'Tab' key on physcial keyboard?

Discussion in 'Android Tech Support' started by zack2o, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. zack2o
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    zack2o New Member

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    I see the keyboard has a key that represents a TAB key and i was wondering wether this was functional or maybe im having a problem with that key. Its the ALT function of the 'A' key. Any ides what it can be used for? thanks, ~zack~
  2. zack2o
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    zack2o New Member

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    bump

    .. bump :(
  3. volando
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    volando Member

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    i've been wondering the same thing... tried the tab key in sms, text editor, email and google search - doesn't do anything. That would be a pretty stupid bug to miss...
  4. zack2o
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    zack2o New Member

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    bump

    Bump, hope someone figures something out :l
  5. zack2o
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    zack2o New Member

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    Tab key Patent

    SO i believe i figured out the reason why this 'Tab' key has no function. It is because Microsoft apparently patented the use of the tab key and the Droid is made by Motorola and operates on the Android platform and not Windows Mobile so therefore it is not alowd to have that function. As to why they put in the key function for that I have no idea. Here is a link to where i heard this: Microsoft patents Tab button use | Geek.com
  6. jaysonstaurt
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    jaysonstaurt Member

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    way to go man
  7. silverx10
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    silverx10 Member

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    The article says Microsoft patented the "discovery and navigation of links via tabs", nothing about the word processing ability of the tab key. They can't really patent that, because it was around on old school typewriters.

    Haha, the very idea of Microsoft patenting an indent button.
  8. zack2o
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    zack2o New Member

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    tab key

    lol yeah its pretty stupid. Do you think its just that the program like Data Viz's DoctoGO just doesn't support it or maybe an actual issue with the phone itself?
  9. silverx10
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    silverx10 Member

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    Legalities aside, I'd say it's a phone issue. Maybe it's just a filler button with no real connection to anything, or maybe the software simply has no reaction to the keypresses.
  10. geedew
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    geedew New Member

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    I think it may be an Esc button... or at least get interpreted that way.

    Reasoning, I opened up ConnectBot to test it (SSH program). Logged onto my server, opened up Vim with a new file. Pressed 'i' to into insert mode, Tried it, and it left insert mode (which is what esc actually does). I'm not so sure that Esc would be implemented on applications (what are you ever going to esc on the android).

    Next step, I'll probably root it, open up command, and watch the keystrokes to see what it is outputting. It's outputting something, the phone will vibrate if you hold it down (like you are pressing a button over and over).

    Hope this furthers any ideas.
  11. skourg3
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    skourg3 Member

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    It isn't being interpreted as an ESC, or at least not *just* as an ESC. I opened up vi in connectbot and tried it. Created a file foo, entered insert mode, typed in bar, alt+a (the "tab" key), got "E29: No previously inserted text." It did, however, exit insert mode. Re-entered insert mode, hit the tab key again, it exited insert mode and redid my last insert (shifted over a char because of the escape), so I ended with babarr.

    So, I feel like I'm thinking out loud, but bear with me. In vi, the '.' key redoes the last thing you do, including inserts. enter insert, type bar, press escape, press ., it will output bar into your file. So, it's like it could be entering escape AND '.' . Now, going further off this... by default, the droid replaces 2 spaces with a period (if you're texting and hit space bar twice it will replace the first with a period). See where I'm going with this? It depends on the application, but tab can be recognized as a sequence of spaces (which could be causing vi to think . is being input, hence the text output). Where the escape to exit insert mode is coming from I have no idea.

    As to the idea Microsoft patented it, try using a Mac or using Linux. Tab works just fine. It shouldn't be a limitation of the OS, it more likely has something to do with the keyboard (or the keyboards driver).
  12. geedew
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    geedew New Member

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    In the phone app, bar is also being interpreted as the number 1 . '.' would be interpreted as a space. I'm beginning to wonder if the apps themselves have to implement it?
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2009
  13. sam.weiner1
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    sam.weiner1 New Member

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    Direction pad

    The direction pad on the pull-out keyboard works to navigate between html entities.
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