The webOS Wish List: Refined cursor placement | webOS Nation

The webOS Wish List: Refined cursor placement 7

by Derek Kessler Wed, 15 Feb 2012 4:36 pm EST

The webOS Wish List: Refined cursor placement

You're typing away on your TouchPad, pounding out a good paragraph or two in response to an email from the boss. You look it over, noticing that you wrote horde instead of horse, and you're not certain Carl would appreciate being compared to a band of barbarian warriors. No problem, it's just one letter, an easy fix. You tap on the screen, right above the d. The cursor lands after the s. You tap again and it's after the e. Another tap puts the cursor a llne above, smack in the middle of the word interspace… wait, that's supposed to be interstate.

If you own a TouchPad and have typed, well, anything on the tablet, you've run into this situation. Truth is, for as awesome as the webOS 3.0 virtual keyboard is, webOS is lacking so pathetically in cursor placement that even the BlackBerry Playbook is laughing at us.

iOS lets the user tap-hold-and-drag to pop up a magnifying loupe to refine their cursor placement. Windows Phone users can move the cursor just by tap-hold-drag. Android can be a bit of a crapshoot, with some phones have physical or virtual arrow keys on their keyboards, others requiring you tap-tap-tap like a TouchPad to get the cursor where you want it (Android 4.0 supports tap-and-drag, but with only one device out so far it's hard to say what other manufacturers will do). Heck, even our good ole' Pre, Pixi, and Veer smartphones have cursor placement, albeit by the less-than-obvious hold-opt-and-drag method.

Our enterprising homebrew community took the initiative to address this problem by adding arrow keys to the TouchPad keyboard, but the average user shouldn't have to resort to patching their device to address a fairly regular occurrence. We'd honestly be perfectly fine with a Windows Phone-style tap-hold-drag implementation, no fancy loupe or bubble required. But if you want to get fancy, we won't argue, so long as it works.

Have your own thoughts on this webOS Wish List entry? Of course you do - the comments are below. Surely you have your own ideas as to what ought be on the webOS wish list, and so we've created a forum thread just for what has proven to be an awesome discussion.



This is so needed!! It is a pain to fix errors unless I have the Bluetooth keyboard connected. Gah!!!

better duck Derek. You complimented something ios. The faithful may stone you. lol. But seriously i have to agree. I was highly impressed by how much better copy and paste is implemented on ios. i'd totally steal it. it's pretty self explanatory, the cursor zoom, in the picture above, is really useful. I actually love the bubbles. i can't speak for android or windows as i haven't really used this feature in those systems, only webos and ios. but i also liked how in ios when you tap on most text regardless of application it highlights a bunch of text with these dots on all sides and you can easily press the dots and slide them to make sure you grab the exact amount of text. I always found it hard to precisely grab sentences or make sure i stopped that yellow highlight in the right spot on webos. it tended to overshoot or undershoot or grab the next word. I'm not sure if that's a function of my screen not being very responsive but it was an issue.

After using an iPhone for the last few month's, this is the one thing that I really like about it.

true dat.

Yes! This is so needed!!

Definitely a needed feature.. BUT 3.0.5 can be much improved with Preware:
- "Arrows (right corner) Keyboard Layout"
...with arrow keys you don't have to touch precisely where you need to type, cut, copy and paste... hit near where you want and arrow to the precise point!
...up/down arrow allows scrolling back in text windows on those occasional web pages where normal touch and drag within the text box does not scroll the text.

WISH the "edit" option was standard in all app pull-downs (upper left corner pull down). I continually find web sites that work very poorly or not at all with the "touch" select/cut/copy/paste gesture. (I think they are trying to discourage those who fill forums with cut and paste repeats of diatribes!)

Finally.... if you don't know enough about computers to become comfortable with Preware, I wonder if WebOS is really what you want. Give us in the Open WebOS community a year or two and I think you will see a explosion of new devices based on the software!

In the meantime, consider donating to WebOS Internals and learn the power of Preware to extend and explore the potential of your TouchPad (and more....)