Advanced software helps iPad mini ignore unintended touches near bezel

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
When Apple announced the iPad mini on Tuesday, it made special note of the thin bezel surrounding the device's 7.9-inch screen, a design feature that caused some concern as it may welcome inadvertent touch events during one-handed use.

In order to deal with the thinner bezels, Apple is employing advanced touchscreen software that ignores unintended touch events, such as hitting the side of the display when reading an e-book.

Where the 9.7-inch iPad uses symmetrical bezels around its edges, the iPad mini boasts a design more akin to an iPhone or iPod, with large bezels at the top and bottom of the device and thin bezels flanking the screen. It is thought that Apple needed to enlarge the space above and below the display in order to fit the front-facing FaceTime HD camera and home button.

iPad mini Touches
Source: Apple


From Apple's iPad mini webpage:
For iPad mini, we reduced the width of the bezels on two sides of the display. So although the screen is smaller, it?s even more prominent. Rethinking the screen meant we also had to rethink the software behind it. iPad mini intelligently recognizes whether your thumb is simply resting on the display or whether you?re intentionally interacting with it. It?s the kind of detail you?ll notice ? by not noticing it.
It is unclear how the touchscreen heuristics work, or if they are effective, but Apple seems confident in its software-based solution.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52


    Hmm. Another wrong thing to do. As a developer, now I'd have to make sure I don't have anything actually being used in that space… and only on one model.

  • Reply 2 of 52
    I'm quite sure you can manage.
  • Reply 3 of 52


    Originally Posted by BadFlounder View Post

    I'm quite sure you can manage.


     


    I'm quite sure developers shouldn't have to.

  • Reply 4 of 52
    You don't 'have' to, you can simply ignore the mini and not develop to it. Or you can embrace the growing market base, change your code, and sell me apps.

    I know, I know, tough life. It is on parallel with the great tragedies of this world.

    http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/tech-talk-iphone-5/1420759/
  • Reply 5 of 52
    Go develop somewhere else then.
    Like the android market
  • Reply 6 of 52
    Go develop somewhere else then.
    Like the android market
  • Reply 7 of 52

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    I'm quite sure developers shouldn't have to.



    They go out of their way to make sure apps already written for the ipad2 will run on it, what else do want? How about a little cheese to go with that whine?

  • Reply 8 of 52
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Hmm. Another wrong thing to do. As a developer, now I'd have to make sure I don't have anything actually being used in that space… and only on one model.



    I know that you're not fond of the iPad Mini, something which you've stated more than a few times. But now that it's been revealed and we know that it is an actual product, I guess that you'll just have to accept that it's for real and that it's going to sell like hotcakes. You will be one of the few people who fails to see the value of the iPad Mini, IMO. The 9.7" iPads are great, but I do see the value of having a smaller sized iPad also. It's so damn light, and there are many people out there who would appreciate a smaller and lighter iPad.

  • Reply 9 of 52
    When I first heard about this, I wondered if Apple was able to extend the touch sensor to be beyond the display and into the bezel. If so, it might be able to detect touches that came from a finger overlapping the bezel and the display as opposed to a touch directly to the display. Apps wouldn't need to be modified because the apps wouldn't need to know about the extra touch area ... it would all be handled by the OS.
  • Reply 10 of 52
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,460member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Hmm. Another wrong thing to do. As a developer, now I'd have to make sure I don't have anything actually being used in that space… and only on one model.





    You always have to think design anyways.  You're still monitoring for the touchdown event that iOS sends.  You don't have to do anything special.  Now if you put a button that resides right against the bezel, you'll have to just test that theory.  Sounds to me like Apple set it up so that it can more distinguish the difference between a finger tapping a control vs. one's thumb resting on the bezel.  Either way, you just monitor for the correct touch event.

  • Reply 11 of 52
    irelandireland Posts: 17,729member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Where the 9.7-inch iPad uses symmetrical bezels around its edges...


     


    They are not symmetrical, in landscape they are slightly wider, and for design reasons. Yes, I'm talking about the full-size iPad.

  • Reply 12 of 52
    I have to decide.. ipad mini $329 or ipad 3 for #379... that's a tough one....
  • Reply 13 of 52
    BTW, thanks Apple. Christmas shopping is done!
  • Reply 14 of 52
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jecaron View Post



    I have to decide.. ipad mini $329 or ipad 3 for #379... that's a tough one....


     


    Not a hard choice, IMO. It all depends on what you're going to use it for mainly.


     


    If you're going to be bringing it with you outside a lot, like using it on your commute, reading on a train or subway etc., then get the iPad Mini, as it's much smaller, lighter and easier to hold with one hand.


     


    If you're mainly going to be using it at home, then I would get the Retina iPad.


     


    Or just pop by an Apple store and look at the two side by side. It shouldn't be too hard to figure out. Only you know what you intend to do with them.

  • Reply 15 of 52
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Hmm. Another wrong thing to do. As a developer, now I'd have to make sure I don't have anything actually being used in that space… and only on one model.



     


    Wrong. What a ridiculous assumption.


    Doesn't sound like you're actually a developer. Or certainly not a very good one. You can't even comprehend what the second sentence in the article means.

  • Reply 16 of 52

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by isaidso View Post


     


    Wrong. What a ridiculous assumption.


    Doesn't sound like you're actually a developer. Or certainly not a very good one. You can't even comprehend the second sentence in the article means.



     


    Don't worry he is not. He has no idea what he is talking about as he is purely an Apple troll.

  • Reply 17 of 52
    This is not a new feature of iOS. It works the same on my iPod Touch 4G, still running iOS 5.1.1. There's a margin of about 1/4" on each side that is insensitive, provided the touch region extends to the edge (I can still activate UI elements that lie completely within that zone as long as I don't slop over the edge too far). I don't have my iPad handy but would be surprised if it wasn't the same (perhaps with a larger margin).
  • Reply 18 of 52
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member

    Quote:


    iPad mini intelligently recognizes whether your thumb is simply resting on the display or whether you’re intentionally interacting with it.



    But will your thumb go...


    from here...


     


    to here?


     


    image

  • Reply 19 of 52


    Yeah, I can afford the full sized 3, but am getting the Mini just because I don't need a 10" iPad. Now there are some uses where you need a 10" one, but for what I will be using it for, the Mini is fine.

  • Reply 20 of 52
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Hmm. Another wrong thing to do. As a developer, now I'd have to make sure I don't have anything actually being used in that space… and only on one model.



    Yes—the details are unknown (and I wouldn’t get too upset about unknowns yet) but the article does suggest to me that IF your app depends critically on very small buttons RIGHT at the edge of the screen, which people use by tapping right on the border between screen and bezel, and if those buttons need to respond to a long press (like a resting thumb) as opposed to a normal quick tap, then you’ll have to change that zany scheme OR rely in Apple’s own software to tell the difference, since, as the article says, Apple’s doing that work for you automatically. (And iOS has always done all kinds of automatic “finger helping” behind the scenes—whether we noticed or not.)


     


    But if you do decide to change your long-press edge-buttons, you’re free to change them for ALL models, and I recommend that. You’re not required to change it just for the Mini, so make it easy on yourself!


     


    Remember that we all survived the unsettling change to pull-down notifications. This should be even easier to live with.

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