When Android originally introduced phones on their platform, one of the features that made it stand out from iOS at that time was the presence of the Menu buttons which included a Home button, a Menu one, and a back button. Since then, there has been a whole evolution of how Android dealt with this, from capacitative touch buttons to virtual buttons. There have not been any phones the past few years that used the physical menu button but there was still legacy support for it. With Android 10 though, we will now be officially saying goodbye to it.
The folks at XDA Developers give a detailed history of the legacy of the menu button but here are some important “milestones” as we say goodbye to it. When Android 3.0 Honeycomb rolled out, Google offered developers a software version of the Menu button onscreen. This was their subtle way of saying, let’s get rid of that physical menu button which wasn’t really all that aesthetic as the years rolled by.
When they released Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, it wasn’t subtle anymore. They were basically telling developers to already rethink how they organized their whole menu button and access to their various menu items. And since then, we have not seen devices with menu buttons for some time already. But somehow, there was still official support for it, with some legacy apps still running and using the menu.
Even back in September, some users were saying that when they got Android 10 on their devices, the legacy menu didn’t work for them anymore. And when someone posted it on the Google Issue Tracker, Google confirmed that this “error” was intentional as they have removed the API since it has been deprecated already for several years. “…this is working as intended”, says the rep from Google.
This shouldn’t affect that many users except those who are still using “ancient and long-abandoned apps”. Maybe it’s a sign for you to start looking at newer apps. And don’t worry, there are probably a lot of apps out there that are doing the functions of your old school apps anyway.