There has been some confusion over a very simple question regarding Android 4.0: Will the hardware Android buttons of current phones still function after updating to Ice Cream Sandwich? Provided your phone receives the update, the answer is yes. ICS is built to forego onscreen software buttons in favor of hardware buttons provided they are present. Speaking to Gizmodo, a Google spokesperson described the setup:
“ICS does have onscreen buttons but not always. If there’s a device with hardware buttons the onscreen buttons won’t be there, and the hardware buttons will act and function as you’d expect them to…. back and home will function as you’d expect, the search button will query the search bar (as you’d expect), and the menu button will query the menu overflow in the action bar.”
So there you have it. We assume it will be up to the hardware manufacturer to make the ultimate adjustments. Now we have to ask, did people really think the Android Team would just drop support for a hardware element that exists on nearly all current Android handsets?