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How to Provide Input for Android devices

Basic Operations

Android phones and tablets use touch screens. Most have no physical keyboard, but you can also find a fair number with a slide-out keyboard. You just have to press the screen gently, no need to push hard when you operate the device. As you explore your device, there are a few basic finger gestures: Some gestures use one finger, and some use two.

Gesture Action
Tapping Press lightly on the screen in a single spot for a short amount of time.
Long-press Hold your finger in place on the screen for a few seconds until a pop-up appears.
Swiping Take one finger, press on the screen, and move it along the screen without losing contact.
Pinching Bring two fingers together in a pinching motion. This is generally used to zoom out and make everything appear smaller.
Expanding Take those two fingers and move them apart. This is used to expand something and make it bigger.

Using the Onscreen Keyboard

Before we go into the setup process you will need to learn how to enter information. Although there are Android phones with a physical keyboard, most phones use an on-screen keyboard. When you go through Setup in the next chapter the onscreen keyboard will pop-up and appear. In case it doesn't pop-up, then you just tap the field where you need to enter data, then the keyboard will appear and you just use it in the same way as a physical keyboard. You don't need to tap the buttons hard at all. A very nice feature with on-screen keyboards is that the key layout can change dynamically. Here is an example. At the first the keyboard shows lower-case letters. Tap the upper-case key:

Then the upper-case keyboard will appear. Tap the same key again, then you're back to where you started, with lower-case letters.

1 Tap upper-case 2 Tap lower-case 3 Back to lower-case

To get to numbers and other symbols, you just tap the numeric key:

To get back to the letters, just tap the ABC key. Once you have finished the input for one field (in the example it's the email address), then you can move to the next field (in this example it's the password) by either tapping that field, or by tapping the Next button:

1 Tap numeric 2 Tap ABC key 3 Move to next input field

You will learn more in the Keyboard chapter.