Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Accurate cursor positioning

I like the way they handle cursor positioning in a text box on Android.  The fundamental challenge here is figuring out how to position a 1-pixel wide cursor using a 40-pixel wide finger.

On Android, you touch a spot and the cursor goes there.  Then you get a little bubble that you can drag around for more precise positioning.  This allows you to be accurate without the bubble getting in the way.

On the iPhone, you touch and hold, which displays a magnifying glass showing you a blow-up of the screen.  The magnifying glass lets you see the cursor position more clearly.  The magnifying glass vanishes when you pick up your finger.  The problem I had was that after I released my finger the cursor would be one character to the left or right of where I was.

The magnifying glass isn't a general purpose magnifying glass though.  It only magnifies some parts of the screen while others are mysteriously blank.  The screen on my Droid is bigger, so maybe it doesn't  need the magnifying feature anyway.

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