It's pretty clear Google made that shift with the goal of delivering a non-negotiable deathblow. In the company's open-source notes about the change, Android Framework Engineer Adam Powell provided the following (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) explanation:
Always show overflow buttons on action bars
The menu button is not pining, it's passed on! This button is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed it to a flagship device it'd be pushing up the daisies!
THIS IS AN EX-BUTTON!!
Yup — it doesn't get much clearer than that, folks. So mark the day: More than two years after it was technically killed, this is finally the beginning of the end for the pesky little button that refused to die. (Hear that, LG?)
Hey, two years late is better than never.
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