Hey Android phone makers, can you leave the power button alone already?

power buttons on Android phones Android 12 vs Android 11

Credit: Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Opinion post by
Dhruv Bhutani

Smartphones might be hurtling towards a port-less, button-less future, but if there’s one button that remains a constant (for now), it is the humble power button. But what purpose it serves seems to be in a constant state of flux. Being the last bastion of hardware controls also means that the power button often has the task of serving double duty as a shortcut for multiple tasks.

This single button has been repurposed so often it rarely does the one function it was intended for.

Samsung’s default implementation has you scrambling for Bixby, while on a Google Pixel, you could control your smart home. Except, now you can’t (more on that later). A OnePlus or a Motorola might follow Google’s lead, but then you have phones by Poco that drop all pretense and let the power button be what it is — a single-purpose power button. You know things have come to a head when in some cases, the power button doesn’t even serve as a — shock and horror — power button! Look, nobody can seem to come to a consensus on how to exactly use it, but someone needs to put an end to this madness.

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