Moving Around Text

I revisit how to delicately move the cursor when faced with just a touch screen.

Matthew Carruth
2 min read

I mentioned in my Centro comparison post that I wish the hardware designers had worked a way into the Pre to better facilitate moving the cursor around. It did turn out that there was a supposed keyboard shortcut to do this, holding down the orange button would turn the touchscreen into more of a 4-way touch wheel.

Now, as a hack, that works out okay, but it comes across as far inferior to a good native solution designed around the intended functionality. For one, the cursor still jumps around too much for my tastes. I am most often using it to correct a typo in a text message and thus I am able to touch the cursor to the general area in normal mode and then I would like the touch wheel mode to be used to get into the precise spot. Therefore, I would prefer it to be a bit more slow to move.

Another touch screen keyboard hack has to do with the highlighting of text, nominally for use with the cut, copy and paste actions. You highlight text by pressing the shift key and then scrolling with your finger, much like with moving the cursor above. However, again it comes across a little wonky with the highlighted selection dropping sometimes and it can have some trouble handling multiple lines of text at times.

Both of these are somewhat minor complaints, again, but hey, it is boring to write about how awesome the 95% of what the phone gets right is.