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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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In a report published late last week and gaining significant attention today, MOTO shares the results of some simple testing conducted on the iPhone, Motorola Droid, HTC Droid Eris, and Google Nexus One, assessing the accuracy of the touchscreens on the devices. According to the study, the iPhone's touchscreen performs relatively well, offering precise straight-line tracking under both light and medium pressure, although it does exhibit loss of sensitivity at the screen's edges.

In comparison, the Droid Eris and Nexus One, which share a touch controller chip, perform well under medium pressure, including at the edges, but falter somewhat under light pressure. Motorola's Droid, however, exhibits significant waviness and "stairstepping" under both light and heavy pressure, indicating inaccuracies in the tracking process.


120016-touchscreen_testing_500.jpg


The testing procedure simply involves installing a drawing program on the device and then slowly tracing straight lines across the device's screen to assess how well the system is able to track finger movements.

MOTO has also published a video demonstrating how the testing was performed, although the video shows an original iPhone while the presented results include a newer-generation iPhone. The Nexus One is also not included in the video presentation, as it was unavailable for the initial round of testing.



Article Link: Touchscreen Accuracy: iPhone Compares Favorably to Other Smartphones
 

Michael73

macrumors 65816
Feb 27, 2007
1,081
41
I've never had too many problems with the touch screen except for one persistent problem. For some reason, when I'm on the phone with someone I have a hard time enabling the speaker. It's extremely finicky...it's always been that way and in just that use case. I cannot use the tip of my finger, only the bottom (larger) part where my finger print is. Anyone else have the same experiences?
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,314
33
Theres a bunch of fallacies to this test. Differences in painting software between devices, and how the touch input is interpreted and interpolated.

Nope. Read the details.

Grrr submitted the story yesterday to MB...
 

kolax

macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
9,181
115
Theres a bunch of fallacies to this test. Differences in painting software between devices, and how the touch input is interpreted and interpolated.

I'm curious as to how the Motorola has perfectly wavey lines... I'd have thought they'd be not straight, but not such a perfect pattern like that.
 

itcomesinwaves

macrumors member
Jul 2, 2003
84
14
Theres a bunch of fallacies to this test. Differences in painting software between devices, and how the touch input is interpreted and interpolated.

It's true. You'd think that someone could use the same program on all 3 android phones. Are there any cross platform (iPhone/Android) drawing apps?
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,314
33
I'm curious as to how the Motorola has perfectly wavey lines... I'd have thought they'd be not straight, but not such a perfect pattern like that.

I've tested my iPhone 3gs. Same result as the 2007 iPhone.

It'll be easy to replicate the test by anyone for the other phones. Therefore do you think they would falsify the result and put their reputation at risk?
 

itcomesinwaves

macrumors member
Jul 2, 2003
84
14
I'm curious as to how the Motorola has perfectly wavey lines... I'd have thought they'd be not straight, but not such a perfect pattern like that.

Just guessing, because I don't know the tech behind it, but it seems like the drawing recognition system (whether it be hardware or software) has a problem with diagonal lines. So when you try to draw a diagonal line it attempts to autocorrect and 'waves' back and forth between horizontal and vertical...
 

ChazUK

macrumors 603
Feb 3, 2008
5,390
24
Essex (UK)
What's with the loss of sensitivity at the edge of the iPhone? At medium pressure there is not much in it but it seems the Droid Eris (which is basically a re branded Hero) and Nexus One has better edge sensitivity.

Despite the test I can't say I've ever had an issue with the touchscreen on either the iPhone 3G or my Hero. Both work fine.
 

bobsentell

macrumors 6502a
Nov 14, 2008
836
0
Alabama
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

Fascinating, but this story is at least four days old.
In any case, this problem can be fixed on the other devices with a single chip replacement. Hardly an example of superior Apple engineering.
But the next time I have a need to draw diagonal lines, I'll keep this under consideration.
 

DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,190
691
I don't think anyone should really argue about the iPhone's Touchscreen.

It is very good, I don't see how it could be improved.
 

cmaier

Suspended
Jul 25, 2007
25,407
33,453
California
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

Fascinating, but this story is at least four days old.
In any case, this problem can be fixed on the other devices with a single chip replacement. Hardly an example of superior Apple engineering.
But the next time I have a need to draw diagonal lines, I'll keep this under consideration.

LOL. Which chip?
 

GenesisST

macrumors 68000
Jan 23, 2006
1,770
905
Where I live
I've never had too many problems with the touch screen except for one persistent problem. For some reason, when I'm on the phone with someone I have a hard time enabling the speaker. It's extremely finicky...it's always been that way and in just that use case. I cannot use the tip of my finger, only the bottom (larger) part where my finger print is. Anyone else have the same experiences?

Now that you mention it, I have the same thing. I don't think it is related to the touch screen, though. My guess is that they're doing something in the UI thread that they shouldn't and makes is a bit non-responsive.

Still annoying...
 

saMac

macrumors newbie
Oct 13, 2008
21
0
What's with the loss of sensitivity at the edge of the iPhone? At medium pressure there is not much in it but it seems the Droid Eris (which is basically a re branded Hero) and Nexus One has better edge sensitivity.

probably due to the device's calculating the centroid of the fingerpad contact area. when the higher-pressure (thus larger) contact area starts moving off the sensing boundary, the shape and size of the contact area change.
 

aristotle

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2007
1,768
5
Canada
It's true. You'd think that someone could use the same program on all 3 android phones. Are there any cross platform (iPhone/Android) drawing apps?
Sorry but the app has very little to do with how the OS is interpreting the sensor data and returning the data back to through the API.

You could argue that the the Android API has issues but the problems appear to be be hardware and driver related.

More excuses from Android fanboys.
 

John Dillinger

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2007
172
0
Interestingly

The 'lack' of sensitivity on my hero/droid eris is actually something i PREFER compared to my iphone... its not like were talking capacitive nvs resistive, but i much prefer the smoothness/requiring slightly added weight when scrolling... iphone feels flimsier. plus android scrolls through pages WAY faster than iphone... been proven many times. Results dont surprise me:) What are others who have tried both thoughts??
 

cmaier

Suspended
Jul 25, 2007
25,407
33,453
California
The 'lack' of sensitivity on my hero/droid eris is actually something i PREFER compared to my iphone... its not like were talking capacitive nvs resistive, but i much prefer the smoothness/requiring slightly added weight when scrolling... iphone feels flimsier. plus android scrolls through pages WAY faster than iphone... been proven many times. Results dont surprise me:) What are others who have tried both thoughts??

Wow. Now that's fanboy-style-justification going on right there. I doubt the faster scrolling has anything to do with the gross inaccuracy of movement tracking.
 

GenesisST

macrumors 68000
Jan 23, 2006
1,770
905
Where I live
Sorry but the app has very little to do with how the OS is interpreting the sensor data and returning the data back to through the API.

Totally agree here.

You could argue that the the Android API has issues but the problems appear to be be hardware and driver related.

First thing: I'm an iPhone user.

I work on Android projects theses and although I really like the Android SDK, I've yet to see a really good phone that supports it. Note the soft's fault in any case. The touch screens I've seen are not up to par with the iPhone's,
but I never cleaned my dev phones... ever...

I would love to see Android run on a iPhone, though.
(Start crucifying me...)

More excuses from Android fanboys.

I hate fanboys... Mac fanboys the 2nd most... (linux FB being the worst in my opinion) and I love my mac...
 

/dev/toaster

macrumors 68020
Feb 23, 2006
2,477
246
San Francisco, CA
I have played around with a lot of touch screens including the droid and I can tell you that the iPhone is still far better. Especially when it comes down to typing on the virtual keyboard.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
The reverse could be true as well:

The other screens could be _more_ sensitive (with higher resolution) and thus are showing the actual oscillation of a finger slowly moving along different surfaces... similar to what happens with fingerprints on the rim of a glass making a tone.

Not enough info in this obvious publicity ploy.
 

miketcool

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2003
914
345
California
Wait, what did this test prove?

A) One touchscreen is more sensitive then another by showing correct lines.

or

B) One handset uses a lower sampling rate and produces lines that appear more straight but are less accurate.

Wouldn't we need a "mechanical" finger to test this? I draw diagonal lines in several of my Android games and never get the stair stepping, even at slow speed. I have also seen things dragged all the way to the edges of a screen on the iPhone. I don't find this particular test to be very accurate.
 

WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2007
2,628
1,780
The reverse could be true as well:

The other screens could be _more_ sensitive (with higher resolution) and thus are showing the actual oscillation of a finger slowly moving along different surfaces... similar to what happens with fingerprints on the rim of a glass making a tone.

Not enough info in this obvious publicity ploy.

I don't see how those could be the actual oscillation of a finger making a good faith attempt at drawing a straight line, unless the tester has tardive dyskinesia or Parkinson's.
 
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