Mobile AIR app compatible with Android 4

There are few significant changes which were introduced with Google’s latest mobile operating system – Android 4. One of them will affect many applications out there on the market. We should say “Goodbye” to the menu button. This is a consequence of introducing a new navigation system. The hardware buttons in many new high-end mobile phones, like Galaxy Nexus, are not “hardware” buttons any more. They are actually software buttons which are located at the bottom screen edge and are part of the display. This is really cool but introduces some problems with all old applications which depend on the menu button. The menu button is not presented among them.

android software buttons on real device

In short the problem is “THE MENU BUTTON IS MISSING” in Android 4. Google are already aware about this change and they have really good blog post on the topic.

Here is how you can add an extra button next to the default ones from above.

android software buttons
Here are the steps:
1. You should go and read the following blog post about how to package app using AIR and Android and how to switch to the next Android version.
2. Add the following row in your descriptor-app.xml file, in the manifest section.

 XML |  copy code |? 
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<uses-sdk android:minSdkVersion="8" android:targetSdkVersion="11" />
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This will force Android OS to display the extra button (…) in the menu.
3.You are good to go. This extra button will work like the old menu button.

If you have Android 4 device and if it has only software buttons, then you will notice the following … symbol showing on the right part of your menu.[See the picture above].

In conclusion, the best solution is to remove this button from your app, because it introduces more confusion and the interface becomes over complex. A button more means that a user should learn and remeber one thing more about your system, which increases the slope of app’s learning curve.

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3 Responses to Mobile AIR app compatible with Android 4

  1. Pingback: URL

  2. Joan says:

    Thanks for this clue
    It has been very useful

    Thanks a lot

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