How To Video: Use Android keyboard shortcuts
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How To Video: Use Android keyboard shortcuts

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Stop tapping on your screen and navigate faster with some useful Android keyboard shortcuts.

You're probably already familiar with keyboard shortcuts. Control Z to undo, control S to save, you know the drill. But shortcuts aren't just for computers. Android phones equipped with keyboards also have some built-in tricks that you could be using. I'm Sharon Vaknin from CNET.com here with some handy keyboard shortcuts for Android phones. Thanks to Z. Dada at DroidFreeApps.com for this tip. Just like on your computer keyboard, most of these shortcuts require holding down one key, like shift or function, and then pressing another key to complete your command. If your keyboard doesn�t have a function key, use the alt key instead. Let's start with some basics in the home screen. To open your browser, hold down search then press the letter B. To access your email, it�s Search plus E. See the pattern? B, browser. E, email. You get it. And, search plus S opens your text messaging...or SMS. You can also change these shortcuts or add new ones by going to Settings, Applications, then Quick Launch. I've configured Search plus N to open my notes, so let's do that. While we�re here, let's play around with some typing shortcuts, which can save a lot of time when text messaging and writing emails. You know that Shift capitalizes a letter. Well, press shift twice and you've turn caps lock on. To quickly move to the beginning of a line, hit function and arrow left. If your Android phone has a trackball, trackball left instead. And, as you've probably already guessed, function and arrow right moves your cursor to the end of a line. Okay, let's bring you to expert level with some browser shortcuts. Menu plus J goes back a page, and menu plus K goes forward a page. If you need to refresh a page, hit menu plus R. This next shortcut is awesome, especially because the iPhone doesn't have it. Hit menu plus F to find something on the page. Another useful one is menu plus E, which puts you into select mode on a page. Android also has some fun Gmail shortcuts. If you already use them on your computer browser, then you should know that they're exactly the same on your phone. Press R and you'll reply to the current message, while A replies to all. Pressing C composes a new message, and U refreshes your inbox. Lastly, if you have a long list of emails, function and arrow up jumps to the top of your inbox and, you guessed it, function plus arrow down jumps to the bottom of your inbox. Now that you know how to work the keyboard, go impress your friends. And, if you want to learn even more shortcuts for your Android phone, check out my post on our Android Atlas blog for a complete list of Android shortcuts. For CNET.com, I'm Sharon Vaknin, and I'll see you next time.

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