Did Palm Change the 'Swipe Up' Gesture Behavior on the Pre? | webOS Nation

Did Palm Change the 'Swipe Up' Gesture Behavior on the Pre?

by Dieter Bohn Wed, 15 Apr 2009 7:19 pm EDT

An eagle-eyed member in our forums, jhoff80, has noticed that Palm has apparently changed the behavior of the 'swipe up' gesture on the Palm Pre since we first saw it at CES.

The Pre, as you may recall, features a 'gesture area' underneath the screen that is also touch-sensitive.  There are a few functions you can achieve with this area.  Here is how they were explained to us at CES:

  1. Quickly swipe left within the gesture area to go back
  2. Swipe up half-way and hold to bring up the "Launch Wave" which has buttons for Phone, Launcher, and 3 customizable apps you choose. (The Launcher button can also be customized to something else)
  3. Swipe all the way up to bring up the launcher from any screen.

Jhoff80, while watching the video embedded above shot by PalmInfoCenter, that the 3rd Swipe now seems to bring up card view, requiring a second swipe to bring up the launcher (as he notes, it comes around 18 seconds in).  The ensuing discussion on our forums debates the pros and cons of this design change.

On the Con side, well, you have a few issues.  First up, you now have two different ways to achieve the same thing -- get into card view.  You can either do a full swipe up or you can hit the center button.  Secondly, it now takes two operations to get to your full list of apps.

On the Pro side, you are now able to achieve everything via gestures, which seems elegant.  It's also theoretically possible that that there's another Pro here we don't know about: they gave us another way to get to your app launcher because they wanted to offer a way to customize the functionality of the center button.  If nothing else, I take Palm thinking about the Center Button as a "Good Thing," because it might mean that they may eventually change their mind about letting it be used for notifications.

In any case, TreoKing notes that Palm knows that we know that something appears different here... and Palm is definitely continuing their obvious trend of putting a lot of thought into how a person might use the Pre.  Alex Hunter of Palm writes on the Palm Blog in reply to a question on this very subject from Ecoteric:

I'll have more for you along the lines of "why did / didn't Palm do this" when the product is released to the public, which will be soon. I will say that an incredible amount of thought and preperation goes into every little feature and that Palm tests out specific features to see what you guys, our customers, prefer.

What say you: is the new behavior better or worse?