Print 31 comment(s) - last by Mojo the Monke.. on Feb 4 at 1:44 PM

Android finally gets multi-touch in the U.S.

Google launched the Nexus One smartphone with much fanfare from the online community. The phone generated a lot of buzz leading up to its launch and was billed as the latest "iPhone Killer" -- a title that was also bestowed upon the Motorola Droid.

The Nexus One offers a blazing fast 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, a gorgeous 480x800 AMOLED 3.7" display, and runs Google's Android 2.1 operating system. For all of its pluses, there have been a few niggling issues that have annoyed users right from the start.

There were early reports of 3G connectivity issues with the device on T-Mobile's network. Users were complaining of the smartphone hopping from 2G to 3G sporadically and in some cases, users were reporting that 3G was not active at all on the phone.

Another problem that bugged users familiar with other popular smartphones like the iPhone and Palm Pre was the lack of multi-touch support. This feature omission was made even more glaring by the fact that Android phones available overseas were being sold with multi-touch enabled.

Today, Google is righting the wrongs of the Nexus One by providing an OTA update that not only fixes the 3G connectivity issues, but also adds multi-touch support as well. "Pinch-to-zoom" functionality is now enabled in the Maps, Gallery, and Browser apps. The Google Goggles app has now also been added to the phone along with an updated Maps program (version 3.4).

"In order to access the update, you will receive a message on your phone's notification bar. Just download the update, wait for it to install, and you should be all set," read a posting on the Google Nexus One blog. "This update will be rolled out gradually to phones - and most users might not receive the notification until the end of the week. We hope you enjoy these new features and look forward to your feedback."

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By fic2 on 2/2/2010 8:47:39 PM , Rating: 3
Man, it took them nearly a month to finally get Multi-touch out.

By Brandon Hill on 2/2/2010 8:52:58 PM , Rating: 2
How long has Android been out? How many Android phones in the U.S. have official multi-touch support?

People have been bitchin' about multi-touch on Android phones for a loooooong time.

By Alexvrb on 2/2/2010 8:57:03 PM , Rating: 2
How long did Apple take to get MMS, a feature that even outdated dumbphones had (to varying degrees)?

By Brandon Hill on 2/2/2010 9:00:22 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not disagreeing with you at all on that one (or copy and paste for that matter). I'm just saying multi-touch has been an oft-requested feature for Android phones.

By tjr508 on 2/2/2010 10:58:42 PM , Rating: 2
Copy/paste ruined the iPhone. I have used it once in 6 months while it has gotten in the way of me editing text at least 1000 times.

By Mojo the Monkey on 2/4/2010 1:44:33 PM , Rating: 2
I think that, more than anything, google just felt the timing was right to test the IP waters. It was never a support feature, but a "how likely are we to lose $X million in IP litigation defense?"

Perhaps between Palm being defiant, as well as them having more skin in the game with their own phone (well, they're more directly involved) - to gain more potential profits, then the cost-benefit ratio has finally resolved in favor of enabling it.

By judasmachine on 2/2/2010 10:40:07 PM , Rating: 2
My Eris has multi touch, and has since launch. But that's all it has....

By Aloonatic on 2/3/2010 2:39:28 AM , Rating: 2
What's the deal with this multi-touch thing?

Is it true that the Motorola Droid in the States doesn't have multi-touch, yet the European version known as the Milestone does?

Does any of this have anything to do with the Apple multi-touch patent?

By Marlonsm on 2/3/2010 6:18:29 AM , Rating: 2
The Milestone does have pinch-to-zoom.
And yes, I do think it's because of Apple patent. But now that Apple called Google "evil", things are starting to get better.

By KentState on 2/3/2010 7:19:38 AM , Rating: 2
The Google provide apps do not have multi-touch enabled on the Droid. However, the device supports it as you can download apps that have the feature.

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