Putting the Search Button Back on the Galaxy Nexus

December 21, 2011

The Galaxy Nexus did away with those physical buttons running along the bottom of the screen, a characteristic of Android devices, and gave the user a completely touch-based experience. The buttons have now been conveniently built into Ice Cream Sandwich, located at the bottom of your display. While this is indeed handy, it sacrifices one thing many users are sure to miss: the Search button.

No need to despair, however, as XDA-Developers forum member paulobrien was quick to create a solution. He released a patch that allowed the Search button to become a permanent part of the screen on the Galaxy Nexus.

But, it doesn’t stop there. Paulobrien has also released 8 variations of his patch. You can customize where you want your legacy menu button to appear–on the left or on the right, or on both sides, if you prefer. There’s also an option to keep them active, even when they aren’t visible.

If you own a Galaxy Nexus and you want to bring back the Search button to your virtual buttons bar, read on for the steps on how to do it.

Requirements

To add a Search button to your Galaxy Nexus, you need the following:

  • A rooted Galaxy Nexus.
  • ClockworkMod Recovery installed.
  • The patch of your choice (see below).

Here’s a list of the patches paulobrien released:

  • Show the legacy button on both sides – Download here
  • Show the legacy button on both sides and keep them active even when not visible – Download here
  • Show the legacy button on both sides and show a Search button – Download here
  • Show the legacy button on both sides, keep them active even when not visible and show a Search button – Download here
  • Show the legacy button on the left hand side – Download here
  • Show the legacy button on the left hand side and keep it active even when not visible – Download here
  • Show the legacy button on the right hand side – Download here
  • Show the legacy button on the right hand side and keep it active even when not visible – Download here

Instructions for Patching

  1. Download the ZIP file containing the patch of your choice. Do not extract the file’s contents.
  2. Connect your phone to your computer via USB cable.
  3. Copy the ZIP file to the root of your phone’s SD card.
  4. Reboot the device into recovery mode.
  5. Make a Nandroid backup.
  6. Select “Wipe Cache” and “Wipe Dalvick Cache”.
  7. Select “Install Zip from SD card” and select your zip file.
  8. Once the file is flashed, reboot your device.

Do you miss the Search button on your Galaxy Nexus? Or do you prefer the new interface?

Comments

  • AppleFUD

    The search bar is one of those design things in Android that are there only to market Google–it’s as bad as carrier branding. It was/is a very BAD design decision to use all that room on every single screen–kind of pisses me off a little.

    Things like the search icon should be small yet easily accessed at any time, not taking up precious screen real estate.

    Honestly, it seems rather obvious that the search icon should have been logically places in the navigation bar–after all that’s where it was for hardware buttons! And maybe a redundant widget on the home screen that is easily removed by the user–hard coding it is a dick move, Google.