Pinching and zooming on the Nexus One

The addition of multitouch fixes one of the Nexus One's biggest flaws. We gave it a spin and were impressed by just how will it worked.

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We cheated a little, but we couldn't wait until Google flipped the switch to deliver this week's software update to our Nexus One. We just had to have that mutlitouch, so we grabbed the update online and loaded it on our phone. It involves a few steps (Android Forums has an easy guide), but we were all set after about five minutes.

Indeed, the addition of multitouch fixes one of the Nexus One's biggest flaws. We gave it a spin and were impressed by just how well it worked. Like on the iPhone and the Droid Eris, we could zoom in on a Web page or Google map by spreading our fingers or by double tapping. And to zoom out, we pinched our fingers together. The motion was smooth and we experienced no lag time or jerky effects. Now we just need that feature on all Google Android phones.

Beyond multitouch the update added the Google Goggles feature, which suggests Web pages based on photographs you take of an object or text with the Nexus One's camera. It is relatively effective , though it is not without its limitations. After photographing a National Geographic cover, we got a number of relevant suggestions, though most were in Japanese. Also, when we took a photo of the Australian flag, it suggested only links for the United Kingdom flag. That's close enough, we guess.

Google also promised that the update will fix the widespread 3G issues with the Nexus One. We haven't had any problems on that front, so we're not noticing an improvement so far. In the Google Maps feature, you'll also get a night mode, search suggestions, and syncing of your favorite places between your phone and your computer.

And while you're reading about the Nexus One, why not check out our Prizefight between it and the iPhone 3GS?

About the author

Senior Managing Editor Kent German leads the CNET Reviews editors in San Francisco. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he still writes about the wireless industry and occasionally his passion for commercial aviation.

 

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