Software buttons are that thing that Google has been trying to make a thing but other manufacturers aren’t really interested in it being a thing. When they were originally introduced, Google wanted all OEMs to ditch hardware buttons for on-screen buttons, but few companies followed Google’s example.
Outside of the Galaxy Nexus, Samsung has all but ignored software buttons. They found their groove with the physical home button with two capacitive buttons (in reverse order from Google’s standard to boot) and have stuck with it, outside of some experiments on the early Galaxy Tab line. HTC has finally gotten on board in the past few years, and so has LG, but there are still many holdouts who prefer to do things their own way.
Despite the half-hearted adoption, Google still keeps the navigation bar tweaked with stock releases and Nexus devices, and it looks like they’re doing some more tweaking for Android N. The newest navbar has an interesting multicolor home button that supposedly animates when it’s long pressed. The other buttons are also solid as opposed to being transparent like we have now.
Google hasn’t done much in the way of changing the interface with Android N, although they are going for a more polished feel throughout the UX. A new set of navigation buttons complete with a nifty animation would certainly add a level of polish that I think we all want from Android releases.
There’s still some mystery surrounding this rumor, including if it will actually make its way to Android N, if it will be exclusive to the next set of Nexus devices, and if it will have any effect on performance or burn-in on LED screens. Should make for an exciting Nexus launch, though.
source: Android Police