Touch screen

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This article is a stub. You can help Deskthority by expanding it. A touch screen is a display screen with a touch-sensitive surface.

Touch screen keyboards

Many devices with touch screens offer a on-screen virtual keyboard, instead of, or as an alternative to an external keyboard with physical keys.

On many devices, the space is limited, and the keyboards are cramped. Almost all keyboards are in QWERTY, but it is unfortunately very common that rows are somewhat transposed so that keys are not laid out in the correct columns.

Unlike on physical keyboards, virtual keyboards have software-defined layout and legends. This means that there can be more layers available. There are also several third-party software keyboards for e.g. Android and iOS.

Windows 7

Keys are not full size, but the key spacing follows the QWERTY standard.

Windows 8

There is an optional split keyboard intended to be typed with both thumbs. The keys are small like on a phone.

Apple iOS

The keyboard on the Apple iPhone is more cramped. The keyboard on the Apple iPad has non-standard columns, but there is a split option. The split keyboard divides the keys on screen correctly in keys for the left and right hand, but it also senses key presses for keys such as T and B on the opposite hand's side without displaying them.

Third-party keyboards

Shena'Fu's Ergonomic Layouts

Main article: Shena'Fu's touch keyboard layouts

Shena'Fu designed a bunch of alternative layouts for the open-source Anysoftkeyboard app for Android.

The main philosophy behind these layouts is to put the most common letters in the best positions. Each layout may be best used for different usage style, such as 1-finger or stylus typing, 2-thumb typing, swiping, twyping (combination of typing and swiping), etc.


Touch screen gestures

Basic one-finger gestures

Gesture Apple iOS Blackberry Palm WebOS Microsoft
Windows 7 phone Windows 7 Windows 8 (Metro)
Tap Invoke, Select, Position cursor Invoke Invoke, Position cursor Invoke, Stop list from scrolling Select, Position cursor Invoke
Double tap Toogle magnification Toggle magnification Toggle magnification Invoke
Tap and hold Information bubble Options Enter "reorder mode" Show context menu Right click Information bubble
Swipe (list direction) Scroll Scroll Scroll Scroll Scroll Scroll
Swipe (orthogonal to list) Scroll Scroll Delete item Scroll Scroll Select/unselect item
Drag (list orientation) Pan Pan Pan Pan Pan Pan
Drag (orthogonal to list) Pan Pan Delete item Pan Pan Move item

Basic two-finger gestures

Gesture iOS Blackberry WebOS Windows 7 phone Windows 7 Windows 8 (Metro)
Tap (simultaneous) Toggles magnification
Tap (one finger after the other) Right click
Swipe Pan
Spread Zoom in Zoom in Zoom in Zoom in Zoom in Zoom in, visually or semantically
Pinch Zoom out Zoom out Zoom out Zoom out Zoom out Zoom out, visually or semantically
Rotate Rotate Rotate Rotate Rotate

One-finger swipe, outside-in across border

Gesture iOS Blackberry WebOS Windows 7 phone Windows 7 Windows 8 (Metro)
From top edge App settings Show/hide more controls
From bottom edge Home screen (unlock) App switcher Show/hide more controls
From left edge Switch to app on the left Switch to app on the left Cycle to next app. Short swipe to flip between apps, drag into screen to use.
From right edge Switch to app on the right Switch to app on the right Show "Charms" bar
From top left corner Show status bar
From top right corner Show status bar
From bottom left corner Show keyboard
From bottom right corner (app-specific)

One-finger swipe, inside-out across border

Gesture iOS Blackberry WebOS Windows 7 phone Windows 7 Windows 8 (Metro)
To top edge Quit application Quit application


Sources

.. and various videos on Youtube of the HP TouchPad (WebOS) and Blackberry Playbook

References