It seems that Nokia N800 users have a bad case of you-know-what envy. First they recreated the iPhone's virtual keyboard (sans predictive text) and now they're after the iconic kinetic scrolling method. Written in Python, the code is due out "soonish" for N800 users. [JKOntheRun]
LLOYD and whomever wants to keep WHINING... yeah, give it to Apple and shut up already about it already. System wide (meaning that I can use it in my browser, mail, photos, coverflow, contact lists, etc), I'll defy you to find another mobile device prior to January 2007 that implemented a "flick" scrolling gesture UI (put up, or shut it).
One of the *reasons* for Apple's precedent (gosh, golly, there are reasons???), is that Apple and LG are one of the first companies to begin bringing "projected capacitive touchscreens" to the mobile platform. LG Prada, however, as we know, didn't go for this type of "scrolling" interface though.
What's that mean? It means that most "touch-screen" mobile devices were previously "resistive touch", and required "pressure" to activate the screen, as opposed to light brushes", as noted in this USA Today article (hey, you didn't expect to just take my word for it did you?)
"We've been doing touch screens for a long time, but this generation of touch screens is definitely breathing new life into the experience," said Todd Achilles, vice president of HTC America. "They're more accurate, more responsive, and you can get what you want to do on the first click."
"Light brushes" is what makes this type of interface consistant and useful. "Projective capactive" means that the screen knows you're touching it before you actually make physical contact (this sensitivity being why Apple needed to couple this with a proximity sensor to deactivate it). If you have to apply "pressure" (like a stylus), the scrolling interface quickly becomes problematic enough to be "gimmicky" (less useful that it is interesting). That initial moment of pushing your finger down enough to "register" before flicking, is somewhat difficult (as witnessed in this video... you'll notice how he only tries to effect the screen with his fingernail NEVER with the tip/flat of his finger).
It's a little disappointing to listen to the parade of morons trying to re-write history for their HATE of the iPhone. It's great you can "ape" an interface that is at home on a projected capacitive touchscreen for resistive touchscreen users. Its cute, really. Most people will stick to their N800's stylus though for a reason... not using fingernails to do interestingly deceptive video demos. Even after you get the feedback technology, you have to contend with the OS responsiveness.
This video always cracks me up: