Open keyboard in Android recovery mode

  • So I am taking the CompTIA A+ certification courses and on one of the sections about radio firmware, they say after placing in the root of the SD card to boot into recovery then press Alt+S and let the update finish.

    The only way I know how would be to use the up and down volume keys and choose Update from Sd Card then press power.

    I could only find the following reference to using Alt+S, it is :

    [GUIDE] Fastboot for Noobs


    Things you need:

    New SPL - Download
    New Radio - Download
    Your Current ROM - CyanogenMod 3.6
    SD Card Reader
    Rooted G1 Phone
    USB Cable

    Install Radio FIRST

    Download the Radio Update
    Rename it to
    Remove your SD Card from your phone and place it in your SD Card Reader
    Put the at the root of your SDcard (root = not in any folder)
    Insert your sdcard back into the phone
    Turn off your phone (Hold power and press Power Off)
    Hold the Home button and then press the power button (Keep holding power)
    You will now enter recovery
    Open up your keyboard and press Alt-S
    Let it finish the update
    When done reboot by pressing Home and Back
    You should be able to access your Home screen (If its stuck on the Google G1 screen dont panic, just remove your battery for now)

    My question would be: HOW would I open the keyboard in recovery mode? I tried a keyboard connected via OTG cable and could get it to move up and down and select, but Alt+S did nothing.

    Now full disclosure, I DID NOT have any on my SD card. I was assuming I would get an error. The only device I have available at this time is my Samsung Galaxy S20 and I can't find the right file for my firmware.

    Is this process outdated? Does it require that phone be rooted with a custom recovery? Without more info, the first sentence of this post makes no sense. If anyone can shed a light on this would be great.

  • The instruction "boot into recovery then press Alt+S and let the update finish." is strange I have never seen a stock recovery ROM with a possibility to activate an on-screen keyboard. The second problem is that on-screen keyboards usually do not contain an Alt key.

    The only explanation is that the instruction does not refer to the on-screen keyboard:

    In the early days of Android there were a few phones like the Google G1 (alias HTC Dream) which had built-in hardware keyboard:

    HTC Dream image from Wikipedia by

    It seems like the manual for firmware update was written for such a device as the instruction does only make sense in case there is a hardware keyboard available.

    Because of the amazing success of the iPhone and it's pure touch screen based UI Android phones with hardware keyboards were only present before 2010 like the or . Later nearly all Android phones only had a touch screen with on-screen keyboard (with a very few exceptions like the - but those devices were never a commercial success).

    As your manual can only work for phones with a hardware keyboard it can be considered historical and no longer relevant. Seems like the people responsible for keeping the question up-to-date have missed this question for a long time.

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