New Palm Pre Features Revealed: Manipulate Text like a Pro in 'Trackball Mode' | webOS Nation

New Palm Pre Features Revealed: Manipulate Text like a Pro in 'Trackball Mode'

by Dieter Bohn Sun, 26 Apr 2009 5:34 pm EDT

The Palm webOS development book from O'Reilly is coming out chapter by chapter.  We've already seen the overview in chapter 1, Application basics in chapter 2, and Widgets in chapter 3.  Well chapter 4 is out, and jhoff80 in our Palm Pre Forums gives us the low-down. 

The big news: we now have more detail about how text manipulation works on the Palm Pre.  We already knew that we will have access to cut and paste via the main menu, but the exact details of how it all will work on a more granular level were unclear.  See: the Pre uses a capacitive touch screen, so selecting an exact spot is rather difficult.  The iPhone fixes this issue with a magnifying glass that pops up on touch-and-hold, but what about the Pre.

Well, it's actually quite nice:

  • You can hold down the Alt key to go into "Trackball Mode," which lets you swipe to move one character at a time.  You can do the same with the shift key and it will select text as you swipe. 
  • There is "Smart Deletion," whereby you can hold down the delete key in order to delete an entire word.

Best of all, there is some sort of Auto-correct feature.  jhoff80 notes that one example is auto-capitalization after a period. 

There you have it, folks, the Pre can handle text quite well, thank you very much.  And our Palm Pre Forums can handle your insatiable desire for finding Pre details ...thank you very much, forum members!

Update:  As Blackhawk5 in our forums mentions, the YouTube video after the break -- shot by PalmInfoCenter -- briefly shows the Shift-select method.