Android’s Circular Zoom On the HTC Magic



Android has a new feature that will apparently launch with the HTC Magic – a circular touchscreen wheel allowing for the smooth zooming of websites, pictures and more. The phone was examined in an interview on CNET France and you can take a peek at the Scroll Wheel Zoom at about 2:05 in the video below:

Looks pretty awesome if you ask me! I like the “double tap” to bring up zoom and I think the scroll wheel is an amazing way of getting the screen zoomed to JUST the right spot without too much effort and tapping. I’m eager for this to come to the G1.

Here is the CNET France article, translated to English:

Presented at Mobile World Congress 2009, the HTC Magic was formalized by SFR on Tuesday 10 March. This new version of the Google Phone, designed by HTC abandon this mechanical keyboard on the HTC Dream and enjoy the new version of Android: Cupcake.

This latest version of Android correct the main defects of the HTC Dream marketed by Orange. For example, it is now possible to play and record video, connect a Bluetooth headset and the lack of a mechanical keyboard to a virtual keyboard makes the Google Phone SFR more compact than the Google Phone Orange.

Unlike the iPhone, the virtual keyboard appears on the Magic portrait or landscape mode in most applications (mail and SMS for example) which gives a better comfort in the seizure.

As compared to the iPhone, menus and applications are displayed in both portrait mode than in landscape mode, again, it gains in ease of use.

Android Cupcake impressed us, it is much more successful now that Android on the HTC Dream Orange … Similarly, autonomy has been increased through the integration of a 1340 mAh battery (1150 mAh against the HTC Dream)

Magic The HTC will be marketed exclusively by SFR in late April at a price of 99 euros (with 50 euros included for the subscription SFR) and will be bundled with a microSD card to 8GB
Appointment soon for a complete test of the HTC Magic.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. First, I think it’s quite funny that the demo phone had low battery.

    Feature wise …

    The keyboard with auto-rotate looks nice.

    The new zoom design is a great alternative to pinch in/out. I can manage the + and – okay, but the “circle wheel” looks amazing!

  2. Hey, they’ve chnged the virtual keyboard to, haven’t they? A button pressed now flashes just above the hit button, rather than on the opposite side of the keyboeard.

    Isn’t that news?

  3. Didn’t it look like the (firework) popping letters during typing worked better than usual?

  4. why does all the good stuff like this never come to usa and if it does you gatta pay out the ying yang 4 it like root and multi touch IDK HOW 2 DO THAT STUFF…but that was cool as hell

  5. Wait the keyboard auto-rotates now? That’s news too! It couldn’t at the WMC last month. That was my most-wanted feature for Cupcake after all the confirmed stuff. Nice! Can’t wait for the Magic in the US.

  6. I’m just glad that this means some version of cupcake will have to come out soon, at least by the time this comes out. Also, that we could just “borrow” the magic OS and port it, that would be nice.
    also, having root costs exactly zero dollars. here’s a guide if you’re interested:

  7. “why does all the good stuff like this never come to usa” – Are you kidding me?! I’m living in Denmark and we don’t even have the phone yet (not even the developer phone can be delivered to Denmark)

  8. Nice… software has improved quite considerably with cupcake.

    Althought at the end of the day, the G2 remains to be an inferior phone to the G1 which has better hardware, and more software (apps that need the physical keyboard).


  9. Another reflection: There’s been some speculation that the android has not implemented the iPhones “pinch” zoom functionality because Apple wanting it to be an exclusive apple thing (possibly a patent?).

    So now, what android seem to have done is instead use another well known apple feature – the scroll wheel…


  10. Nothing too exciting here. Chomp SMS/Handcent SMS both have working rotatable virtual keyboards. Steel Browser has a long press zoom in/out feature where you press and hold anywhere on the screen and a dial pops up at your finger where you can ‘finger’ + and – zoom, as well as open a web link to a new window / refresh etc / save pic etc… Steel also has a rotatable virtual keyboard.. Yawn… I just hope A2DP is included… dont know if this was mentioned as i am at work with the sound down!

  11. @David…I think the point is that some of these things will be native to Android and available across all applications rather than just Steel. I would rather the Steel style long press context menu be backed into Android as well. Its friggin slick.

  12. “Similarly, autonomy has been increased through the integration of a 1340 mAh battery (1150 mAh against the HTC Dream)”

    Well, i hope they send us G1 owners that battery. Sheesh

  13. Well, there are a few other important things in this little movie. First the pinch/multitouch is NOT there. The interviewer says: “like the pinch in the iPhone, you can use the circular magnifier”. This suggest there is no pinch.
    Also they say that SFR, the French operator, will be creating Android specific apps that will allow access to Vodafone live content. This is followed by the announcement that the G1 will be sold by Orange. In other words, Android Market will be getting operator specific apps…
    Finally the Dream will be sold 99 Euros with contract. Cheap :)

    PS: Yeah sometimes (rarely) it’s useful to know French :)

  14. I just want better comfort in the seizure. That’s all.

  15. I agree with d, seizures with my G1 aren’t way too uncomfortable.

  16. I couldn’t get the zoom wheel to come up when I tried it on a demo model. Did they drop this feature??

  17. I have the htc magic zoom function and the circular is not in the phone

  18. I’ve got the G1 running Android 1.5 (arrived as an OTA update this morning). Sadly, as far as I can tell, it does not include the zoom wheel. :-(

  19. A Quand la version HTC Magic avec l’application Zoom-Wheel?

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