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Figure 2-5. Keyboard

If you've ever used a virtual keyboard on an iPhone or iPod touch, Android's offering is pretty similar. Press the keys with the meat of your finger to type. When your phone is in landscape mode, you get a wider, more comfortable keyboard.

If you need numbers or symbols, press the ?123 key at the bottom left of the screen. Press the ABC key to return to letters.

On the Nexus One, you'll also see a small microphone button on the keyboard. You can use this for speech-to-text. It's not completely accurate, but it can save you some typing. Speech-to-text requires a data connection, and although the technology is improving, there aren't any options for personalizing voice recognition for an individual speaker beyond your language and locale settings. That means you can differentiate between UK and American English, but you can't differentiate individual American accents.

You may notice that some apps offer slightly different keyboard layouts. You may see @ offered on the main keyboard, or a .com key offered as a choice. This is something that the programmer overrides, so well-designed apps will give you these easy shortcuts.

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