In my last Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich article, I waxed poetic about the ubiquitous “Search Button” that is gone in the latest version of Google’s OS. There’s so much you can do with it than just “search”! Not only can you search within the app that you’re running, you can also search inside various types of data across the entire device, and even the Internet — all from your button bar!
But wait, there’s more! Long-pressing on the button would call up the voice recognition engine where you could compose a text, write an email, get driving directions to a location, phone a friend, and plenty of other cool stuff!
In ICS on the Galaxy Nexus, Google did away with the “hardware” buttons, replacing them instead with a soft button bar featuring Back, Home, Recent Apps, and on occasion “More” (the button previously known as “menu”).
Well, thanks to one particularly observant pocketnow reader, we’ve learned that there is, indeed, a way to get the search button back — and the legacy “menu” button, too, if you’d like!
Now for the technical details: this is only for the Galaxy Nexus (currently), you have to root your phone (which isn’t hard), flash a custom recovery image (also not hard), flash the MoDaCo Custom ROM, then apply the update.zip that gives you the button configuration that you want (see source for links).
So, although it’s a little messy at present, getting that search button back is possible — and we bet it will show up as an option in CyanogenMod 9.
Thanks: Peter W.