iPad :: The touch question

by Lennert Dorman on January 30, 2010

When I look back at the presentation the biggest surprise is actually the lack of touch. Let me explain. When Jobs showed the first iPhone he demoed the new touch metaphor, zoom, pinch, swipe etc. etc.

Giving the new size of the screen a whole new set of possible interactions are open. You don’t have to put 2 fingers on a small screen. You now have your full hand with all kinds of possibilities. E.g. I can imagine putting the whole side of your hand on the screen to move to another application. Or have a thumb stay on the screen followed by a finger touching the screen. Irrespective of the stupidity of these ideas there was none of that in the presentation. Jobs still used it as an iPhone. Think that’s also the reason for some letdown. In a way it’s a big iPhone. If he would have shown different touchmodes I’m sure that people would have seen the immediate benefit of the bigger screen. I can see the problem of having two touch metaphors to support. Things which work on the iPad bit don’t work on the iPhone. But still. Would have been so cool.

Update: Here’s an overview of the new multi-touch interactions which were shown during the presentation:
a) they went by fast
b) they didn’t feel as compelling as when Steve introduced the iPhone and just swiped it to unlock. That was amazing.

Next: How will we keep state and switch.