Google has issued a software update for its Nexus One smartphone, patching a few notable issues. Perhaps most welcome of these updates is the introduction of more intuitive multi-touch controls in more applications.
When Google first launched the Nexus One, it was generally received well, and seen to be a very fine device indeed, though among fans the lack of some fairly simple multi-touch controls that many knew the device was capable of was somewhat baffling. Now though, Google has addressed those concerns with the announcement of its most recent update to the Nexus One on its Nexus One Board. Those gesture controls that were missing, namely the altogether very usable “pinch-to-zoom” have now been added to the device’s Browser, Gallery and Maps applications.
It’s nice to see Google pushing out support for the Nexus One that ensure it performs a little more like some other multi-touch smartphones, most notably Apple’s iPhone. Of course, many have seen this move as Google’s next big step in the direction of the iPhone, making the UI a little more attractive. Indeed, the folks over at TechCrunch have been quick to say that this is a sign that, between Apple and Google, the gloves are pretty much officially off.
Rumour has it that there had been a “gentleman’s agreement” between the two that certain iPhone associated functionality (pinch-to-zoom included) wouldn’t be replicated in Android, an agreement with which Google now seems to be finished.
Certainly it’s bit of a shift, but considering the fact that other Android apps have been taking advantage of the device’s multi-touch already (in the browser space in particular) it seems as though not implementing pinch-to-zoom generally would have very much been a case of bolting the door after the horse had long fled.