Google is planning to ship an over-the-air update to Nexus One devices to add support for the multitouch pinch-and-zoom gesture in a number of applications, including the Web browser.
he search company has made a lot of progress in boosting Android's functional parity relative to Apple's iPhone OS, but support for multitouch, which users increasingly view as an essential capability for touchscreen devices, was one of the last major gaps in the Android feature set.
There has been a lot of speculation about why Google has previously declined to include the feature, despite its appearance in some European handsets that run Android. It seemed likely that Apple's multitude of patents on the underlying technology of the iPhone was the primary reason. Google contends, however, that previous Android devices simply didn't have the computing power to handle pinch-and-zoom.
In a statement sent to ReadWriteWeb, the search giant says that the Nexus One, with its more powerful 1Ghz Snapdragon processor, is the first Android device that can handle the load.
"Unlike past devices, these phones have the processing power to deliver pinch-to-zoom, while still providing a great user experience," a Google spokesperson told RRW.
Source: ars technica