One of the most common complaints about Google’s new Nexus One is that it lacks native multitouch support. The world’s foremost Android “hacker” Cyanogen has introduced a new Nexus One rom that enables multi-touch support for the “superphone.”
Nexus One owners, at least those who aren’t running into problems receiving tech support, are in for a treat, as multi-touch input is finally possible in the smartphone’s browser.
A developer has modified the Android 2.1 operating system running on the Nexus One to enable multitouch for the device. Though it enables the feature for the Nexus One browser, for now, it is likely to soon become a part of other applications, such as maps. However, Cyanogen has reportedly pledged to add multitouch features to other Nexus One applications in the near future.
It is still unclear why Google will not enable the multi-touch, as the ability is there. Many speculate that it will lead to a patent violation, with Apple controlling most of the patents on the technology.
Earlier this month, Google launched Nexus One as the first smartphone that would be sold by the search company itself, rather than a manufacturing or carrier partner. The Nexus One is designed by HTC and is currently available on T-Mobile’s network for $180 with a two-year contract with T-Mobile. An unsubsidized version of the phone costs $530.
But the lack of multitouch on the Nexus One has left many users puzzled. Nexus One has a touchscreen but users can only tap on it with one finger. So none of the two-finger pinch-and-zoom gestures that are popular among iPhone users are available. Google has said it will consider adding the feature in future updates.
“It’s not exactly clear why the Google Nexus One does not feature multitouch capabilities,” wrote PC World’s Daniel Ionescu. “Some blame it on Apple, which reportedly owns the rights to the technology, while some reports speculate that Apple and Google have a gentleman’s agreement that Google won’t enable this feature.”
Ionescu explained that Nexus One is “noticeably missing” a number of multitouch features, including pinch-to-zoom in the Web browser, maps and software keyboard.
“However, the multitouch hack for the Nexus one enables pinch-to-zoom in the browser and paves the way for gesture use in other apps as well,” added Ionescu.
The Android community, though, isn’t holding its breath. Steve Kondik, a developer who goes under the nickname Cyanogen, has offered a few files and instructions on code to add multitouch to the device.
“You will initially lose your bookmarks and browser settings by doing this,” he warns. Hacking the phone could also void its warranty.
But as this video shows, getting multitouch in the Nexus One browser could just be worth it.
[WARNING]: We’re posting this information for your edification only and cannot endorse rooting your Nexus One, as it may violate your warranty and could damage your phone. Proceed at your own risk!
Source: 901am.com, Gizmodo.com, Mashable.com, TGdaily.com, Wired.com, AndroidCommunity.com