10-11-2011 04:54 PM
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  1. jmart603's Avatar
    I don't understand what the big deal about wanting the buttons as part of the screen is for a phone. I understand in merging gingerbread and honeycomb, the code would have to merge the two types of buttons used, but I don't get why they need to be a part of the screen on a phone. Its not like you can ever get rid of them---you always need a home button, and you'll still need menu and back since those aren't built into any apps and google isn't going to have every developer re-write their apps. Since those buttons will always have to be there, its not like we're gaining any screen space. Also, now more of the screen needs to be lit up, which means more battery used. I think I'd prefer if the buttons stayed how they are now. Somebody explain why I should want this (not why its happening, I get the merging the 2 OS thing).
    dsignori and DolfanCole like this.
    10-04-2011 04:56 PM
  2. cdf3's Avatar
    On my Honeycomb tablet, when i rotate the screen to different orientations, the buttons rotate as well.

    Sent from my GT-P7510 using Tapatalk
    6tr6tr likes this.
    10-04-2011 05:03 PM
  3. SpaceHippie's Avatar
    More screen space. The buttons appear in certain situations.
    10-04-2011 05:11 PM
  4. jmart603's Avatar
    More screen space. The buttons appear in certain situations.
    But wouldn't they always be there. When wouldn't it show a home, back, or menu button, except maybe when watching a video.
    10-04-2011 05:26 PM
  5. dsignori's Avatar
    I don't understand what the big deal about wanting the buttons as part of the screen is for a phone. I understand in merging gingerbread and honeycomb, the code would have to merge the two types of buttons used, but I don't get why they need to be a part of the screen on a phone. Its not like you can ever get rid of them---you always need a home button, and you'll still need menu and back since those aren't built into any apps and google isn't going to have every developer re-write their apps. Since those buttons will always have to be there, its not like we're gaining any screen space. Also, now more of the screen needs to be lit up, which means more battery used. I think I'd prefer if the buttons stayed how they are now. Somebody explain why I should want this (not why its happening, I get the merging the 2 OS thing).
    I agree completely. On a tablet this makes sense. On a phone it seems to introduce several usability issues. I'll reserve judgement until I see it in use, but right now I cannot imagine any scenerio where the virtual buttons help in any way. At the very best, it might be a push in terms of usability (in which case, what's the point? and I doubt it will be a push anyway), in many other cases, there would seem to be a need for more screen presses or loss of screen real estate. But, no point in guessing until we see it I suppose. ..
    DolfanCole likes this.
    10-04-2011 05:36 PM
  6. dsignori's Avatar
    But wouldn't they always be there. When wouldn't it show a home, back, or menu button, except maybe when watching a video.
    In which case you would then need to press <something> to see the buttons, then press [back] to go back, making more presses/work for the user. This is a disadvantage, not an improvement ..
    10-04-2011 05:38 PM
  7. ejaymd11's Avatar
    I don't understand what the big deal about wanting the buttons as part of the screen is for a phone. I understand in merging gingerbread and honeycomb, the code would have to merge the two types of buttons used, but I don't get why they need to be a part of the screen on a phone. Its not like you can ever get rid of them---you always need a home button, and you'll still need menu and back since those aren't built into any apps and google isn't going to have every developer re-write their apps. Since those buttons will always have to be there, its not like we're gaining any screen space. Also, now more of the screen needs to be lit up, which means more battery used. I think I'd prefer if the buttons stayed how they are now. Somebody explain why I should want this (not why its happening, I get the merging the 2 OS thing).
    Awesome thing about android is if you don't want it, don't get it. I'm sure others will come along and keep buttons on it. Or just get a new phone now and wait for the ICS upgrade.
    10-04-2011 05:44 PM
  8. jmart603's Avatar
    In which case you would then need to press <something> to see the buttons, then press [back] to go back, making more presses/work for the user. This is a disadvantage, not an improvement ..
    Yeah, well I imagine you'd tap the screen anywhere which would pause the video and bring up the buttons. I don't really see much advantage to virtual buttons on a phone. Guess we'll see how they are when prime comes out (if todays pictures isn't a fake)
    10-04-2011 05:45 PM
  9. cdf3's Avatar
    I'm also thinking it would make it easier for developers. Ice Cream Sandwich is supposed to bring uniformity to tablets and phones.
    One OS for all devices. That way developers don't have to worry about creating an app with capacitive buttons for phones, and on screen buttons for tablets. It would now be all the same.

    Sent from my GT-P7510 using Tapatalk
    dsignori, RVO27 and ibejack96 like this.
    10-04-2011 05:45 PM
  10. jmart603's Avatar
    I'm also thinking it would make it easier for developers. Ice Cream Sandwich is supposed to bring uniformity to tablets and phones.
    One OS for all devices. That way developers don't have to worry about creating an app with capacitive buttons for phones, and on screen buttons for tablets. It would now be all the same.

    Sent from my GT-P7510 using Tapatalk
    But they don't have to implement virtual buttons on a phone for that----it just requires the code for the menu button (or any button) controlling both a soft and virtual button depending on the hardware

    Also, the developers wouldnt create the virtual buttons, they'd be part of the OS
    10-04-2011 05:50 PM
  11. yankdez's Avatar
    what if swiping up from the bottom displays the screen buttons, a lot like the notification bar? come to think of it, if this isnt how you display the screen keys, itd be pretty awesome if this is how you access the app drawer or multitask window.
    drbugsmn likes this.
    10-04-2011 05:52 PM
  12. edoublediz's Avatar
    what if swiping up from the bottom displays the screen buttons, a lot like the notification bar? come to think of it, if this isnt how you display the screen keys, itd be pretty awesome if this is how you access the app drawer or multitask window.
    like wave launcher!!! with wave, you just swipe up on edge of screen and it opens the wave launcher. for those who dont know the app, do yourself a favor, it is cool for your favorite 5 apps. launches from anywhere. it can even open within apps.
    10-04-2011 05:59 PM
  13. cdf3's Avatar
    But they don't have to implement virtual buttons on a phone for that----it just requires the code for the menu button (or any button) controlling both a soft and virtual button depending on the hardware

    Also, the developers wouldnt create the virtual buttons, they'd be part of the OS
    This may be true for home and escape keys, but there are tons of apps in the market that have not been updated to accommodate the menu key for this setup.
    Those that have been optimized for honeycomb will have the menu key in the upper right corner of the screen when using the app. Those that have not will have the menu key next to the other on screen keys.
    Also, some video apps can minimize the on screen buttons to small dots while watching video. Then there are some video apps that can't, therefore the on screen buttons are displayed during the duration of the video.

    Sent from my GT-P7510 using Tapatalk
    10-04-2011 06:24 PM
  14. pe1's Avatar
    But wouldn't they always be there. When wouldn't it show a home, back, or menu button, except maybe when watching a video.
    You've given a perfect example: you don't need buttons while watching a video. So that space can be used to show a bigger picture.

    But there's another big advantage: the list of buttons becomes customizable. For example, some apps don't use the menu button. Others do. But the menu button is always there, whether the current app uses it or not. So does this app that's running right now use the menu button? No way to tell except press it and find out.

    With on-screen buttons, the menu button is only there if and when pressing it will actually do something. So now you don't need to keep hitting buttons to find out whether they do anything. And if it's not there, the app can use that space for something else.
    10-04-2011 06:58 PM
  15. dsignori's Avatar
    You've given a perfect example: you don't need buttons while watching a video. So that space can be used to show a bigger picture.

    But there's another big advantage: the list of buttons becomes customizable. For example, some apps don't use the menu button. Others do. But the menu button is always there, whether the current app uses it or not. So does this app that's running right now use the menu button? No way to tell except press it and find out.

    With on-screen buttons, the menu button is only there if and when pressing it will actually do something. So now you don't need to keep hitting buttons to find out whether they do anything. And if it's not there, the app can use that space for something else.
    I don't think you're getting it. Picture this, you are now watching a video on your current android phone. You want to go BACK.

    - You now need to click once
    - With ICS and the rumored virtual buttons (if they disappear), you now need 2 presses.

    No need to make it any more complicated than that. At the very very best it might approach the same level of usability as we already have IMO.
    10-04-2011 07:33 PM
  16. cdf3's Avatar
    I don't think you're getting it. Picture this, you are now watching a video on your current android phone. You want to go BACK.

    - You now need to click once
    - With ICS and the rumored virtual buttons (if they disappear), you now need 2 presses.

    No need to make it any more complicated than that. At the very very best it might approach the same level of usability as we already have IMO.
    If it's anything like Honeycomb for tablets, you will not have to click twice.
    The buttons will turn into small dots. When clicking on the dot that corresponds to the button it replaced, the action will be carried out in one click.

    Sent from my GT-P7510 using Tapatalk
    10-04-2011 07:44 PM
  17. dsignori's Avatar
    If it's anything like Honeycomb for tablets, you will not have to click twice.
    The buttons will turn into small dots. When clicking on the dot that corresponds to the button it replaced, the action will be carried out in one click.

    Sent from my GT-P7510 using Tapatalk
    Right, I mentioned if they disappear then what I wrote applies. If they stay on the screen as dots then we lose screen real estate right?

    So:
    (a) They disappear completely and you need 2 taps
    (b) they stay on (as dots or not) an take up screen space

    Again, I just don't see what we are gaining here ..
    estebancam likes this.
    10-04-2011 07:52 PM
  18. cdf3's Avatar
    It would probably use the same multitasking window and menu screen as honeycomb. No matter which way you turn the device, the pop up window from those buttons will remain constant.

    Sent from my GT-P7510 using Tapatalk
    10-04-2011 07:59 PM
  19. dsignori's Avatar
    I'm also thinking it would make it easier for developers. Ice Cream Sandwich is supposed to bring uniformity to tablets and phones.
    One OS for all devices. That way developers don't have to worry about creating an app with capacitive buttons for phones, and on screen buttons for tablets. It would now be all the same.

    Sent from my GT-P7510 using Tapatalk
    This is a good point.
    10-04-2011 08:10 PM
  20. nsjavier's Avatar
    Well I kinda see developers, making their own custom buttons for the app, for example, in a game it could act as a hot bar, where it shows some specific actions like powers, or inventory and still having the back and home button, or in another app like Documents to Go, it could use that space to make buttons like new document, upload and that kind of stuff. I really see this as a good idea.
    10-04-2011 11:20 PM
  21. koolbon's Avatar
    I don't understand what the big deal about wanting the buttons as part of the screen is for a phone. I understand in merging gingerbread and honeycomb, the code would have to merge the two types of buttons used, but I don't get why they need to be a part of the screen on a phone. Its not like you can ever get rid of them---you always need a home button, and you'll still need menu and back since those aren't built into any apps and google isn't going to have every developer re-write their apps. Since those buttons will always have to be there, its not like we're gaining any screen space. Also, now more of the screen needs to be lit up, which means more battery used. I think I'd prefer if the buttons stayed how they are now. Somebody explain why I should want this (not why its happening, I get the merging the 2 OS thing).
    I've been thinking the exactly same thing. I really don't see the advantage of it. The phone might look really clean and cool, but that's about what I can think of as an advantage. Those buttons will have to be there all the time to be able to function except for movies games maybe. Even then, the buttons will have to appear at some point and it's only adding more steps to do things. I thought they will at least keep the size of the phone manageable with 4.6 or whatever the screen size they are coming out with, but looking at the leaked image that's not the case either. Buttons being there all the time might even make the screen ugly being some type of mismatches with apps you are running. I am dying to see how they are covering all the aspects of these cases.
    10-05-2011 02:01 AM
  22. oxymoron's Avatar
    What's the one major thing that differentiates Android from iOS? Diversity. Android has it, with a plethora of hardware manufacturers and devices. What does Android also have that iOS doesn't? Fragmentation.

    ICS addresses this, bringing uniformity to the Android platform. This is the purpose. The benefits of ICS will become more and more apparent over time. Developers no longer have to worry about the fragmentation, only minimum system requirements, just as you see on a box of software you buy for a PC. You'll know right away whether or not you can run the app.

    This is my take on it. This is a big step for Android, and only serves to tighten the grip they have on the marketshare.

    I'm all for it.

    The Nexus with ICS brings...
    - better hardware
    - ease of development
    - more fluid, powerful UI
    - better USER EXPERIENCE

    Apple cannot currently compete with this. The only thing they will have left, is a better ecosystem.

    I like where Google/Android is going. This is very exciting to me.

    *customized tapatalk signature*
    10-05-2011 07:47 AM
  23. DolfanCole's Avatar
    What's the one major thing that differentiates Android from iOS? Diversity. Android has it, with a plethora of hardware manufacturers and devices. What does Android also have that iOS doesn't? Fragmentation.

    ICS addresses this, bringing uniformity to the Android platform. This is the purpose. The benefits of ICS will become more and more apparent over time. Developers no longer have to worry about the fragmentation, only minimum system requirements, just as you see on a box of software you buy for a PC. You'll know right away whether or not you can run the app.

    This is my take on it. This is a big step for Android, and only serves to tighten the grip they have on the marketshare.

    I'm all for it.

    The Nexus with ICS brings...
    - better hardware
    - ease of development
    - more fluid, powerful UI
    - better USER EXPERIENCE

    Apple cannot currently compete with this. The only thing they will have left, is a better ecosystem.

    I like where Google/Android is going. This is very exciting to me.

    *customized tapatalk signature*
    But manufacturers will still put a skin on the OS, whether it's Sense, Blur, TouchWiz or whatever. So, there will still be fragmentation.
    10-05-2011 07:51 AM
  24. oxymoron's Avatar
    But manufacturers will still put a skin on the OS, whether it's Sense, Blur, TouchWiz or whatever. So, there will still be fragmentation.
    True, but overall less of it. A friend of mine works for MGH here in MD. They mostly do apps for iPhone/iPad, but also a few for Android. His biggest complaint as a developer for Android has always been fragmentation. He is very excited for ICS. Coming straight from a developer, that makes me feel good.

    In my opinion, this is a step in the right direction. I only see it getting better.

    *customized tapatalk signature*
    DolfanCole likes this.
    10-05-2011 08:31 AM
  25. Mooem's Avatar
    No one can say with certainty how much of a significant impact a slight increase in display size will have on the battery. There are more variables to battery life than just the display. I don't think we really know enough about the hardware to make that call just yet.

    That being said, it seems the on screen buttons are just a natural progression from having hardware dedicated capacitive buttons. The screen is capacitive, so why not extend it to the already dedicated buttons as well? I agree in that I also don't see it as a feature that has any significance right now but it could open doors down the road in later iterations of Android that very creative people can take advantage.

    For instance, it could allow you to add more dedicated buttons, extra notification display, gesture control, make it theme-able according to app context, etc. Imagine being able to add a dedicated camera shortcut so you don't have to hit the home button first to find the app either on your home screens or the app drawer.

    In the end, the point is about opening up more possibilities. The aforementioned ideas may not necessarily happen in ICS or even in the short term. But it does gives OEMs, developers, and Google more things to play with. After all, hardware dedicated capacitive buttons are inherently restrictive which make none of the above possible. Software is easier to modify than hardware.

    Just my two cents.
    geeksbsmrt, oxymoron and cdf3 like this.
    10-05-2011 08:44 AM
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