Multitouch Browsing Brought to the Google Nexus One Through Hack

Google's Nexus One Superphone

Unlike previous Android-based phones, Google’s recently unveiled Nexus One ships without Multitouch support for its applications, but fear not confused Nexus One owners, a relatively simple hack is available to enable this common smartphone ability.

When browsing the web on a display as small as ones found in the common touchscreen smartphone, it can be difficult to render websites properly and still be able to read the text and view the images without much eyestrain. Adding multitouch features to a touchscreen smartphone provides abilities such as “pinch zoom”–placing two fingers on the screen and expanding to zoom out in or contracting to zoom in out. This is a quick method to change the size of a site’s text and images without having to add dedicated hardware buttons or clunky on-screen zoom interface buttons.

Developer Steve Kondik (known as cyanogen in the Android community) announced that he has created a solution to this vexing exclusion to the software libraries of the popular Android “Superphone”. Visit the XDA-Developers forum post for instructions, but be aware that you will lose your bookmarks and browser settings by applying the hack. If you are the type of person who needs to see a hack in action before going through the hassle, I don’t blame you. The video below displays the new and improved Nexus One default browser with added multitouch capabilities.

Powered by the 1GHZ Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, the Nexus One is the most advanced Android platform phone currently on the market. Packing in a 5 megapixel camera with Autofocus and LED flash, 512MB of Flash storage, 512MB of RAM and a 3.7-inch widescreen WVGA AMOLED touchscreen, the Nexus one is certainly a drool-worthy smartphone specimen.

With such outstanding specifications and crisp display, it is a shame that multitouch functionality was not included out of the box as it has been in the past with HTC’s own Hero.

The Nexus One phone was designed by HTC and available for $180 with a two-year T-Mobile contract. It is also available by itself, unsubsidized, for $530.