Android phone buttons: we differentiate because we can!
June 23, 2012 10:31 AM Subscribe
Why do different Android phones have drastically different configurations of buttons (home, back, menu, search, etc.)? Does it make a difference?
posted by meowzilla to computers & internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm in the market for a new smartphone, switching to Android from the relatively controlled ecosystems of iOS and Windows Phone 7. I've been able to get my hands on quite a few Android phones, both from last generation (2.3) and current (4.0), and I've noticed that every phone seems to differ in terms of its fixed buttons at the bottom.
The current Google Nexus phone has Back/Home/Multitask, as does the current HTC generation. The Samsung Galaxy S 3 has Menu/Home/Back. Previous generations of Android phones have four buttons, and arranged in even more varying configurations.
I've only used these phones in stores, and haven't actually lived with them. Every time I hold a different one, I have to relearn where these buttons are located on that phone (if they even exist).
Does not having a specific button really matter? How well do apps work if some phones have a "menu" button and some do not? Is there a button configuration that's drastically better (or worse) than others?