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hardware buttons

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On-Screen Navigation Buttons And Failed Expectations: A Visual Analysis

Honeycomb, the first Android version designed specifically with tablets in mind, was released way back in February 2011. It was built exclusively for large screens and was never meant to reach phones, but it paved the way for Ice Cream Sandwich, arguably one of the most significant updates to ever hit Android. Taking several cues from Honeycomb, Android 4.0 brought about some of the biggest changes to the OS, not the least of which was the advent of virtual or on-screen navigation buttons.

At the time, the use of virtual buttons on phones polarized opinions: some hated the idea while others were quick to sing its praises.

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Pressy Plans To Ship Units To Kickstarter Backers In May, Design Changed To Add A Headphone Gripper

The excitement around the Pressy Kickstarter campaign, which shows a tiny device and app that occupied a headphone port to add an extra hardware button to your phone, is reaching a fever pitch. Like so many ambitious Kickstarter projects before them, the creators have missed their original March ship date, but it looks like they're closing in on the finish line.

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According to the latest update sent to backers, production has begun at Pressy's Chinese hardware partner, and the first of 40,000 Pressy buttons will be shipped starting on April 28th. Delivery is expected sometime in mid-May. But that's only the first of two big items of news that came with this update.

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Acer Teases Its New CloudMobile Phone At Fashion Week, Shows Off The Seven Button Look

You may not think of Fashion Week as the best place to announce a new phone, but Acer sure does. The company just showed off its CloudMobile phone—not to be confused with its AcerCloud service—in Milan. Packing a 4.3", 720p display, a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, NFC and Ice Cream Sandwich, the device actually doesn't look too bad on paper.

ALLOFTHEBUTTONS

Unfortunately, "on paper" is the most reliable information we can get right now. As you'll notice in the photo above, the device still has four capacitive buttons in addition to three on-screen buttons. Either this phone was designed with Gingerbread in mind and got an ICS update mid-development, or Acer believes they can make the seven-button-suit look happen.

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Modder’s Column: How To Remap Your Android Phone’s Hardware Buttons Without Touching A Single Line Of Code

So maybe you've recently upgraded your Android phone and haven't gotten used to the new device's button alignment yet... or maybe you never use that pesky Search key and want to turn it into the camera key your EVO 4G has always wanted... or maybe you just enjoy tinkering with your phone. If you're in one of those situations, what you may be lusting after is a way to remap your phone's hardware buttons (i.e. making the Search key take on the duties of the Home key, or vise versa).

Up until now, there haven't been any user-friendly methods of doing this, at least not any that can be so greatly customized.

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Watch Andy Rubin's Honeycomb Android Tablet Demo From D: Dive Into Mobile

Last night, Andy Rubin appeared at AllThingsD's D: Dive Into Mobile conference and, to everyone's surprise, demoed not a Gingerbread, but a Honeycomb Motorola tablet, which ran on a next generation dual-core processor. If you want to read more about the demo, head over to our report from yesterday; however, if you want to jump right into action and see the demo in all its glory, AllThingsD just posted a full 9-minute video of Andy's interview for everyone's enjoyment.

The new Google Maps, the absence of hardware buttons (which make it impossible to "hold it wrong"), and the very much refined Honeycomb interface are all there:

Source: AllThingsD

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