What happens to my Galaxy Note 4 hardware menu button? It is not working!
When you get your Galaxy Note 4, you will find similar button layout as that in the old Galaxy Note phones (Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy Note).
But the left button (left to Home button) is no longer a hardware menu button.
In Galaxy Note 4, the left button is now assigned as “recent apps” button. Touch it to bring out previously opened apps. You can quickly resume or re-open these apps.
Where is the Galaxy Note 4 hardware menu button?
There is no dedicated hardware menu button in Galaxy Note 4.
But you can still use hardware menu button on Galaxy Note 4.
Touch and hold the recent apps button to call out menu of the current app. This is probably the only way to access Galaxy Note 4 hardware menu button.
Is hardware menu button obsolete?
Most apps have implemented software menu button following Android apps design guidelines. For these apps, hardware menu button may cause confusions and inconsistency for apps on different Android devices.
This is one of the motivations Google is pushing software buttons, not hardware buttons: Google cannot control hardware.
So, why Samsung didn’t totally remove Galaxy Note 4 hardware menu button?
Most Android vendors follow Google’s guideline: implementing software buttons (Home, Back and Recent apps).
But, Samsung may think differently. So, hardware buttons are implemented in almost all Android devices (except the old Galaxy Note 10.1). Some agree. Some disagree.
For previous Samsung phone owners, you may still try to press the menu button. So, Samsung implemented Galaxy Note 4 hardware menu button by touching and holding left button. This is consistent with Galaxy Note Pro and Galaxy S5.
For some old apps whose developers abandoned the projects, there may be no software menu button at all. For example, my favorite RSS reader: RssDemon has no software menu button. The developer stopped updating it since 2012. But it is still one of the best RSS reader.
So, the Galaxy Note 4 hardware menu button is a life saver for such apps.
You can also use Galaxy Note 4 side key panel to access the menu button
Galaxy Note 4 side key panel also allows you to put menu button (together with up to 3 other buttons on the screen all the time).
Please check this guide on how to activate and use Galaxy Note 4 side key panel.
Can you access the Galaxy Note 4 hardware menu button now?
If you have any problems to use the Galaxy Note 4 hardware menu button, please let us know it in the comment box below.
More how-to guides , tips and tricks for using Samsung Galaxy Note 4 are available at Galaxy Note 4 how-to guides page.