DroidDoes Have Pinch & Zoom


I’ve heard A LOT of people insisting the Motorola Droid DOES NOT have Multi-Touch. They are wrong. I can quickly prove this by showing you a video of the Picsay update that just hit Android Market… which supports Multi-Touch for Android 2.0:

Picsay even has PINCH AND ZOOM. What critics don’t understand or failed to acknowledge/research is that while the Android Browser doesn’t have multi-touch capabilities by default, the operating system itself supports multi-touch. If you don’t believe me, you obviously didn’t watch the above video from an application currently available on Android Market.

I’ll have more on this tomorrow… but wanted to get this to you guys ASAP as its been a big debate/discussion that until now has gone unanswered/unproven.

[Thanks Carl]

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. motodroid towers over the iphone….:)
    cmon apple fanboys admit it….:)
    look it does have pinch&zoom….:)

  2. You have seen the Motorola MILESTONE in Germany that has pinch-zoom gestures in the browser right? So someone is scared of apple here. Either Motorola or Google.

  3. I have seen this on sites like Gizmodo’s review, while it is true that there is multitouch the thing I think they are complaining about is that the default apps that could use it most (browser, pictures, maps) do not utilize this feature which you have just demonstrated IS possible.

    There is little to no reason why it cannot be done as far as we all know. The iDont (as you called it :P) and the Pre both do this….why are we still left out in the cold?

  4. Great to hear. I’m just learning about Android. (I’m a long-time, satisfied Windows Mobile user who’s almost definitely going out and getting a Droid the day that they’re available.) But does the update support pinch-and-zoom in the browser? Or do we have to wait for an update from Google or Motorola get that?

  5. do you think a browser like Opera 10 will end up having multitouch/pinch zooming used to its ability?

  6. i dont see whats so great about this pinch&zoom crap to me the droid leaves the iphone in the dust. lets just see what happends in the 2010 when verizon merges with apple

  7. Yeah I think Google and apple have some kind of deal, or they just don’t wanna get sued, google should really add this on the next update and roll over apple on this issue, screw them they don’t own pinch and zoom, just like they don’t own the letter “i” or apples.

  8. @bob lol, “pinch&zoom crap” exactly.

  9. Pinch & Zoom is incredibly handy. I use it on my Sprint Hero all the time when I’m browsing (I guess the Sense UI browser supports it?). A lot of times I’ll be on a website with a link I want to click, but it’s in the middle of a dozen other links that I do not want to click, and my finger just can’t get in there to hit the right one because the text is too small. So I pinch-zoom in and voila, problem solved. If I had to double-tap to zoom, I might hit the wrong link and then waste time loading the wrong page, backing out to the previous page, and then trying to double-tap zoom again.

  10. Great scoop! Engadget’s been making a big deal about this.

  11. @l3reak yeah, in the most recent Engadget podcast Josh was almost obnoxiously insistent that Droid does NOT have multitouch whatsoever. It’s nice to see that he’s wrong, and that Google will hopefully add this to default apps in the near future.

  12. Good find Rob!

  13. Ok, we know the Droid is capable of pinch and zoom but the question is can it be used in the browser?Is their a app for that or will we have to hack this out some how?

  14. Awesome job, Engadget was scaring me with saying there is no multitouch in the droid.

  15. I love how everybody was crapping their pants about Droid not having multitouch…but I have to wonder why nobody just looked at the list of features on droiddoes.com. It clearly states “multitouch” right below “turn-by-turn nav”.

  16. i never read engadget anymore. they are so obviously biased towards the iphone that it’s not even funny.

    also, i heard that the reason android devices haven’t been having pinch and zoom is because there was someone on both the google board and the apple board, and they didn’t want to affect profits or something. iirc, he no longer sits on apple’s board.

  17. Whatever. The point is, the multitouch functionality isn’t being used anywhere in the device, really. Supposedly, the touch keyboard uses it, but I haven’t seen a video review that can prove this (can you “highlight” two keys at once?)

  18. How about rotating a photo? Sometimes it’s a hardware limitation of the screen. It’s hard to make it smooth.

  19. Yeah its in the picture area, but is it in the only area that actually matters, the web browser?

  20. @Frank, yes you can tap the on screen keyboard in a rapid “multitouch” fashion and it will catch every letter.

  21. Two questions. The first it appears everyone wants to know, is this supported by the browser?

    My second question, does that app cost anything or is it free?

  22. It seems very sloppy to “have multitouch capabilty” but not makee it work in the most used applications.

    Imagine in Windows if you had to right click in some apps but left click in others. It would be crazy. Yet android releases 2.0 with base apps void of the function. Pretty inconsistent and sloppy. How was HTC able to do it in 1.5 so easily?

  23. I think the confusion is between multi-touch and “pinch to zoom”. The former is enabled on the Droid because that general concept has been around for some time and is not protected, but the specific gesture of pinching to zoom in and out is the one that is (I think) patent-protected. Well, at least it is in the USA under US laws (patent laws are different in different countries – hence the Milestone).

    As for why HTC and now Picsay can implement it in their phone/app, how do you know they didn’t pay Apple for the right to use it? Maybe they already had a licence?

    The difference is stark in the HTC Hero. If you use HTC’s mail program, there’s pinch to zoom. Google’s Gmail, doesn’t have it. It’s probably going to be like this for browsers – between 3rd party apps and Google’s own. Unless some deal is worked out between Google and Apple.

  24. anyone want to answer my question from about comment 6? haha


    i also have read that the 45 data plan is BS


  26. Pinch zoom is a feature that would become worthless if they would implement something like Rob was talking about in another article. The good old push circle. Would even give us the ability to select exactly what we wanted on the screen really easily. Especially considering that in my experience getting exactly what you want on the screen with the iPhone with the pinch zoom can be kinda goofy at times.

  27. You know, this whole argument is kinda dumb. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears to me that as long as you have a capacitive touchscreen, your device supports multi-touch, as long as the software running on it interprets it. I don’t think it’s even on the OS level, but rather the individual app level, as seen with the update to this specific app which gave it pinch and zoom. I would expect you’ll see more and more apps that support it soon. The biggest question is how soon Google will upgrade the core apps to take advantage of that feature. HTC has already done just that with the lowly Android 1.5. The ball’s in your court Google, so make a move.

  28. Google needs to set the standard. If every app uses a different method to zoom; it will be a mess.

  29. @Brad – that logic makes no sense. That is like saying your Desktop Monitor supports Multi-Touch, as long as Windows or MacOS supports MultiTouch. A lot of hard work is done on the software side in addition to the underlying issues here, which are legally and proprietary based.

  30. Tell AOTS that. Please.
    They’re speaking to a very wide audience, and apparently giving them very wrong info.

  31. @rob
    i think what brad meant was that the g1, droid, as well as all other capacitive touchscreen phones has the ability to support multi-touch, as long as the OS allows it. and when the OS does allow it, the individual applications have to incorporate it.
    on a different note, im sure that 3rd party browsers such as steel and opera will come out with “pinch & zoom” in no time

  32. droiddoes.com has shown it has had multi-touch since the site launched. If you go around the circle, under turn-by-turn navigation and above big screen, you’ll see it says multi-touch.

  33. Won’t it just be a matter of time before an independent developer creates a browser that supports this functionality? The Droid CAN interpret pinch and zoom, but the browser doesn’t support it. I would pay $10 for a web browswer that utilized SMOOTH pinch and zoom. Thoughts?

  34. I think this is a licensing issue. Google hasn’t licensed pinch and zoom from apple which filed a patent for it last year at the same time as trying to trademark the concept of multi-touch. Google is likely going to try to challenge the patent, which it should even if purely on a prior art basis, we saw this technology in the Microsoft Surface demo before it was available on the iPhone. If they license it in the meantime it may put them in an odd legal position as far as challenging the patent. PicSay and other third party apps are free to make there own decisions as far as licensing or just implementing, without Google being put in an awkward position.

    I am sure the decision to support multi-touch without support for pinch and zoom was legally motivated, the support for it on the Milestone strongly supports this theory since Apple has not filed for a patent there.

  35. i didn’t take time to read through all of the other posts, so if someone else has already pointed this out, kudos.
    i did however read Pieter’s response to Rob, and yes, the G1 doesn’t come with multi touch, but supports it. mine is proof, actually, CryogenMod is proof, mine is rooted, running C-Mods legit build AND NOW has multi-touch. i’ve grown quite found of my pinch zoom actually. at first i just wanted to prove to my iPhone friends that Apple doesn’t have to sell them a new phone for most of the “hardware upgrades” because it can be done much cheaper as a software upgrade. meh. why i believe in an open sourced world.

  36. The bottom line is “if it doesn’t do it out of the box, it my as well not exist” because most non-techie users will never know it’s even there and they won’t hunt down a way to use it. Motorola dropped the ball on this one if they wanted to take on iPhone. I’ll own a droid day one but for most “average” consumers it won’t measure up to iPhone. Most “average” users bought the iphone eventhough it didn’t have copy/paste. They didn’t know. They didn’t care because Apple made the learning and fun curve so drop dead easy!

    Android needs to be completely skinned with a brilliant UI to compete with iPhone. Sony Ericson or HTC probably has best shot. In fact, I’m willing to bet when the HTC hero appears right next to the Droid in Verizon stores, the Hero will outsell Droid due to ease of use UI and polish – or the impression of such.

  37. @Rob Jackson

    I don’t think anyone has shown if the virtual keyboard has multi-touch. I think people care more about that than pinch zoom, since multi-touch on the virtual keyboard would help typing speed, while pinch-zoom you can do without.

    I think people would appreciated if this was shown on video. Thanks.

  38. Jake I think multi-touch with the virtual keyboard is shown on this video,But I might be wrong. It shows it around 7:24 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foWJvkbFQW0

  39. sorry to all you guys getting hopes but motorola droid does NOT have multi-touch that specific app that he is using does but the phone in general does not, you can see this in the 2.0 description it does not support multi-touch therefore you cannot multi-touch on keyboard web or regular pictures just on some specific apps sorry but i hope this cleared things up for you

  40. @roger
    For the multi-touch functionality of the specific app to work, the phone must support multi-touch. Perhaps you meant the other applications on the phone don’t utilize multi-touch? There is a difference between the utilization of multi-touch and the existence of multi-touch. Multi-touch functionality exists on the droid, but it isn’t utilized in the form of pinch and zoom.

  41. Ok,
    I have to chime in here. The Android 2.0 release does support multi-touch. The API has the calls to be able to track 3 seperate points.

    It is up to the individual developers to include support for the multi-touch. It appears that PicSay has added multi-touch support for their app and others will soon follow.

    Here is the Link to the Android SDK new features of 2.0:

    Notes about Virtual Keyboard:
    “•The framework’s multi-touch support ensures that key presses aren’t missed while typing rapidly with two fingers.”

  42. *rolls eyes* * Yawns* * picks nose*

  43. does it work when ur using the browser

  44. I’m writing this on a moto droid. Installed picsay, no pinch zoom. The HTC droid which verizon launched the same day does have multi-touch. I think that’s how verizon gets away with listing it as a feature on droiddoes.com

  45. Im so glad I found this Video , I had no idea that the phone had support for multi touch . I also made a a video showing how it works ..


  46. U.S. version does not have pinch zoom only the europearn version does

  47. Thanks ! …. the Droid will decimate the iPhone its still in infancy but very soon

  48. Multitouch supported. Support in browser and more apparently to come

  49. I know that an update to the OS is coming in Q1 2010 that may or may no enable the multitouch in the default apps, however PicSay and the Dolphin browser that are both available in the marketplace have pinch and zoom functionality. I do agree that it should be available for all the apps lick Picasa and Google mail that are default installed.

  50. Lame… I have a Droid and the test is impossible to read on many of messaging screens. No zoom! This phone is great if you can read it. People with poor eye sight have complained in the forums, and I’ve called Motorola… but there is no solution. They better hope that a lawyer representing visually impaired doesn’t get a wild hare regarding accessibility. Plain and simple… the Droid doesn’t provide any solution for changing text size or zooming in many critical apps. They should really make the multi-touch part of the next update.

  51. Yes, PicSay has Pinch Zoom, but it only works in that program. I think the original statement was that the Droid DOES NOT have multi touch, but I think it meant in other apps.

    By the way I have a Droid and like it, but would love to be able to read some of those screens with small text.

    Just my $0.02

  52. A free app called DOLPHIN BROWSER has the capability to do the “pinch&zoom” such as the iPhone. I highly recommend this app to Droid users.

  53. So what if it didnt? Is it that big a fudcking deal? Do you need pinchzoom for your lief to be complete. weev gone fucking crazy. I love my droid but if it didnt have a pinch zoom efature i wouldnt give a shit. and my rfiends have iphones. thats great for them. i hope theyre happy withthem. I cuold giev 2 shits. Im more worried about making money and gettin gpussy then pinch zooming on my phone. i pinch clits you fucking nerds

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