Feeds

Google pushes new multitouch onto Nexus One

Alongside 3G 'fix'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Updated Google has pushed out a software update for its Nexus One phone that attempts to improve 3G connectivity while adding "pinch-and-zoom" multitouch to a trio of applications where the navigate-with-your-fingers technology was conspicuously absent.

The update - which Google began distributing to existing phones yesterday - also adds the company's visual search app, known as Google Goggles, and a new version of Google Maps.

Google's Nexus One forums are brimming with complaints of spotty 3G coverage, and in a blog post yesterday, the company said that its software update will provide "a general fix to help improve 3G connectivity on some Nexus One phones." Last week, in a post to the forums, Google said that such a fix was on the way.

At the same time, the update adds "pinch-and-zoom" multitouch to three of the phone's primary applications: its browser, Google Maps, and Gallery, which is Google's photo app. Google says it has supported multitouch since Android 2.0 - which debuted with the Motorola Droid - but pinch-and-zoom was previously unavailable with this trio of applications on the Nexus One, which uses Android 2.1.

"Looking around the mobile industry, from Apple to Palm to HTC and Motorola - it's clear that pinch-to-zoom technology has become a standard and popular way for users to interact with their mobile phones," a company spokeswoman said.

"Likewise, Android users can now truly benefit from this capability with the availability of Android 2.1, which powers a new class of devices with larger touchscreens and more interactive features. Unlike past devices, these phones have the processing power to deliver pinch-to-zoom, while still providing a great user experience."

Apparently, there have been trademark and/or patent issues around the technology, which was popularized by Apple on the iPhone. According to an unnamed person speaking with Venture Beat last year, Google turned off multitouch on Android 1.0 at the request of Apple. There was a time when Apple and Google were pals.

In a response to our questions about the multitouch on Android, Google did not specifically address our question about trademarks and patents. At one point, Apple threatened to sue Palm over multitouch capabilities in its Palm Pre handset.

According to users, multitouch has always been available on third-party Nexus One applications, but not on that trio of Google applications. European users of other Android-based handsets say they have had access to multitouch tools on Google applications that were unavailable to US users. Asked to comment on this, Google said: "As with other Android platform technologies, such as the text-to-speech engine, operators and handset makers can choose to implement this technology."

At the end of January, noted Android modder "Cyanogen" released his own Nexus One update that provided additional multitouch support for the phone.

The company says that most users will receive access to its Nexus One update by the end of the week. When the update is available for your phone, an alert will appear on the device's notification bar, then you must actively download the update and wait for it to install. ®

Update: This story has been updated with comments from Google and additional details.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US
Wearable will deliver 'actionable insights for healthier living'
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
Amazon hopes FIRE STICK will light up its video service
We do streaming video? It seems we do...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.