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Mind Your Fingers, Know Thy Buttons!

July 26, 2010 - Written By c.alexander

Every Android phone has a standard set of buttons at the bottom. They may be physical — with parts that move — or they may be capacitive, reacting to your touch. The order may change, but the functions are the same. You’ll find:

  • Home: Returns to the main home screen. Hold down to see your most recently used apps. (Tip: Try tapping it again once you’re at the main home screen and see what happens.)
  • Back: Takes you back a level in an app, or back a page in a browser, etc. (Tip: Hold down while browsing to quickly access bookmarks, history and most-visited sites. Thanks, Snapdragon0503!)
  • Menu: Tap this for additional options in an application, or from the home screens. (Tip: Hold down to make the keyboard appear.)
  • Search: Brings up the search function. Could be search within an app, Google search, or universal search of contacts, bookmarks, apps, etc. that are in the phone. (Tip: Hold down to launch voice search.)

Most Android phones have four buttons, though occasionally a manufacturer will do without the search button.