One of the new features that Ice Cream Sandwich introduced with the Google Nexus phone are the on screen virtual buttons, which have context sensitivity. Most of the Android phones do not have such virtual buttons so if you’re running an Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 ROM and would like to have the same feature on your device as well, this guide will teach you how to do it.
As it always happens, the source for this on screen buttons in Ice Cream Sandwich ROM tweak is the XDA Developers forum. It is the most popular Android community, where you can always find tweaks and details about custom ROMs. The on screen buttons in ICS custom ROM that we are going to cover below comes from a developer called evilisto, so all the credits go to him.Right from the beginning I would like to let you know that enabling on screen buttons for your Android phone is not that easy as it involves decompiling and then recompiling APKs, along with editing XML files. Please note that our website is not responsible for any damages that you might do to your Android phone if you do not succeed to enable on screen buttons for your Android Ice Cream Sandwich phone.
Step no1: Find a file explorer app (like File Expert for example) and then extract a copy of framework.apk to your computer from the following directory on your ICS phone: System\ framework.
Step no2: Create a copy of the framework.apk and then proceed in decompiling the APK using a dedicated APK Tool that you can find on XDA Developers forum.
Step no3: Now you should go to the bools.xml that you can find in /res/values/bools.xml and open it with a text editor like Notepad. Here you must locate the config_showNavigationBar entry and then set the value to true.
Step no4: In order to disable the backlight for the physical buttons of your phone you must edit the arrays.xml file and set the values to 0.
Step no5: In order to prevent the keyboard from overlapping you must resize the on screen buttons. You will have to open and edit the dimes.xml file and locate the navigation_bar_height entry to a value that is comfortable for you – example 37.
To complete the process you will have to recompile the APK and then copy it to your Android device in the system\framework directory, with any file explorer that you have on your computer.
You are now done. If you’ve done everything correctly, you should now have the on screen buttons enabled on your Android Ice Cream Sandwich ROM phone. If anything goes wrong, you can always replace the modified APK file with the original one that you’ve copied on your computer.
If you have other questions, you should address them on the XDA-Developers forum.