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~
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
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.
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).
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).