Nexus One Multitouch

One of the biggest (and best) questions you all asked after Google brought multitouch to the Nexus One this week was "What about the Motorola Droid? Will it get multitouch, too? Of course, the Droid has multitouch outside the U.S., and you can hack it on to your phone if you have the American version. But we're talking about an official, sanctioned update here. Following are the responses we got from Google and from Motorola:

Says Motorola:

While designing DROID, and all Motorola mobile devices, Motorola work very closely with carriers and partners to deliver differentiated consumer experiences, depending on the region, carrier preferences and consumer needs. DROID features double tap zoom, a new way to zoom in on content. For example, when viewing web pages, simply tap twice on the content you want to view and DROID automatically zooms in and fits the content to the width of the display. You can also zoom in and out with on screen zoom controls.

Says Google:

The Android 2.0 framework includes support for multi-touch. As with other Android platform technologies, such as the text-to-speech engine, operators and handset makers can choose to implement this technology. Regarding the specific pinch-to-zoom functionality included in this new update, once we make this software update (2.1-update1) available to operators and handset makers, they can update their Android-powered devices accordingly.

So, if manufacturers and carriers choose to use it, they can. Same old story. (Let's hope they do.) We also asked Google about enabling multitouch on the keyboard. The big G's response:

The Android 2.0 framework includes support for multi-touch. As with other Android platform technologies, such as the text-to-speech engine, operators and handset makers can choose to implement this technology. Today's update for Nexus One devices only incorporates pinch-to-zoom functionality.

So there you go. Maybe we'll see it later, maybe we won't. Feel free to vent in the comments.


Reader comments

Google, Motorola weigh in on future multitouch updates


"once we make this software update (2.1-update1) available to operators and handset makers"
So I guess Google is the reason the Droid hasn't been updated to the new software.

I think they are saying the latest version for 2.1 not the official 2.1

The source for OS 2.1 has been released but not the 2.1-update1

There has been a lot of hype and tension erupted after the unveiling of the nexus one. For the past month, we are seeing some of the errors and glitches that a future user may want to look before buying the N1 phone. ALong the problems, comes the fixes and it couldn’t be any better than that! All the problems of the N1 phone compiled:

Personally - I'm ok with the double-tap-to-zoom. Multitouch would be cool, but I won't miss it if it doesn't come to my Droid. Meh.

I am use to double tap to zoom as well but pinch to zoom would be a REALLY nice feature. I want 2.1 for some of the features but mainly to address many of the bugs in the Droid. Between MMS crashes the delete all your messages, the inability to delete frequently called list, or lack of security around the lock screen. I am not throwing stones as I like my Droid more than my iPhone but I really want some of these bugs fixed.

what i'm wondering is if the people that released nexus one 2.1 apps ported for the droid are planning on doing the same thing with 2.1-update1, now that their is a new set of apps (maps, gallery, browser,...) that have the pinch-to-zoom feature?

I'd be more patient in waiting for the official 2.1 & FLASH to hit the droid. ANYONE ELSE AGREE?

do you think the official 2.1 & flash for the droid will receive a 2.1-UPDATE1 & FLASH? that would explain the time delay.

Well, I took a chance after many years of refusing to buy another Motorola phone and if they dick around with this and then do nothing .. it will be the last Motorola phone I buy. There are PLENTY of Android phones on the market and coming to market. I'm SURE there will be one that fits the bill. *shrug*

So get off your bum Moto and push this as soon as you can. I find it weird that Google would not check in these changes to the source tree but then again maybe it's Google's laziness that's biting them again. I mean after all all the Android source just got pulled from the Linux kernel staging server because Google couldn't be bothered to do what was needed to get it put into the production kernel source tree. Nice job Google. Really. Awesome. :)

I think Google needs to adopt the Apple method of updates; direct to consumer. Google is allowing Android to fragment into haves and have nots. Ain't nothing down that road but dissaster.

I think this decision is more based on carriers and not Google. Google would want this (obivously), but carriers less so as it eliminates their control over the software. Apple can currently do it because it's exclusive with ATT, but once that goes, who knows what will happen. They probably have enough market power currently though to keep it the way it is.

i don't normally post on these forums but man this issue just makes my skin crawl. The Nexus One is coming to Verizon Spring 2010 as it says on the nexus one website so!... I wouldn't put it past Verizon to screw us all and leave us with no update so that when the nexus one comes out they don't have 2 competing handsets. I think it's Verizon. They are just such control freaks. I think this is why Motorola made reference to the "carrier" so many times. It's out of their hands I am sure they are just sitting on it waiting for the Verizon go ahead. Any thoughts on that?

Well from Moto's comments it seems that the droid wont get pinch to zoom native.


Looks like this is the last Moto device I will ever buy.

That was from the sources? Both of those responses looked like they were canned straight from the customer service department. Hell, the Google response repeated itself! Definitely some copy-and-paste going on there. The Motorola response didn't even touch on the question. It's like one of their support members copied their script into the e-mail. Lovely...

Who cares about pinch to zoom on browser anyway I never used it on tbe iphone I prefer the single finger double tap pinch to zoom way overrated by the fanboys but I wouldn't mind the 2.1 though. Hurry up Verizon! I don't buy that one theory one bit about Verizon holding back on giving Droid an update just because Nexus one will be available in Spring because I doubt Verizon will see any money from sales through Google and because by then Verizon will have four Android phones competing although three will only be in stores.

The problem I find with double-tap is I keep hitting a link because some of the sites I visit start off small (like blog sites). With PZ in other browsers in the Market I don't have this problem...I just don't like the browsers which is why I reverted back to the standard one. There are perks to the function. It's not do or die by any means...but when they want to compare themselves to the iPhone they better offer at least some of the basic functions, right?

Motorola statement is BS.

"DROID features double tap zoom, a new way to zoom in on content."

Double tap zoom is not new. My Omnia does that. These companies need to be more truthful and stop sugar coating reasons to the consumer why they don't do certain thing. Whether it is Google or Verizon preventing them from implementing multi-touch they need to say so. That way the consumer can go back to them and say "hey @$$holes, give us multi-touch." It worked for the Nexus One.

The DROID was my entry into the Android world. I knew what it had when I bought it and am thus far more than satisfied with the product.

I'll keep it for about 6 to 9 months, then move on to another device. Most likely another Android based device, but not necessarily a Moto product.

Keep calm folks, multi touch isn't all that.

I hope motorola come out with this update for motorola cliq a month later after 2.1 and flash player make android 2.1.1 happen I like multitouch on my phone!

i'm less concerned with pinch zoom in the browser than i am in the maps app. having in there is much more precise and a far quicker way to navigate the map. (i tend to click on points when trying to zoom in for example)

BUT the reason I like the android OS so much is that i already have all of this on my droid in a 99% working manner by just running a custom ROM with it all in there.

but if the next droid's update isn't the 2.1update1 update, i'm going to be very dissapointed with moto.

Yeah I'm not sure what the deal of pinch to zoom is. I'm saying its nice but not about all the hype. The hell with pinch to zoom. Stop BS-ing and put 2.1 on the &%$#@$% Droid all ready. This $%#& is beginning to piss me the #$%& off! I mean is really that serious??? I love my Droid but it would better with 2.1. I #$%&@#$ hate stupid ass carriers who just want a say so in something. Be glad you got android to $%&# with you in the first place. As soon as something good comes along someone always finds a way to #$%& it I'm so tired of this #$%&.

In other news when the nexus one comes to Verizon I'm gonna be iffy on getting it. I spent $630 on the Droid in Nov. Just to spend another $550 on the nexus in March or April???? People ain't made of money ya know....I guess I have some decisions to make.

The first stake is in the ground. When the 2.1.1 update comes out (according to the Google paragraph above), the issue shifts to Motorola and Verizon. After that update we are down to 2 parties from 3. It will get narrower as time goes on until we understand who is blocking.

This is not a pretty situation, but the pressure is on to resolve it. If either Motorola or Verizon fail in this I'll drop both. Times are achangin'.

They need to fix pinch to zoom in the gallery. No matter where you try to zoom to it just zooms into the middle of the screen.

I'm concerned Google is forking the line now into three forks. First it was the distinction between the manufacturer modified phones like HTC with Eris or Motorola with motoblur vs. the phones with the Google trademark on the back like the Droid. The promise of these phones were that they would be cleaner and pure Google. Now we've got three levels with the Nexus One. All of this is complicated by the increasing multiplicity of versions out there and software which will only work on some phones. Google should think this thing through a bit better. Multiple streams are OK but too much fragmentation will make the Android OS less desirable.

Just got the Droid about 2 weeks ago (had a Palm Pre). This is the first bad taste in my mouth. Don't care for the sidestepping of questions (but what company doesn't do that, I guess). A little frightened that I might have jumped on a ship that doesn't want the whole fleet to sail forward, because they want to sell new ships. I purchased this phone because it was supposed to be a "Google Experience" Android phone. To hear about delays and possibly not including key features is pretty upsetting. The fact that it isn't just assumed and known that they features will eventually trickle to this "Google Experience" phone is a bit deflating.