this bit doesn't seem vacuous:
"that emphasizes 'real objects' over buttons and
But it doesn't seem to describe Android. Given that it has 4 hardware buttons, one of them that brings up a menu.
My Nexus 4 doesn't have any hardware buttons. Well, it does have volume buttons and a power button. But the four software "buttons" at the bottom of my screen right now are a down arrow which collapses the keyboard and turns into into a back button when the keyboard is not in use. Moving on there is also a house button (does that count presented "real object") which brings up the launcher. And there's Window button which brings up my list programs which now appear pear as thumbnails instead of icons as they appeared in previous versions of android.
Finally, there is indeed a menu icon but it no longer looks like the old Android menu button. I always thought that Android menus were pretty weird or rather that the old Android menu button was pretty incongruous. The old Android menu button resembles a traditional menu; a cascading set of lines of text hanging off the menubar. But Android menus are actually little blocks at the bottom of the screen. Worse, sometimes the Android menu button won't open a menu, will open a settings page. So there was a disconnect between the onscreen representation and the results presented to the user. The new Android menu is an ellipses (a set of three dots...). I find that change interesting because it subtly changes the expectations of the user. Instead of a specific type of menu which never really existed in Android, the new button merely suggests that there is more to see or do with your app.
I think a better way to describe what Android's developers are doing is by saying that they're constantly rethinking and refining the UI to make it more logical and accessible to the user. This is in stark contrast to iOS which has largely remained unchanged since the original iPhone. In some ways that is because iOS got a lot more right on its first try than Android did but there also seems to be a genuinely geeky love of experimentation to Android which rightly or wrongly seems missing from iOS.