I haven't used Ice Cream Sandwich yet and as far as I know, some phones (Google Nexus perhaps) don't have capacitive or hard buttons. Now as you can see below, there's 4 buttons (this was an image I found while googling).

Android 4.0 navigation bar

As far as I know, the buttons are (starting from the left):

  • Back button
  • Home button
  • ???
  • Menu button

I want to know what the third one is? The one that has overlapping rectangles? My phone has capacitive and I have all the above aside from that one button. I asked this just out of curiosity.

  • looks like the menu button, don't know about the 3 doted one – svarog Jun 30 '12 at 12:48
  • The third dotted one IS the menu button. Not the rectangle one – Propeller Jun 30 '12 at 12:49
  • a little bit of dabbling the google revealed to me that this is, actually, the task manager/recent apps button – svarog Jun 30 '12 at 12:53
  • @svarog oh wow, how did you come across that info? I don't know what search tags to use when searching xD – Propeller Jun 30 '12 at 12:57
  • 1
    FYI: what you called "physical soft buttons" are called capacitive buttons. – R R Jun 30 '12 at 15:23
up vote 10 down vote accepted

That's the "Recent Apps" button. It's alternative of long-press physical home button.

If you tap this, a scrollable screen appears containing thumbnails of suspended or closed recent apps. You can tap thumbnails to switch to apps or swipe it to discard.

  • But why separate that? Does holding down the "virtual" home button no longer show the recent apps? (I need to wait 3 more minutes to accept ur answer. :P) – Propeller Jun 30 '12 at 12:56
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    @Shedo Ask user experience department of Google. Probably, they want to show off multitasking.. or, they want us to get to multitasking without wasting any moment by long-press. – Android Quesito Jun 30 '12 at 13:01
  • 1
    @ShedoSurashu: that is correct, long pressing the home button no longer does anything currently. I think the UI team is discouraging long pressing in the recent versions of Android. Long pressing is horrible from usability point of view since they are not discoverable. – Lie Ryan Jul 2 '12 at 14:03

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