The Google Nexus One is as good as it gets when it comes to Android phones. With the latest Android 2.1 OS and a bevy of high-end hardware features on board – like the 5-megapixel camera, 1Ghz processor, 3.7-inch touchscreen – the Nexus One packs in almost everything a smartphone user could ask for. That is, unless you’re asking for multi-touch. Google, for some reason, didn’t endow their first own-branded smartphone with the multi-touch capabilities that have helped the iPhone carve out a significant slice of the smartphone market. But, there’s hope yet. A newly released “mod” enables multi-touch zooming (pinch zooming) on the N1’s Android web browser, paving the way for custom Nexus One Android ROMs with multi-touch baked in.
We have prolific Android hacker Cyanogen to thank for bringing multi-touch to the N1. At this point, multi-touch is only working in the web browser, but Cyanogen says we’ll eventually see the feature working in other apps in the future.
It’s not clear why Google didn’t enable multi-touch on the Nexus One. There are whispers about Google and Apple having made a back-room deal to keep multi-touch off of Android, but that’s all speculation and hearsay. There’s also the possibility that Google doesn’t want to infringe on Apple’s patents regarding multi-touch. Whatever the reason, multi-touch is a sorely missed feature on the Nexus One.
As you can see from the video below, the pinch-to-zoom feature isn’t as smooth as it is on the iPhone, but it’s a start. We’ll keep you posted on new developments on N1 multi-touch hacks.
You can find the multi-touch hack here. You’ll need to root your N1, so tread carefully.