Get On Screen Buttons on Any Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) Rom with This Hack


One of the most prominent features of devices which have been/or are being launched with ICS or Ice Cream Sandwich out-of-the-box, is the absence of hardware buttons, capacitive or otherwise, on the front of the phone, the Galaxy Nexus being one example.

Sure, there have Ice Cream Sandwich ports and custom ROMs for practically every capable device out there, current or from yesteryears, giving a taste of ICS to these devices. But then, it’s not really a true ICS experience, as the latest iteration of Android has been designed to function exclusively based on on-screen buttons, and I’m guessing that it’s one of the steps by Google to truly create a unified OS version that can bridge the gap between tablets and smartphones running on it.

So how do we get this to work on a device which is not a true ICS device ( True ICS device= a device which came with ICS installed from factory e.g. Galaxy nexus)? One way for sure, is to use the current custom ROMs without bothering about the lack of on-screen buttons–but that’s the easy way out. XDA member evilisto  has chosen to not take the easy way out, but to develop a method which will enable on-screen touch control buttons for any device ( which did not come with ICS out of the box–read, devices of 2011 or earlier) which is running a custom ICS ROM!!!

And as I’ve mentioned above, this is NOT an easy way out! — and involves playing with system files, editing some of the properties of system framework files, and editing system apks.   Definitely not something you want to dabble with, unless you know exactly what you are doing!! But then, if you are adventurous, and do not mind taking the risk, you can head over to the original development thread for more details and a step-by-step guide to decompile and edit the system framework to enable on-screen buttons on your device.

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