After the first public display of Ice Cream Sandwich, concerns were raised as to how navigation would work among legacy software. For example, there isn’t always a menu button displayed in the software navigation bar, and some applications don’t have an in-app menu key. It was announced that a menu key will pop up when necessary, but some people have become so accustomed to using the ever present menu key, that they can’t help but wonder why Google would get rid of it. The same goes for the search key, now gone because it supposedly caused more confusion than not. Well thank goodness for the Android community.
Paul O’Brien from MoDaCo, the same man behind the permanent root solution for the Galaxy Nexus, has released a set of UI patches for the Nexus that allow you to totally customize the navigation bar on the device. By using the patch, you can add a search key to the navigation bar on the Galaxy Nexus, as well as a number of different configurations for a menu key. You can place the menu key on the right, left or both sides of the navigation bar, and choose to keep it active even when not visible.
Of course the standard “we can’t be held responsible for anything you do to your device” disclaimer still applies, but the procedure for installing the patch is quite simple if you’ve used ADB before. If you’re not familiar with ADB, different methods should be out shortly. Either way, you can visit the original thread here on MoDaCo where you’ll find instructions and download links.
There’s no telling if this patch will work on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, but it’s a good sign of just how much support the device should get come launch time.