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Vodafone is all thumbs on multitouch

Fumbling the H1's real capabilities

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Vodafone's claim that the H1 would support "multitouch" caught our eye, but it was eight hours before we discovered how fast and loose the operator was playing with the dictionary.

In response to El Reg's questions Samsung finally admitted that in this context "multitouch" means one can touch the screen in different ways: such as holding a finger still for a few seconds, or dragging across the screen. This makes for a definition that elevates Microsoft's mobile efforts to having supported multitouch for a decade or so.

Vodafone first tried to tell us that "multitouch" referred to the fact that the user could press a physical button, or prod the screen instead, but that wasn't going to fly with even the most laid-back OED expert. So we asked Samsung for its opinion and were told that the different ways in which the screen can be caressed qualified it as a "multitouch" device.

Samsung are old hands at this, having released a handset actually called the "Multi Touch" - despite the fact that it too only supports a single digit in contact with the screen at a time.

We're big fans of using more than one finger to interface with computers, from Fingerworks keyboards to Twiddlers to the iPhone.

Anything that speeds the interaction between user and computer is to be applauded; but redefining the term smacks of cheating, and deserves nothing but two fingers in response. ®

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