Galaxy Nexus port geting a new virtual gesture area | webOS Nation

Galaxy Nexus port geting a new virtual gesture area 29

by Derek Kessler Tue, 09 Oct 2012 8:38 pm EDT

Galaxy Nexus port geting a new virtual gesture area

The Open webOS porting project to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is moving along. We've already seen the port in action, and while still a work in progress, that code has been released for public hackery. There's plenty of work yet to be done to get Open webOS running well on the Galaxy Nexus, but that doesn't mean the developers working on the port aren't going to make some improvements along the way too.

Case in point, a video posted today by WebOS Ports showing off a newly-implemented virtual gesture area on the Galaxy Nexus running Open webOS. If you'll recall, Open webOS is from the user interface perspective essentially the same thing as webOS 3.0.5 on the TouchPad. And there's something the TouchPad is missing that those of us that are webOS phone users have come to know, love, and cherish: the gesture area.

Alas, the Galaxy Nexus does not have an extension of its touch panel below the screen like our beloved Pre, Pixi, and Veer smartphones. But that doesn't mean the gesture area is something we're going to have to live without. Even though we expect Open webOS 1.0 will work just fine on a Galaxy Nexus without a gesture area, there's something to be said for the one-handed operation such an addition permits.

And with all the expansive screen real estate that comes with the Galaxy Nexus, creating a virtual gesture area wouldn't be stealing away too many pixels. It's worth noting that when Samsung and Google were designing the Galaxy Nexus, they did it without hardware buttons on the chin (the Galaxy Nexus being the first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone, and thus having virtual navigation buttons instead of physical), so the margin under the screen is fairly narrow, meaning a virtual gesture area wouldn't be too far up from where we'd expect it to be.

So create a virtual gesture area did @ShiftyAxel do. Right now it just serves to emulate the swipe-up behavior present on the TouchPad, which is a start. As WebOS Ports chief Tom King noted in response to a comment about the lack of the expected back gesture on the YouTube video, "Rome wasn't built in a day...takes time to implement "features"." Indeed, it does, and this is just pre-alpha at this point (they're not even releasing the code yet it's so early). But progress is progress, and we'll take that any day.

Video after the break.


So fast!!!
But seriously, as a former day one Palm Pre owner and current unlocked GSM Gnex owner, I'm really excited. Can't wait to see this in a more useable form. Keep up the good work!!!

One word. Awesome. I wish that for just one party day I had the talent these guys (and gals) have.

This is fills me with so much hope, if a small group can do this part time in what weeks, think of the small amount of effort it would take a true dev team to pump some Web OS love into a device and have it day use ready...

Keep up with the amazing work guys!

I wonder if it will be possible for them to implement the phone ui. This strikes me as a wasted effort if the phone ui isn't hiding in the open webos code somewhere.

Here's hoping. I would really love to have webos on a phone again.

If you're an Android phone fan, give Paranoid Android a try. It allows you to merge phone and tablet in interesting ways. Starting to figure out that tablet ui is surprisingly functional as a phone. As long as you can use phone app, it's a phone.

Seriously! It's so much improved from the first video! Is there a place where those of use with dull day jobs can learn to do stuff like this?! You guys rock!

Awesome! Keep up the incredible work everyone. Amazing work is being done here by what I consider a true developer team!

wow you guys rock. These new devices are still too big for me but now this real estate is used in a reasonable way :D

where was the donation button again?

That thing is already faster than my pre- was


They say they want to port Open webOS on small and large devices, but stealing pixels for an empty gesture area goes in the opposite direction with regard to small screens. There are wonderful phones like the HTC ChaCha with a very low resolution. Think about MP3 players, too. Why don't they use the Quick Launch Bar as a gesture area? The only ambiguity in input interpretation would be when the user taps and holds an icon of the Quick Launch Bar. It would be simple to solve.
Ok, I know there would still be problems and ambiguities when a card is maximized (for example to close a card), but they may just let the user (or the guy who installs Open webOS) choose whether he wants a gesture area in the maximized cards or not. The user could for example revert to using physical keys (if any) when a card is maximized, without any gesture area. If you have a TouchPad in an iPad case, then you understand what I mean.
However, thanks to the Open webOS team.

Most android devices have the buttons at the bottom and these can be repurposed, so if they have capacitive buttons those stop being buttons and are used as the gesture area instead. If you get what I mean.

I get it. I wrote "physical buttons", but using capacitive buttons (like those on the HTC ChaCha) would be good, too.

Anyone have their donation link?


"Hurray!" for webOS gesture areas!

Sweetness! The guys who put this together must be commended!! The potential here is awesome. Obviously there are things that need to be refined in its current state, but that is to be expected. Can't wait to see to see this in a "release" form.

Well! Amazing work is being done here by what I consider a true developer team! Any body test this on iPhone 5 ?

Nice! Can you show us how the keyboard looks?

Geting? Someone seriously needs to proof read....

But this is excellent news. Now I only have one other thing on my wish list - a portrait slider that can run open webos.



omg I cant wait!

keep up the good work you guys!

Amazing. I just switched to the dark side with my recent upgrade (apple) and I must say webOS is just plain better on the surface. iPhone has a ton of very refined features but it is frustrating having to take another two to three steps for simple functions webOS is able to do in one.
The ultimate would be webOS on an iPhone, but I will gladly sell my iPhone once this Galaxy becomes prime time. Missin webOS

Got to agree with you spooledup7. I'm using an ipad from work and I can't stand the way iOS has done multitasking. It really is lame after using webos for 2.5 years. Our ipads are communal and I was surprised when I did the 4 finger multitask gesture that reveals all the open apps. There must have been 20 apps that people had left open! No one bothers to close them because it's such a hassle. That wouldn't happen in webos. It's actually fun for us to close apps! IOS reminds me of my old PalmOS devices of which I had 4 (palm IIIe, zire 72, T2 and Tungsten) Start a program back out of it, open another program etc., So last decade! It's the apps that are the saving grace of this turd of an OS. Give me webos with the iOS app count and all will be right in the world.

I have own all of the Webos phones and they are great. I have a pre3 and love it. However, it is the lack of apps or the update to the apps I have. It is great that they can port Webos to different hardware. Keep up the good work, of porting open Webos to different hardware. Such a wonderfull OS, with no apps that is the most fustrating part, the lack of developers. Which I really don't blame the developers for why take the time to write a application if there is nobody using the platform. I just hope that maybe this opensource project will grab the some of the major players attention in the mobile industry.

This is so wrong.. I can't even watch this.

does anyone know if OpenWebOS supports swipe back and foward gestures still or if its just like the touch pad version with back buttons everywhere?