custom applications on your navigation bar so that could be interesting.
 

bulletmark

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Blind Freddy can see that within a few years, all smartphones will have softkeys. More responsive, much better use of phone real-estate, adaptive/context based positioning, much more reliable and resilient, not tolerant to lint/wear failure, sleeker looking, and on top of all that, cheaper to produce.
 

JeffDenver

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do the touch screen buttons get annoying or do you hardly notice it?
I was a HUGE critic of this at first, but they have grown on me. It might be simply because the phone is so fast the UI can keep up, but there is never any lag (and I mean never). They feel like hardware buttons as far as response. And as a bonus, you can change their appearance if you want.

They do take up screen real estate but it has not bothered me as much as I expected it to.
 

dkhmwilliams

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I like the soft keys on the screen. One of the things I didn't like was the experience with other devices that had capacitive keys and home buttons. Home buttons would get loose after a while. And the backlit capacitive ones would be inconsistently lit. Sometimes the backlight would bleed through, sometimes the backlighting would not be bright enough. Onscreen buttons make it perfect.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using AC Forums mobile app