Apr 25 AT 10:07 AM Taylor Wimberly 44 Comments

Galaxy S III prototype reveals Samsung’s custom on-screen buttons


In the early days of Android every handset maker had a different configuration for their physical buttons, which made it annoying any time you would switch from one phone to a new one. We thought that the introduction of on-screen buttons might resolve this issue, but that does not appear to be the case.

New pics from Chinese blog mobile01 reveal that Samsung has designed their own custom Menu button and reversed the layout from previous on-screen layouts. The on-screen button order for Samsung’s two devices is:

  • Galaxy Nexus: Back, Home, Multitask, Menu
  • Galaxy S III: Menu, Multitask, Home, Back
I think that Samsung’s new Menu button is more intuitive than the stock button that features three vertical dots, but I’m not sure why the order of the buttons has been swapped around. It’s not that big of a deal, but I find it kind of funny that Google and Samsung can’t agree on minor details like this.
The original source article appears to be down for now, so check out the rest of the leaked shots in the following gallery. Let us know what you think about the new TouchWiz in the comments below.


SGSIIIProto2 sgsiii-leak-3 samsung-galaxy-s3-touchwiz-leak-1 sgs3-prototype sgs3-touchwiz

Via: The Verge

Source: mobile01

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    I already don’t like that ordering! I can’t imagine wanting the Back button anywhere but the left side. That just seems like the obvious place to me.

    Fortunately, with ROMs like AOKP, we can fix this! :)

    • Joel

      You cant, but the millions of Samsung owners from GS, GS2, and GNote can.

    • Jon Garrett

      It doesn’t matter to me because I look at my phone when I’m using it so I’m looking at the buttons that I press.

  • Puck

    Because on all Samsung Galaxy phones the right button is the Back button, Samsung users got used to that (*waves his Galaxy S*). I like this difference, again smth that sets it apart from the others. Otherwhise we’d all be Droids, same phone design, interface, whatever. I like different, makes me choose what I want.

    And let me ask, how many of future SGS3 owners and readers of this blog will use the Touchwiz interface? Let me guess … 5%? The rest will use a ROM that can put anything on there.

    • SGB101

      reader here, maybe 5% but out of all owners 99.9% will use touchWiz

    • http://www.ndroidgamers.com B2L

      I don’t see why so many people don’t like Touchwiz, I love it on my Galaxy Note. I’ve owned Nexus devices and prefer the added features that Touchwiz brings compared to stock.

      • ZzX44

        It really isn’t as bad as people say in my opinion either. It’s clean and slick on my SGSII E4GT. Definitely want to see 4.0.4 running on it so I can compare it to Sense 4.0.

      • professandobey

        I’m a staunch supporter of stock Android, but I completely get the rationale behind skins that add functionality to the device. However, I detest when manufacturers change the look and feel of the software just to be different. It confuses consumers and fragments Android (far greater practical affects of fragmentation than OS version.

  • Alex

    I don’t think the new menu button is more intuitive, unless they also modify the actionbar overflow to look the same. Else you’ll have the 3 line menu button at the bottom and a three dot menu button at the top.

    • professandobey

      Right. Plus the position of the buttons at the bottom change based on when the menu button is present. That kind of inconsistency would mess with my day to day usage of the device. The menu does not.need to be as big of a target as the other buttons.

  • AngelArs

    All manufactures, not just samsung need to make these buttons user customizable. Everyone uses their phone differently and there is no reason not to give your customers this option.

  • scotbotmosh

    Personally I like the Galaxy Nexus buttons more – they are just more sleek. And why would you use the word “whiz” in any product name – does “Touchwhiz” come with a “Turdbar” ?

  • Doan

    I don’t care about the button placement. If it’s not vanilla Android, I’m ROMming.

  • jamal adam

    I don’t understand why companies keep changing the order of the buttons. It’s not that difficult to keep it the same as everyone else. If companies can’t agree on such simple details, what is gonna happen in the long run?

  • Trinhbo

    I don’t think the button order is drastically different than what already is present on the existing S series. The original S and SII have Menu, Home, Back, and Search.

    The order only appears different when you compare it against the Nexus which is what Google decided it would be in ICS.

  • spazby

    eh, i would get used to new button locations quickly

    • dVyper

      Here here! People just love to complain about non-issues simply because they can.

  • noojAb

    Look closely at the bottom bezel. You can see a surface with a much larger corner radius than the phone itself.

    That inside profile seems pretty close to the one official image of the S3 we do have….

  • beneyc

    It would be so simple and avoid any disagreements to just make the buttons customisable instead.
    They can put the default layout however they want but if people want to change it just let them from stock.

  • Sere83

    This design is looking increasingly more likely to be the S3. IMO Mali 400 is a fail. I would have expected them to match the A5X GPU.

  • samurai65

    Well, if my upgrade comes about, and these come to Verizon, then I will root this and install CM9 as soon as I can. If it’s not out at the time, I’ll even contribute to the development.

  • Ardrid

    Is it really that difficult to maintain simple consistency? Why even have design guidelines? I really wish Google would start cracking the whip.

    • bsmootj

      Cracking the whip. Sounds like you want them to be like

    • bsmootj

      Cracking the whip. Sounds like you want them to be like crapple and just start designing every aspect of the phone, having cheap Chinese laboring kids build them and make it closed source.

      No thanks, I like having choice and not having to buy a new device every time there is a software” update “

  • droilfade

    If this is the final design…I’m gonna miss the hard home button :p

  • https://profiles.google.com/100148006445183984949 BraydenJames

    Another case for custom ROMs… On my Galaxy Nexus running AOKP, I can move the buttons around however I want. And choose what ones are there (I’ve brought the search button back, as I use that a lot!) :D

  • Rhino3081

    Why does everyone keep saying that they don’t understand the button layout change. Its continuity for Samsung devices. Look at the captive buttons on the SGS and SGS II. They are in a similar order. Menu > Home > Back > Search. This is nothing new. Also as many have stated before the shell of the leaked device is not the final design. Ah ok I am done ranting. Can’t wait to get me some SGS III on VZW with glorious Touchwiz 5 :) ps Yes I like Touchwiz and yes I see no reason for VZW to skip it :)

  • redraider133

    I hope they don’t change around the order of the buttons like the OEM’s did with the capacitive buttons. Can’t they all just use one order and quit changing them up?

  • dakial

    They changed the buttons to keep the most used ones close to the thumb (for right hand use). The most used one is “back”, followed by “home” and so on.
    As the buttons are virtual they should leave an accessibility menu option to set the phone use to left or right-handed.

  • Dirge

    This is the same order for the buttons on my Droid Charge: Menu > Home > Back > Search.

  • WlfHart

    Without concern for being a parrot… why haven’t they just left the bottom buttons customizeable by now? It can’t be that much different than customizing what buttons are on the home screen can it?

  • Damien Raine

    I personally think that its a fake, if you look at the style guide for Android that Google posted online, this goes against what Google says for the Halo theme of ICS. Plus with the secrecy around the phone itself, the only stuff I believe is what I hear from friends of mine within Samsung, and I have actually only heard one small detail.

  • Paul Atreides

    We’re sitting here, and this is supposed to be the phone of the year, and we’re talking about the order of buttons. I mean listen, we’re sitting here talking about buttons, not a device, , but we’re talking about buttons *in my Allen Iverson voice.

  • http://alxrock.deviantart.com alxrock

    “The ladies, the ladies love TouchWiz” lol

  • Dillan

    I see no point of a physical button if you have on screen buttons thats just stupid… Also I find the switch of the order of button annoying but I’ll get over it since I dont have a Galaxy Nexsus Or ICS..I hope this phone will live up to expectations

  • Nathan D.

    I don’t mind the newTouchWize but I’m to use to the stock Android button configuration which will make this rally annoying.

  • Nate B.

    a screen shot of kies has killed the moment of me loving this device… the specs seem uuhhh

  • classic_hero

    it would be awesome if they just included a way for the user to change/add/remove them around however they wanted

  • http://www.ndroidgamers.com B2L

    As with Sense, it adds a lot of bonus functionality. Most of the features can be added by using a custom launcher.

    1.Hardware acceleration (Not important if you are running ICS, but other launchers can’t compare in terms of smoothness on Gingerbread.)
    2.You can zoom in and out by holding two fingers on the screen and moving the phone back and forth.
    3.When adding a widget or Icon to a home screen you can move it to a different home screen by turning the phone left or right
    4.There’s multiple methods to take a screen shot
    5. Added widgets and apps. (That are actually useful.)

    There are a lot more features, this will list some more of them.