Where to put commonly used actions on the screen in Android app with 4 tabs? Every tab has different actions. I don't want to put them into the standard Android options menu, because from my experience many users are "blind" to the hidden options menu.
If the actions are related to an object within a list view (or a different object) you could use touch and hold. This would open an context menu. If the actions refer to the whole tab you have two choices. The option menu you don't want to use. At the same position (bottom of the screen) the mentioned actions could be displayed permanently. Only if that would leave you enough space for the content.
Both will fit into the menu design guidelines for Android. Tabs on top, actions on the bottom.
If you think about a free design you can also place buttons anywhere you like. If you have a consistent visual language for buttons/links that will work.
I think the best way would be using the common and learned way to hide the features in the option menu if they are used less frequent. If they are features that are used every minute or even more often it might be good to have them permanently visible.
While the question does indicate you don't want to use the menu button, it is worth noting that many built-in Android Applications make heavy use of the menu button, so I wouldn't be too afraid of using it.
However, there are a few other common Android design patterns:
- Put visible buttons within the page itself, you'll see this in the GMail application when composing or reading messages
- Create a visible menu button in the app that brings up another screen, you'll see this in a lot of Android games
- Add "long-press" context menus (This is less obvious and may not be ideal)
Maybe you could consider using an Action Bar? http://www.androiduipatterns.com/p/android-ui-pattern-collection.html