Virtual keypads set to grace Android phones

Developers are planning to add a touchscreen option early next year for phones using Google's Android OS.


Ever since Apple's iPhone hit the market, some people have loved using a virtual keypad. Others have hated it.

Owners of Google's new G1 Android phones could soon have a choice to use either the existing slide-out QWERTY keyboard or a virtual keyboard like the iPhone's.

Google has added "soft keyboards" to its road map of future software releases. The new software hook is expected to be available for phone manufacturers as part of the source code in the first three months of 2009.

While there are many features to love about the G1, which is the first Android phone to hit the market, there are several items missing. A virtual keypad is one of them.

Without the touchscreen keypad, people have to slide out the QWERTY keypad to send text messages, IMs, and e-mail.

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