Texting capability is built into Android and integrated into all the services. There is a standalone Messaging app you can use, or you can launch a text session from your contacts list in the dialer app. If you're using a phone with Android 2.0 or higher, just click the picture of a contact (not the name), and you'll see what looks like a bubble quote and symbols representing the way you can send a message to that contact, as shown in Figure 5-1. The messaging symbol in pure Android 2.2 looks like a quote bubble with a smiley face.

In Android 1.6 phones like the G1, you can't use this method. There are no pictures in the contact list. Instead, you click the name of the contact and choose either to phone or text message. The symbol for text messaging in Android 1.6 is also different. It looks like a small postcard. Other user interface overlays have different symbols. The HTC Hero messaging symbol looks like a postcard in a quote bubble, for example.

You can also send messages directly from the Messaging app. Start typing a name from your contact list or enter a phone number directly. You can also enter multiple contact names or phone numbers to send a message to a group. Type in your message, and press Send.

If you happen to enter a dead zone while you're texting, your message will be sent when you regain the signal.

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