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Android 1.5 Cupcake DOES Have Auto-Rotate Keyboard, Enable It!


I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot of people asking why Andriod 1.5 Cupcake has the on-screen keyboard as promised, but why it doesn’t auto-rotate or why they can’t force it into landscape mode. Don’t panic… it is there… you just need to enable it by default in your main phone settings:

The soft keyboard was one of the main features to which I was looking forward. Unfortunately, I send a decent amount of TXT messages when I drive. A few things I want to point out about TXTing while driving:

  • It is illegal in some of the United States
  • It is not illegal in Maryland, where I live
  • I think TXTing while driving is dangerous
  • I see know problem with making TXTing while driving illegal
  • I TXT while I drive anyways

That being said, I WOULDN’T TXT while I drive if it were against the law but sometimes I ask myself – why should something bad have to happen before I learn my lesson? In any case, lord knows that sliding open the T-Mobile G1 QWERTY Keyboard was a dangerous task and probably SHOULD be outlawed. The onscreen keyboard however? I thought it would make my life a billion times easier.

I was wrong. I’m kind of disappointed with the vertical onscreen keyboard. The letters are so cramped that I make typos more often than not. If I were sitting still somewhere I could probably type without any errors, but if that was the case, I would be using the slideout QWERTY anyways. I wondered why the TXT messaging app didn’t have landscape keyboard or auto-rotate and I guess these new elements are just unselected when first installed.

So for those of you that haven’t yet got your cupcake, keep this in mind. And those that have got cupcake but are still clueless… you’ve seen the light!

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. You live in Maryland? I happen to live in N. VA. Awesome!

    Anyway, actually, writing texts is banned by law here in VA and in D.C. I believe that a bill is in the MD House that will also ban writing texts while driving. However, reading them is perfectly fine. Not to mention, how are they going to catch you… You could say that you were only reading them. You would have to be pretty obvious otherwise…

  2. I would recommend getting the HTC keyboard, the default keyboard sucks compared to the HTC one.

  3. Where can I get the htc keyboard? So I can try it out thanks

  4. Hey Manacit, where can you get the HTC keyboard? Is it similar to their keyboard/keypad on the WinMo phones, such as the Touch HD? I thought the HTC keypad style entry on my previous HTC Touch Cruise was much better than the default Android soft keyboard, would love to get something similar for my G1.

  5. HTC keyboard? how do you go about getting that then? whats the difference?

  6. Where would one find the HTC keyboard?

  7. To everyone interested in the HTC Keyboard, I did some google work found this HOWTO…

    For the record I have not tried this and do not know any more than you, I’m just passing on the link. Proceed at your own risk.

  8. Texting while driving is illegal in EVERY state including Maryland. Just because there is no specific law banning texting does not make it legal.

    To quote Maryland law ( page 15):

    Reckless Driving
    A person is guilty of reckless driving if he drives a motor vehicle:
    n In wanton or willful disregard for the safety of people or property;
    n In a manner that indicates a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of people or property.

    Negligent Driving
    A person is guilty of negligent driving if he or she drives a motor vehicle in a careless or imprudent manner that endangers any property or the life of any individual.

    Given that you’ve just publicly stated that know texting while driving is dangerous, how can you not be charged with reckless or negligent driving if you cause an accident?

    Besides criminal law, if you cause an accident, you will very likely be going court in at least a civil suit.

    “A Florida jury returned a verdict of $21.62 million in a wrongful death and survivor action where a 32 year old woman was rear-ended by another driver talking on her cell phone while driving.”

  9. FYI. My daughter called me when she received he update. I had not received mine yet, but I took a chance and checked the system update in the settings menu…and there it was! I was able to just download it and was well on my way to having cupcake for breakfast!!!

  10. @Ed – I believe the exact opposite. Understanding the danger is the first step in driving responsibly. It is being oblivious to the danger of texting while driving that is inherently reckless or negligient.

  11. I’m glad i don’t live in MD.

  12. I’m blind, and drive everywhere all the time, sometimes even drunk. blind drunk. I know it’s pretty dangerous but, because I know it’s dangerous, that makes it ok and safe for me to do so…

  13. Maryland…. Im in Parkville. Cool. Who would of
    guessed? Even do I seem to do it often, txtin while
    drivin is a bad choice to make. Anyway, I have great 3G in my area. How about you guys?

  14. Good thing we have laws to tell us when something’s a terrible idea! I mean, it’s not illegal to stick your hand into a running lawn mower. So as long as you understand the danger and aren’t completely oblivious to the whirling blades, you should be okay, right?

    Think about the fact that, while driving, you’re in control (more or less) of about 2 tons of metal and plastic traveling at speeds high enough to kill people in a collision. Then think about whether you really understand the danger of not paying attention as you claim. My feeling is you don’t.

    At some point, I’m sure you’ll decide to take the next baby step toward responsibility, and stop texting while driving. I just hope that happens before you kill someone.

  15. You all are mis-interpreting my POV. You seem to get the impression that I’m being a brazen, bastardly driver getting away with everything I can because it is technically legal.

    I think it SHOULD be illegal. But it isn’t. So when I’m on the highway and there isn’t a car in sight, sometimes I will text. When I am sitting at a red light, sometimes I will text. When I am in a traffic jam going 5 miles an hour, sometimes I will text. I appreciate that you assume the worst of me, but I guess I should have stated my opinion more carefully.

    I appreciate all the mommy and daddy remarks out there, but your criticism is misguided. I’m the guy who gets hassled by his GF for driving too slow and being too careful. Judging by the anger in some of the responses, I could just as well assume you are the types with road rage, cutting people off, flipping the bird and driving like a maniac to prove a point when somebody made an honest mistake.

    Seriously. Chill out. We’re talking about auto-rotation. I can drive just fine.


  17. Rob, I think it’s unreasonable for you to assume that the responses have been motivated by misguided anger. You said strait out that you do a decent amount of texting while driving, so it’s a perfectly reasonable assumption that do a decent amount of texting while you drive. Also, you yourself made it an issue in your post. I’ve read a story about a kid who killed someone in a crash the was caused by texting, and I’m sure that person didn’t expect it to happen. And I’m not a maniac driver who flips people off all the time out of road rage.

  18. @twilightwolf90

    NoVA here too! Had no idea Rob was from B’More either.. until I watched your Google SkyMaps video today! Maybe we should start an area AUG (Android User Group) :-p

  19. People have died from others carelessly texting and driving. I just wanna throw that out there. It’s really serious, and you shouldn’t have to take someone else’s life or cripple them in order to learn it. Not directed at the author of this post, just at the world in general. It’s really serious.

  20. @Jordan – Because I admit to texting while I drive, simultaneously acknowledging the dangers, the assumption was that I’m doing so irresponsibly, recklessly, with negligience and with no regard to safety. As read in context above (by multiple people) I would classify the approach as accusatory. And if I can’t call false accusations written antagonistically towards me as misguided anger, it is because you still think my opinion sits on the other side of the fence when in fact it does not.

    End of story… I’m done commenting.

  21. A study by British researchers found that txting while driving is more dangerous than driving under the influence of either pot or alcohol.

    As much as I “get” that you (Rob) were using the txting scenario to teach people how to enable auto-rotation, its still a terrible idea.

    Just don’t do it at all.

  22. anyways, getting back to the original post, post-cupcake i have gone into the display settings and enabled orientation, but still do not have the auto-rotate feature. anyone know a possible fix?

  23. Felings and thoughts aside,

    Having used the onscreen keyboard for a few weeks now, I must say that if you are going to text and drive, please use the physical keyboard. I don’t want to die because someone’s thumb is to big and now they are cycling through the suggestions trying to find the right word, all the while they could have typed it right the first time and put the phone down.

    @ Rob

    With regards to your post, showing no feeling either way, you must remember when you write for the masses, each person can take your words a different way. That’s potential for a couple billion different reactions. While I do not think one way or another about your driving, several people here felt the same way, you need to remember these are your readers, and you need to value their opinions if you want a loyal following.

  24. And for the love of Android,
    The word is text. We are not thirteen year old girls.

  25. 46 people just got seriously injured in boston because some pre-op tranny who was driving the subway was TEXTING and crashed into another train. so, go ahead phaaaandroid and TEXT while driving. no big deal, right!

  26. When did this go from the Vkeyboard sucking to the DOT rules and regs who ever is going to do it is gonna do it and who ever says they don’t do it come on u know you’ve done it before and frankly who cares its all the same if its not a guy texting its a guy drinking or a women putting on make up or a kid speedinv or just plain no sense for driving I’ve seen all these I’ve been a truck driver for six years and last thing I come in here for is to be told who cause the accidents so come on guys honestly just look at the first post and stay on topic. Now who knows where I can get this htc keyboard? ? ? ? ?

  27. People think because you get used to driving, because you get used to being behind the wheel and going large blocks of time, perhaps weeks or months before something odd happens that requires your quick action that doing other things while driving is okay. Yet the number 1 cause of accidents is inattentive driving. Fumbling with the stereo, talking on the phone, texting, and other things caused over 4,000 deaths in 2007. It’s more dangerous than not wearing your seatbelt, running a red light, or speeding. The car doesn’t drive itself, it requires your constant attention. And anything you do, including texting, that takes your attention away from the road can(and far too often does) cause an accident that is 100% your fault.
    The fact that lots of people do it, doesn’t excuse it, it just explains exactly why we have thousands of preventable deaths each year. Just going ten miles an hour, you’re traveling about 15 feet per second, almost the size of a parking space. In the time it takes to count to 1 you can run over 2.5 average size women laying down(5.7 inches tall). And that’s only 10 mph. 36 miles an hour is 53 feet per second, roughly the width of a football field.
    It’s amazing how cavalier people are about something so dangerous. This is why I’m glad we don’t have flying cars, I hope we never do, people are dangerous enough on the ground.

  28. It’s still dumb. I figured out how to flip the orientation automatically, but it requires you to close the onscreen keyboard and then reopen it after you’ve flipped the phone’s orientation.

    Side note: the animation feature seems to add some bang to the phone (i’m sure, at the cost of battery life or performance) but it’s some nice polish. Was this enabled by default when I bought the phone a month ago when I turned it off? Or is this something new.

    On texting while driving:

    I’m typing this message right now on the softkeyboard while I’m doing about 75 miles an hour on 80/94. I don’t feel at all unsa…..

    Actually give Rob a break. Who hasn’t sent a text message while sitting in traffic or when driving along on the expressway on off hours? Even if you claim you haven’t (which, I’ll assume you’re telling a lie) who hasn’t dialed a phone, checked a text message, flipped a song on your mp3 player, or read an email while driving? If you’ve done that, how is that any more safe than popping out a quick “be home soon” on the keyboard?

    I’m kidding.

    Look, here’s the problem with no text while driving laws: there’s just _so_ many obstacles to enforcement, that it can’t be enforced on any reasonable level. Look, I use my phone to play music via a crappy tape adapter I bought at walmart. If I flip a song, how is the copper going to know whether I was “texting” or not? And what are the odds that some dick copper out in the boonies (I live in Chicago, we have real police with real crime to worry about) will write you the ticket anyhow based on his expertise?

  29. Aha! It just hit me:

    Somebody needs to put an ap on the market that will prevent you from sending texts while driving in jurisdictions where it’s illegal. It’ll be a hit!

  30. I am extremely disappointed with the keyboard, it’s extremely annoying to type anything on it, the buttons are very close to each other due to small screen size.
    And compared to the iphone, i miss its keyboard.

  31. Jason D obviously ur trying to sound smart but most accidents are not caused by people texting u said it ur self ur so against distractions pull the stereo out of ur car make ur girl cover her legs with a towel when she wearing a skirt and she is on ur passenger seat ban kids from getting in any car take the mirrors off ur ride too cuz in the split second it takes u took look back in ur rear view mirror u can hit something someone or just plant ur sself on a gurad rail trying to make an issue about texting being a distraction is kinda stupid being that this conversation is reffering to a phone feature that I’m pretty sure use so stop being a little girl and I never said anything about time behinde the wheel making me a better driver u made that up trying to sound intellectual dude I could of googled all that info u just typed on here most accidents are caused by failure to control speed which means speeding meaning u can be 100 percent concentrated on the road in front of u. But ur perception of distance between cars and time calculated to. Stop at the speed u were going were wrong I just googleed that still dosent change the fact that ur in here trying to make it sound like u drive with both hands on the wheel don’t go faster than 50 and never ever look at ur mirrors and u drive in complete silence no radio and ur kids mouth and hands and feet ducked taped so there won’t be distractions come on buddy u ur self don’t belive that lie point being ur complaning about a problem ur part of any ways stop this none sense u want to judge people or correct them law inforcement is the word google that. ………… htc vkeyboard anybody know where to find it alll of this was typed while driving at 63 miles an hour 5 car space in between my front bumper and the car in front of me rear bumper. Brookhaven,mi. ……. No cars were smashed or crashed in the processes of this msg

  32. One of many reason goobermints pass so many freaking laws is because people like you throw common sense away and do things that (potentially) endanger others whilst you are (absentmindedly) piloting a 4000 lb missile.

  33. Another one trying to sound smart dude first of all a missile explodes and moves at mach 3 and 4000 pounds is a joke “hahahahahaahaha” try 79000 pounds which is what this truck weighs right now legal weight limit is 80,000 pounds. 34,000 trailer axel 34,000 drive ,12000 steering axel so get ur facts right oh and on me being a better driver cuz of my time on the road I am experience does make a shit load of diffience I don’t excuse my actions but webby I’m sure ur part of the problem too all these people trying to make it seem like they are perfect and follow every law and by the way texting was never banned in any state it was making calls while driving hence bluetooth head sets teating was never mentioned but I’m sure can be added as using phone while driving Again who cares what u do with the phone. U bought with the money u earned if u get the ticket u get the ticket not me not jason mr perfect D or webby einstine I hate people trying to make it seem like they’ve never done it I wonder if these guys go to. A doctor who has just graduated freom medical school or a mechanic with out a certificate hmmm I wonder trying to take my experiance and king it seem like if they can get on this truck and drive it like a car I would love to see u break on this big thing or turn or keep it straight I’m out of subject just that these little whiners get to me u drive 14 hours a day no. Most is 4 a day 5 days a week I drive 80 hours 6 days a week take 34 hour break then do it again all year long so don’t act like it makes no diffrence I drive rain snow ice no matter the weather u eventually stay at home cuz u couldn’t handle the blizzard or heavy rain I push through all that so i f u haven’t done it plz stop saying it don’t make a difffrence I take back what I said I didn’t want to sound cocky but I can’t go to mickey d’s and make a burger they have there technique I would thing atleast I’m not taking credit from them any way this is my last post u say what u want to its my phone if I get a ticket its in my name accidents happen everyday. Webby and laws are made cuz of a wider issue which is money cops run plates on there computer while driving isn’t that a distraction they pursue cars at high speeds in the middle of traffic isn’t that dangerous but u just want to seem like u don’t do it there is many more reasons out there for accidents and trust me there bigger than texting while u are driving where is the common sense in flooding this fourms with messages way off topic webby ? Anyways htc vkeyboard anybody know where to find it ?

  34. Alex Rodz. If you want people to read what you write, I have three words for you: ‘spelling’, ‘punctuation’ and ‘grammar’.

  35. @Rob:

    I’m afraid your legal analysis is deficient. Knowing an activity is dangerous to others, and then engaging in it anyway is the definition of recklessness – not the “first step to responsibility.” And failing to exercise reasonable care (regardless of whether you perceive the risk) is the definition of negligence. Don’t assume you’re off the hook because the legislature hasn’t outlawed texting while driving. Trust me, the courts are happy to do that, and they have the power to make that law retroactive in a given case.

    I have no problem with your texting while stopped. You’re probably jamming up traffic, but it’s not dangerous. But when the car is moving, put the phone away.

  36. Johnny obiviously my typos are very much a part of this fourm I’m using the vkeyboard on the g1 read the first post and u understood what I typed aand people do read it maybe ur the only slow one here who can’t read without punctuations make an effort little buddy I’m driving and doing it as fast as I can so sorry if I don’t have a cover letter to my post but it all comes down to the vkeyboard no being accurate if u want perfection on the spelling puntuations and grammer I suggest u go to where a computer checks for erros on eveey single word here we are just trying to make a point not win a price for english litrature

  37. @Rob:

    Wow. Did you actually delete my post? It appears you have. How childish is that?

  38. Idiot, you can justify to yourself how safe you think you are when you’re texting and driving all you like but at the end of the day, if you’re attention isn’t 100% on the task at hand, that is driving without due care and attention which is against the law (although probably called something else in the US). Why don’t you ask a policeman about it to see what their opinion is?

    I ride a motorcycle and drive a car in the UK and I can tell you, you notice more idiots on the road when you ride a bike. Reading from paper at 70mph was a good one, I have seen a guy shaving at speed, I have seen people looking at laptops on their other seat. I am sure they had justified it to themselves to.

    It is you that will have to live with the fact you have killed or seriously injured someone if you cause an accident through your utter stupidity. With a bit of luck you will only kill yourself and remove another knuckle head from the road endangering everyone else around them.

    ‘Understanding the danger is the first step in driving responsibly’, yes, by understanding it and not doing it anyway!

    Saying you do it and know it is dangerous doesn’t make it any better, it probably makes it worse as you know you are endangering other’s lives by doing it at all. This is WILDLY irresponsible, not responsible behaviour as you claim.

    You are the reason that manufacturers have to put messages on equipment they sell like “do not put drill in nostril”. ‘But I know it is dangerous, so I did it carefully and it ripped my face off anyway so I will sue you’.

    I actually cannot believe how cretinous you are.

    As for Alex Rodz, I am sure you will join the hallowed halls of the Darwin Award recipients before too long.

    I’ll be unsubscribing my RSS from you guys, I don’t care for reading websites written by people as stupid as this.

  39. I really hoped that they would make it so that the home screen auto-rotated as well.

  40. Rob, you are clearly a fucking retard. It doesn’t matter whether you think it should be illegal or not. If you know that texting is dangerous, than you shouldn’t be doing it. Car accidents kill thousands of people every day. The law shouldn’t have to be in place to stop you from endangering yourself and other people. As an intelligent human being you should be able to work that one out for yourself.

  41. texting while driving = population control! uggh, I’m a sick one aren’t I! Anyways, texting while driving is bad. Only do it at red lights :)

  42. Jamwheel:

    I ride a motorcycle and drive a car in the UK and I can tell you, you notice more idiots on the road when you ride a bike.

    I really don’t believe that it’s appropriate for motorcyclists to be lecturing people about safety. Which jerkwad are you?

    The idiot who goes 90 mph on the shoulder on your crotch rocket?

    The dickhead on the faux Harley who insists on straddling two lanes?

    And who wants to bet he hates helmet laws?

  43. @ Alex Rodz,

    you’re wasting your time writing all that because no one is going to read it until you start punctuating your sentences. Just throw in a few full stops every now and then…

  44. @dan l. Well blotty hell look my texting is none of ur concern and here in the states we multi task I don’t know bout uk but u all already drive on the wrong side of the road and u call me stupid lol . And motor bikes don’t need people texting to get killed there excess of speed does that from them that’s why u see in the news a guy on a motor cycle crashed after hitting a 1inch rock he was going so fast anything will throw him off so go brush ur teeth and stop all that rubbish u foxy pigeon and for that othe idot I know one thinkiing he is right dosent make it right so quit thinking u are right u understand ? U all have done it again I say u all change radio stations that’s a distaction and about joing the darwin hall of fame everybody rides that bus someday one way or another even the mentionee of this award still wrote this will driving 65 miles an hour oooooooo I feel like a criminal bad to the ba ba ba bad. Oh and obviously people are reading even with no puntuations so thanks to the non complainers I got no time for punctuations I could cause an accident looking for a period on this vkeboard lmao laters oh and the dude that saids he was going to unsubscribe go for it more space for me PHANDROID ROCKS

  45. Thank for the post. Don’t mind them Rob im on your side of the fence.

  46. @Alex:

    I don’t know what you’re talking about. I was, more or less, behind you. I’m not from the UK. As a matter of fact, I called the guy form the UK a ‘tard.

    Reading comprehension is an important skill.

  47. Dan l I am sorry like I said I’m doing this while driving it all was directed at the uk guy my bad

  48. Damn. Yall act like texting while driving is neck and neck with being a terrorist. Calm da hell down.

  49. Smitty its not y’all its some in here not all I agree many people make a big deal and those who are complaning probably do it to

  50. To activate the horizontal keyboard, simply double tap the text field while your phone is flipped horizontal. If you have the keyboard open when switching to this orientation it will close. Just double tap the text field again and it will open right back up.

  51. Yes I used auto rotate the other day and it works great. So much easier to text now. I hated it before, especially with the charger plugged in.

    I just did a quick video with the phone of malibu surf and uploaded to vimeo.

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