Palm coins a name for the gesture area tap: "meta-tap" | webOS Nation

Palm coins a name for the gesture area tap: "meta-tap" 29

by Derek Kessler Wed, 10 Feb 2010 4:21 pm EST

Gesture Area

If you aren’t tapping a button on the screen, and you aren’t depressing a physical button on the keyboard, chances are you’re doing something in the gesture area on webOS devices. For the last several months we’ve been talking about “holding in the gesture area and pressing the [x] key” to do certain functions like copy and paste, now Palm has coined a term to make it easier to say. That term is “meta-tap,” which is Palm speak for tap-and-hold in the gesture area. Why change it? For one, it’s a whole heck of a lot shorter to say “meta-tap + C” for copy.

While it has a name, we’re not sure it’s going to catch on any time soon, as "meta-tap" just isn’t very descriptive. Also, technically, wouldn't a meta-tap be tapping the tap itself? What is the sound of one tap tapping? Does the gesture area have the meta-tap nature? Do not confuse the tapping finger with the gesture area. Zen of Palm, indeed.

But at least if you’re reading some Palm literature, now you’ll know what it means. Meta-tap, it’s the future.



Well, webOS exposes the metatap in code with the "metaKey" event variable (also used for Ctrl/Cmd on larger computers).

Makes sense.

Not only that - webOS is based on Linux... so where most key events come from hitting the keyboard, they bound the gesture area to the Meta key. On other keyboards, this would be an actual key:

This is not something that Palm just made up. It's an ancient Unix thing that they borrowed.

I think if they named it:
"The Area Specifically Placed for the Purpose of Performing Special Functions When You Tap, Hold and/or Swipe" - - That would've been a little catchier.
(No wonder they never came up with an official slogan for the Pre or Pixi)

Why not "gesture tap"?

That's perfect.

Hear, hear!

But no, it's meta-tap now.

I vote for gesture tap



Maybe it will catch on. Just look at apple. everybody thought it was a ridiculous name when they coined the little drop down triangles "flippy triangles" but look at it now.

That's at least a descriptive name. Meta-tap, not so much.

I thought they were called "disclosure triangles"

+1 Gesture-tap

Simpler yet, just call it the tap pad. You "Touch" the screen; you "Type" on the Keys; so why not just "Tap" the "Tap Pad"?

I vote for "gesture spot." It could be abbreviated, of course.

The apps that we could see that utilize tapping the g-spot are mind-boggling.

LMAO... nice g-spot reference

omfg man...

cool now patent it and troll those who use it as a way of raising $$ since market share is dropping...

How 'bout G-Tap or "Tap the G-Spot"?

Everyone has been calling it a gesture-x for so long now, they might as well call it a gesture tap. Some homebrew apps and patches have some functionality for a gesture-hold + click, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who has grown used to calling that a gesture-click (such as the patch for gesture-clicking to get the context menu in the browser). Tapping the g-spot sounds good too.

G-Spot + C for copy.

"What is the sound of one tap tapping?"

Cracked me up Derek, luckily I wasn't drinking anything or you probably would of owed me a new laptop (or at least some cleaner for it).

Meta Tap? Really? Palm honestly is quite possibly the LEAST COOL people i've ever come across. They should ban these guys from naming stuff.

What, would you rather it was called the Mega Awesome Extreme HIGH 5 [tm] tap or something?

How is

G-Spot? Sounds delicious... Swipe can also be done by flicking or hard flick... I could only imagine what palm's customer support will say when you want to run an application (I think not yet created) named SQUIRT...

"Maam I need you to flick on your G-Spot to the right or to the left until you see squirt" - Wouldn't it sound dirty?


Just for the record, the developer docs have always called it a meta-tap:

Yeah, I did wonder how this was a story... It's been called meta-tap for quite some time now.

Maybe it's because few apps have used it yet, and most official apps seems to use Orange-tap rather than meta-tap (eg. the app info dialog in launcher)

I know this isn't directly related, but I'm getting pretty frustrated with how I need to open the keyboard to do things like select text, copy and paste (if not using the submenus), etc. These capabilities should be provided without needing to use two hands (or at the least without using screen and keyboard). Windows Mobile (as much as it sucks in comparison to WebOS) at least provides the ability to do a tap-and-hold to bring up the equivalent of a right mouse click menu. If something like that could be used to reduce the using the keyboard and screen I know at least I would be a lot happier.

And completely unrelated, where is voice dialing? That should be available as a third party app or built in to the WebOS by now.