This Xposed module makes your phone’s capacitive menu button act like the Galaxy S5’s

April 15, 2014

LG G2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 Hands On -1160883

With all the recent interface updates on Android, you would think that physical home buttons and capacitive keys are already considered archaic or even obsolete on Android devices. But it seems even the latest flagships have retained this feature, particularly those from Samsung. The S5, after all, has the familiar home button and capacitive keys as its predecessors, instead of the navigation bar common among most other newer handsets.

One thing has changed, however, and that’s the functionality of the left capacitive button. On the S5, tapping on the capacitive button to the left of Home gets you the multitasking switcher, in which you can switch across recently-used apps.

MenuBeGone

If you have a device with a capacitive menu button — and assuming you have the Xposed Framework installed — you can install the MenuBeGone module, which does two things:

  • Convert the menu button into the multitasking button
  • Force the three-dot menu on all apps, so you still have access to contextual menus

For many power users, the Xposed Framework actually negates the need to install custom ROMs, because many of the customizations previously found in custom ROMs, such as the popular CyanogenMod, AOSP, Carbon and ParanoidAndroid, can be done even on stock ROMs. The only requirement is for the phone to be rooted and for the Xposed Framework to be installed. Xposed does not work on the new Android Runtime (ART) yet, however, so KitKat users will have to revert to the just-in-time Dalvik engine in order to implement these tweaks.

Xposed Framework vs. Custom ROMs?

The existence of Xposed has actually put into question the need to flash custom ROMs in the first place. Sure, installing a custom ROM gets you a more extensive array of tweaks and new functionalities. However, for most users, an occasional tweak here or there would suffice.

Note that in some custom ROMs like CyanogenMod, users don’t necessarily need this tweak, since that particular ROM (and those based on it) includes the ability to change the mapping of the capacitive buttons out of the box. It does not include the ability to force the action overflow button, however.

Head to the source link for the MenuBeGone module, plus other Xposed modules for download.

Just out of curiosity, do you think physical and capacitive buttons are still useful, or should manufacturers like Samsung ditch these for the navigation bar? Also, which is more useful: a capacitive menu button, or a capacitive multitasking button?

Comments

  • namesib

    If I had the S5 I would mod it so it has the S4’s mapping.

    • nishantsirohi123

      like the justin beiber song

  • Michael_Smith69

    Why bother? You can already get menu by holding down the center button

  • My1

    I’d rather have it reverse. get back menu button and kill the 3 dots, which just take up space…

  • Rishu Agrawal

    I remember having the HTC One X which had the same layout as S5’s and how reviewers, and users alike, slammed HTC for it back then, due to the 3 dot menu taking up additional screen estate. They almost forced HTC’s hand on providing an update, which hides the 3-dot menu by adding a long-press functionality to the recent-apps button. 2 years later, I read this. I don’t even know how to react to this.

    • Ishmeet kalra

      It was because HTC used a bar at the bottom of different apps to show the menu key, instead of using google’s way.

      • Rishu Agrawal

        And what exactly do you think is this Xposed module doing?

        • Android Developer

          @rishuagrawal:disqus this is quite different here, as the module takes the menu button and makes it the “recent apps” button, and instead of putting a full row button on the screen, it lets the normal overflow button appear on the action bar.
          For apps that have a targetSdk of 10 and below (Gingerbread and below), it will act like on the SGS5 – long click to show the options menu (since there is not action bar).

          • Ishmeet kalra

            Well, for me, it never gave the long press for menu functionality. For the rest of what is does, I like the module quite a lot.

          • Android Developer

            I’ve tried the module and it works a bit slow, and for some of the stock samsung devices, for some reason it shows the overflow button having a full row on the top (?!) of the screen…
            So i’ve removed it.
            Maybe I’ll check it out when I use AOSP Roms.

          • Ishmeet kalra

            Yes it does for stock samsung apps only though. Because none of the stock Samsung apps supported the 3-dot menu button before S5

  • Gilles LeBlanc

    We need capacitive until we have achieved edge to edge screen hardware for the sake of screen size efficiency. On screen buttons is in my opinion a pompous arrogant archaic attempt to save money. One that as the author has indicated doesn’t seem to translate to our collective opinion of such. I doubt the typical users cares let alone realizes that lack of capacitive can reduce screen size up to 15%. The sweet spot I think is 6.3 inches edge to edge once the masses accept it.

  • Jaime

    I like the multitasking button (I have a multitasking soft button on the upper corner of my S4). Will try it.
    I like both navigation bar and capacitive buttons, but I like capacitive I little bit more.

  • Captain Spaulding

    Navigation bar and recent apps
    When the G2 was updated to KitKat, G2 Xposed wasn’t fully compatible for a while. It was driving me nuts to lose my recent apps button and have that useless menu button. I do have my recent apps key set up as menu on long press,though, just because I don’t like to reach all the way to the top of the screen to the overflow menu button.

  • rogue3

    On my S3 I just long press my physical Home button to get recent apps. My capacative button has long press functionality to bring up Google search (I’m running CM & can’t recall if this is a Samsung or CM feature). I have no problem doing either of these things & don’t understand what the big deal is. Is it *really* that hard to long press a button?