touchscreen

Windows 8 is an operating system that was without a doubt designed with touch screens at its center focus point. Many laptops and all-in-one PCs are finally designating multi-touch displays as standard instead of an add-on, but what about the desktop user still using a tower style PC? There are a variety of touchscreen monitors out on the market and today we are going to take a look at what is being said to being one of the best – Acer’s T272HL.

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A few months ago, Lenovo announced their new Flex series of touch screen machines, the Flex 14 and Flex 15. While the line does offer up to the latest generation Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 GB SSD, the Flex machines were not designed to be the hottest machines on the block – they were designed to fit a budget and came in at a starting price of $429. Now, Lenovo is back with another Flex model unit, the Flex 10.

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Today at the joint Nokia and Microsoft event held in New York it was announced that the Lumia 920 and 820 would have the inclusion of Synaptics “Super Sensitive Touch” touch screen enhancements. The technology enables the new Lumia phones to correctly register touches even when the user is wearing gloves or using just their fingernails.

The demo given on stage had Nokia senior vice president Kevin Shields wearing a huge pair of skiing gloves He was easily able to unlock the screen and bring up the recent calls list during the demo. A current limitation of many smartphones is the failure to register any touch at all unless its finger input.

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Well, you found us out. Deep down in our heart of hearts, we don't like resistive touchscreens. And we don't like you if you do. Yep. That's our big secret. (For those keeping score at home, we also don't like broccoli, counties that don't follow Daylight Savings Time, and drivers who use the parking brake on level roads.)

Folks, let's everybody take a deep breath here. Buried within an announcement of a new phone was a brief parenthetical stating that the device (unfortunately) had a resistive touchscreen. Why is this "unfortunate?" Because as the rest of the smartphone world supports capacitive screens, Windows Mobile still does not. iPhone? Yep. Android? Got it. Palm's webOS? Sure thing. (As to whatever evil creature was sacrificed to create BlackBerry's touchscreen, well ...)

If there's one thing we Windows Mobile fans are particularly proud of, it's that our operating system of choice covers just about every permutation of phone out there. Keyboard/no keyboard. Umpteen different screen resolutions at a number of DPIs. D-pad/no D-pad. 3.5mm headphone jack/stupid proprietary adapte -- well, certainly we're all on the same page on that one, right?

Point is, it doesn't matter whether you think capacitive touchscreens are better than resistive. Different strokes for different folks. We're really not advocating one way or another. It's your phone. Hell, my daily driver doesn't even have a touchscreen, so there. It's unfortunate that current Windows phones (and upcoming phones, at least for a while longer) don't have the option of using either capacitive or resistive touchscreens. That deprives you, the user, or the choice. And if you want to put up with that, well, you know where to go.

Now that we all have our knickers untwisted, sound off in the poll below, and then yell at us some more in the comments.

Fess up - capacitive screens? Or Resistive screens?(opinion)
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Your fingers are too fat for HTC

Your body isn't good enough for HTC. That is, according to a patent filed last year by the smartphone manufacturer. The patent covers a magnetic stylus for capacitive touchscreens that "is controlled by the stylus through magnetism of the head."

Interestingly, the patent references HTC's biggest competitor, the iPhone, to describe a capacitive screen. Anyhoo, the patent goes on to discuss that the UI must be designed with the finger in mind, and our fat little digits can get in the way.

In order to cater to the user's operation mode of using a finger, icons displayed on a screen must be configured in an appropriate size to prevent the user from miss touching the icons. Furthermore, a part of the screen is often shielded by finger of the user when the capacitive touch panel is used. Moreover, a conventional stylus has a small head, so that a user can click small icons conveniently, but the conventional stylus is only applicable to resistive touch panels, but not applicable to capacitive touch panels.

So how's it work?

The head of the stylus of the present application is magnetic. Therefore, when a relative speed exists between the head and the capacitive touch panel, an inducting current is generated on the capacitive touch panel. Then, the capacitive touch panel calculates a position where the inducting current is generated according to the inducting current. Thus, the stylus can control the capacitive touch panel.

Cool stuff. Maybe we'll get to see it when Windows Mobile, ya know, supports capacitive touchscreens. Check out the full patent here. [via wmpoweruser]

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Why AMOLED? Why not!

Let's have some alphabet soup. You know what an LED is. That's Light Emitting Diode. Usually you see them as little indicator lights and now as part of computer monitor backlights. Then there's OLED. That's Organic LED. Kinda self-explanatory in that there's organic material in there. OLEDs are thinner and use less power (and thus battery life). But they're still rather expensive.

And then there's AMOLED. Active-Matrix OLED screens use even less power. Colors are more crisp. They can be flexible. They pretty much mean you're not messing around. Don't ask questions. You want one.

And above is an even better description from Samsung VP Omar Khan, who should know a thing or three about displays in cell phones, given that the just-announced Omnia Pro and Omnia II have AMOLED screens.

Via wmpoweruser

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Last month Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer raised a bit of a ruckus (OK, when does he not) when discussing capacitive touchscreens and how he doesn't believe the iPhone uses them in a way that keeps the phone price economical.

Needless to say, many of you scoffed – nay, you were outraged – over the idea that Windows Mobile still doesn't support capacitive touchscreens simply because it costs too much. (And more than a few of you could care less, and that's OK, too.)

But fear not, loyal reader. We're here today to tell you that we believe capacitive touch is coming to Windows Mobile. We don't expect to see it with Windows Mobile 6.5, but it's probably coming thereafter. Our reasoning, after the break.

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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer just had a chat with BusinessWeek, and All Things Digital's Peter Kafka was a fly on the wall for the event. He paraphrased the chat, which we'll boil down even further here.

On smartphones: Expects the market to grow to 70 or 80 percent the next few years. "So what will people want? Good experience built in, without downloading stuff. [Eds note: You're allowed to chuckle here] You want good price range." Sweet spot is $150 to $200, but they want to "make Windows phones up and down the price scale."

On "touch" and the iPhone: "Windows Mobile 6.5 has touch on it. The way Apple does touch drives cost. The way they do it on the iPhone is not an inexpensive component. We’ll do it in a way that you can afford to do it on most phones."

[That could very well be the best reason why we haven't seen capacitive-touch Windows phones yet. It just costs too darn much. And by "best" we mean huh?]

On the upcoming retail stores: "It is a challenge today for our partners, who do the most innovative designs, to get them to market. Because it’s too high risk for the Best Buys of the world. So we need an outlet to champion that innovation. Showcase devices that are hard to get stocked in traditional electronics retailer."

Hit up the full Q&A for more on Microsoft and cloud services, whether the Ballmer family indulges in any Apple gadgets, and what life's like without Bill Gates at work every day.

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Align your touchscreen automatically

I've gotta admit I've never really understood (though I'm sure I'll be corrected in the comments) just why a touchscreen has to be manually aligned after a hard-reset. For as high-tech as our phones are, its accuracy relies on my steady hand? That's no good. I certainly don't have a surgeon's touch, thanks to all the caffeine, nicotine and a few other -ines that got me through law school late nights blogging.

But, like with so many things in life, the folks at XDA Developers have us covered with AutoAlign Screen, which conveniently enough, will automatically align your screen. As XDA member azharsunny puts it, you'll save time, precisely calibrate your screen, and keep you from digging out that stylus. 

The cab files currently are for the HTC Touch HD & Sony Ericsson Xperia X1, HTC Touch Pro and HTC Touch Diamond only.

Edit: Looks like some people are having problems with the app. Be sure to back up your phone before first (which you should have done anyway). Consider yourselves warned.

Via pocketnow

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